Discussion Forums are the online equivalent of a classroom discussion, but with a few differences:
- Discussions happen across a period of time rather than all at once.
- Posts to discussions are threaded so that all posts are listed chronologically.
- You post links and videos along with your text.
A forum can contribute significantly to successful communication and community building in an online environment. There are several different types of discussion forums, though the most common forum used is the Standard forum.
In this forum type, students see the introduction text (or prompt) in a separate space above the discussion area. Also visible is the title of the discussion, who it was started by, the number of replies, and the date of the last post.
Follow your instructor’s instructions about whether you should select the “Add a new discussion topic” button or to reply to a specific thread.
IMPORTANT: Once you save your post in the Forum, you will have 30 minutes to edit or delete your post (see below). After 30 minutes, you cannot edit or delete your post. If you think you may need to deliberate on your post before posting it, work it out in a separate text editor (TextEdit [Mac]; Notepad [PC]) and then copy/paste your post into your discussion thread.
HTML Editor: If you know how to edit your post content in HTML, you can change the view of your post content by clicking on the Show More button (below)…
… then clicking on the HTML view button (below).
Other types of Forums
On some occasions, you may encounter alternative forum formats that require participating in slightly different ways. The following forum types describe how they differ from the Standard forum.
A single simple discussion
This is similar to the standard forum except there is only one thread. Students will see the first post placed in the Forum by the instructor. Students will post replies to the instructor’s post.
Each person posts one discussion
Students are allowed to post only one discussion thread, but otherwise this forum format works the same as the Standard forum.
Question and Answer forum
In a Q and A forum, instructors post the question and students are required to post once before viewing other students’ posts. After the initial post, students can view and respond to others’ post. This feature encourages original and independent thinking without the influence of a prior answer.