Trunk User GuideTrunk User Guide ForumsHow do I create Group Forums and Topics?

How do I create Group Forums and Topics?

Instructors can create Forums and Topics that can be accessed, read and responded to by a specific group only. The site must first have groups created (Site Editor / Manage Groups).

Group Forums and Topics are displayed only to members of the specific group. Members of other groups will not have the Forums or Topics displayed in their view, as they do not have read access to the Forum/Topics.

Go to Forums.

Go to Forums.

Click New Forum.

Click New Forum.

This displays the Forum Settings page.

Enter a title for the Group Forum. Add a short description and a long description if needed.

Enter a title for the Group Forum. Add a short description and a long description if needed.

The Forum title is required.  The short description is displayed below the Forum title.  The long description is displayed under a View Long Description button.

Click Add Attachments if you want to attach a file to the Forum.

Click Add Attachments if you want to attach a file to the Forum.

Click the Add attachments button to browse for and select a file. This is sometimes useful if you want to attach a grading rubric.

Select forum posting options (optional).

Select forum posting options (optional).

There are several forum posting options from which to choose.  Remember, any settings selected here will apply to all of the topics within this forum by default.  (However, these may be overridden the settings on an individual topic if desired.)

  • Lock forum:  This option locks the forum so users can no longer post messages.  However, they can continue to read existing messages.  
  • Moderate topics in forum: This option means all messages posted within topics in this forum, must be approved by the instructor before other students can see them.
  • Require users to post before reading:  Selecting this option requires users to  post their own response first, before they can view other messages posted previously.  This is a good option to select if the Instructor wishes students to respond to a discussion prompt before seeing other student responses.

Select availability.

Select availability.

The default option is to Show Immediately, or  choose to Specify dates to open (show) and/or close (hide).

Tip: Setting open and close dates at the forum level can be tricky because individual topics may also have specified dates.  However, the forum must be visible in order for the topics within the forum to be available to students.  Typically, instructors set open/close dates at the topic level only.

Select Read Options.

Select Read Options.

By default, new postings are marked "new" and "unread". Selecting this option will mark all messages within a conversation as read (and remove the "new" notation) after they are viewed by the student.

Leaving this property unchecked, will require the user to manually click on the "read" button for each conversation and reply to mark it as "read" and remove the "new" notation.

Specify Gradebook item.

Specify Gradebook item.

When grading forum posts, select a specific Gradebook item for the grades to be included in the Gradebook calculations.

Tip: Similar to open/close dates, associating with the Gradebook at the forum level is not always ideal because individual topics may also be graded. Faculty may prefer to grade discussions at the topic level.

Set Permissions.

Set Permissions.

For a Group Forum:

  • Set the Guest Permission Level to None
  • Set the Student Permission Level to None
  • Set the Student Non-Registered Permission Level to None.
  • Set the selected Group Permission Level to Contributor
  • Set all other Groups permission Level to None.

With the above permission settings, the selected group (with Contributor permissions) can read the Forum and Topics and can respond to Topics and Reply to Conversations. All other students will not have the Forum displayed in their view of the site. Instructors, Guest Instructors, TAs, Librarians and Course Builders will have access to the Forums/Topics

Note: Forum permissions automatically flow down to any Topic created in the Forum. Once you set the permissions at the Forum level, all of the permissions will be set accordingly for subsequent Topics added to the Forum.

Click Save and Add Topic

Click Save and Add Topic

This saves the forum and displays the Edit Topic page.

Note: A Topic is the idea, question or concept you want the group of students to discuss.

Enter a title for the Group Topic. Add a short description and a long description if needed.

Enter a title for the Group Topic. Add a short description and a long description if needed.

The Topic title is required.  The short description is displayed below the Topic title.  The long description is displayed under a View Long Description button.

Click Save.

Click Save.

Note: All of the settings made in the Forum will automatically flow down to this Topic.

Example of a Group Forum with a discussion Topic.

Example of a Group Forum with a discussion Topic.

To add additional Group Topics, click New Topic

To add additional Group Topics, click New Topic

Example of a Group Forum with multiple Topics:

Example of a Group Forum with multiple Topics:

To create additional Group Forums, click New Forum.

To create additional Group Forums, click New Forum.

Example of multiple Group Forums with multiple Topics

Example of multiple Group Forums with multiple Topics