Post to a forum

How you post to a forum in Moodle will depend on what kind of forum it is and how it has been set up by your lecturer. Regardless of how your forum has been set up your lecturer should have included some instructions as to how they would like you to participate.

Most common methods of posting to a forum:

Note: Students cannot post or reply to posts in a Announcements forum

What you will need to do will depend on what you see when you first open the forum.

Important: When posting in a forum you must obey the student guidelines for online forum etiquette.

Open the forum

  1. Click the forum link, e.g.

    course forum icon

Reply to an existing discussion

In a topic forum, your instructor will most likely post the first discussion topic which will be the discussion activity. In this scenario you would not be expected to add a new discussion topic but to reply to the one started by your instructor. This is the most common method of posting to a topic forum. When you open the forum in this scenario it may look like the following:

Image showing discussion topics

  1. Clicking on the title of the post, e.g Trouble with week one resource, will open it.

forum post

  1. Click Reply to the instructor's post. The Your Reply area will appear.

    forum reply

  2. You can leave the Subject field as is.
  3. In the Message field, enter your reply.
  4. If files are allowed, and you wish to attach a file, drag it to the attachment upload box. Click the Add.. link to access more options like Dropbox and Google Drive
  5. When you have finished click Post to forum. A message appears advising that the post was added and that you have 30 min in which to edit this post if you wish.

As your message is a reply to the original discussion it will appear indented, or nested, under the original post.

Example of nested reply

Note: You may not be the first person to reply to your instructors post, however it is important that you click reply to the message you are actually responding to, that is the original post, and not just click reply to the last message that appears as your message will appear nested under whichever post you reply to. Nesting in forums is useful to help people follow the flow of a discussion, however it can be confusing if everyone just replies to the last message.

Post a new discussion topic

In some forums you may be required to post a new discussion topic. A common example of this would be in a common room type forum which has been set up for you to ask questions. Another example would be in a topic forum where you don't see an existing post from your lecturer and where full instructions on what you need to do appear at the top of the screen, this may look like the following:

Image showing new topic button

  1. Click the Add a new discussion topic button.
  2. In the Subject field, enter the subject of your discussion.
  3. In the Message field, enter your actual post.

    Your message will appear in the forum as a new discussion.

    Image showing new post

  4. When you are finished, click Post to forum. A message appears advising that the post was added and that you have 30 min in which to edit this post if you wish.

Pin a discussion topic

If you are a Staff member adding a new discussion topic, you will have the option to pin a post. This keeps the discussion first in the list regardless of other discussions being posted. To pin the discussion post click the check box next to 'Pinned'. The check box will turn blue with a white tick.

Image of the Pinned post option

A pin icon will appear next to the Discussion title indicating that the discussion is pinned.

Pinned Icon to the right of Discussion topic title in list

To unpin a post, click on the title to open the discussion. Click the unpin button at the top of the discussion. The discussion will move back to its chronological place in the list of discussion topics. For example, if three new discussions have been posted in the forum since the pinned post has been posted, it will move below those three new discussions once unpinned.

unpin button inside forum post

Posting a timed post

  1. To post a timed post you first go to your forum.
  2. Next click Add a new discussion topic.
  3. Then enter in your subject and message in the Subject and Message box.

  4. At the bottom of the screen you will notice there are two sections where you can add in a time and date for when you wish to make the post visible to students and when you wish it to no longer to be visible to students. Click Enable to make either Display start or Display end active and enter a date and time for when you wish them to occur.

  5. Thread Locking

    In forum discussions you have the ability to lock a discussion after a set amount of time meaning no one can reply. To reopen a topic allowing students to reply all you must do is reply to a post in the forum removing the discussion locking.

    To enable discussion thread locking when you first create a forum or in Edit settings under the Administration block you will see Discussion Locking.

    Set Lock discussion after period of inactivity to set the amount of time you want to lock the post after the last made post in the forum.