Add a Discussion Forum to Your Course


The forum activity allows students and teachers to exchange ideas by posting and replying to comments in one or multiple discussion threads. Posts can include text, hyperlinks, and rich multimedia content like images, audio, or embedded videos.

Step 1

Turn editing on by either:

  • Click the gear icon, then choose Turn editing on from the Course administration menu OR
  • Alternatively, just click the Turn editing on button.

Step 2

In the section where you’d like to add a forum activity, click “Add Activity/Resource”

demonstrative image see text for instructions

Step 3

Give the forum a meaningful name in the Forum Name field. In the Forum Description type your instructions to help guide the discussion (what do you want students to discuss? If you haven’t specified earlier in the course, what are your expectations for writing style? About how many word/paragraphs are you expecting? Do they need to cite sources?)

Giving your forum a name and description.

Step 4

Choose your forum type. The default forum type is a standard forum in which students can add their own new posts and also reply to peers.  In most situations, the standard forum works well.

If you are unsure what Forum type to select you can click the question mark icon next to “Forum Type” and see descriptions of the 5 forum types.

Choosing the type of forum that works best for your activity.

Step 5

You can leave Attachments, Word Count and Subscription and tracking settings on the defaults or modify them if you wish.

Step 6

Leave the setting “Post threshold for blocking to “Don’t Block”

Step 7

Assuming you don’t want to rate posts for a grade, keep “Ratings” set to “No ratings”. For information on setting up rating please see the Using Ratings to Grade Moodle forum posts article.

Step 8

For the “Common Module settings” under “Group Mode” you can optionally split the discussion into smaller groups. See Using Groups with Forums for more information.

Step 9

Click on “Save and return to course”

Saving the activity and going back to your course page.

The simple discussion forum is now part of your course and is ready for you or your students to add discussion topics.


How do I grade a discussion forum?

You can use Forum Ratings, or use a standalone Grade Item in your gradebook.

Can I use Groups with a discussion forum?

Yes. See the Using Groups With Forums guide article.

How do I manage the email notifications I get from new forum posts?

If the forum activity is configured to allow optional subscription, each user can manage subscribe or unsubscribe from forum activities or individual forum threads. See Subscribe or Unsubscribe from Forum Notifications on Note that instructors can optionally force subscriptions or not allow subscriptions at all.