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Create Discussion Forum

As the instructor for your course, you are able to create forums on the Discussion Board in which students can participate. To create new discussions forums, follow the steps below.

  1. On the Course Menu, click on Discussions
    Discussions option highlighted on side menu
  2. On the Discussion Board page, you are able to see a listing of all discussion forums that are currently available in your course.
    1. Note: The template that is applied to new courses taught through UMass Amherst contains two default discussion forums: An introductions forum, and a general Q&A forum.
  3. Click "Create Forum" to create a new discussion forum.
     Discussion board's create forum option highlighted
  4. On the Create Forum page, type a name for the discussion forum.
  5. In the Description section, type the prompt for the forum. 
    Create forum name and description entry fields
  6. Under "Forum Availability", click the button next to "yes" to make the forum available to students. If you do not want to make the forum available to students, click the button next to "no". 
    1. Note: If you make the forum unavailable, you will have to edit the forum, click the button next to "yes", then click  "Submit" to make the forum available to students again.
  7. Optionally, add any date and time restrictions for the forum, should you wish for it to only appear before, between, or after certain dates.
    Forum availability enter date field
  8. Under "Forum Settings", choose how you would like the forum to be displayed to students. 
    1. "Standard View" shows the forum and all posts to students as soon as they click on the forum title. The second option, 
    2. The "post first" option requires that students post an original post to the forum prior to viewing other students' posts. Many instructors like the "post first" setting because it prevents students from copying others' thoughts on the discussion prompt.
    Forum settings view threads options
  9. Next, choose whether or not to grade the forum. If you choose to grade the forum, enter points possible. You can also choose to set grading by thread instead of by forum.
  10. Optionally, add a due date for the forum.
  11. Optionally, add a rubric to the forum to be used for grading.
    Forum settings grade and due date options
  12. Under "Subscribe", you can choose to allow students to subscribe to the discussion forum. When students or instructors subscribe to the forum, they receive an email whenever anyone posts to the forum.  
    Subscription menu options highlighted
  13. in the "Create and Edit" section, you can choose to allow students to delete their own posts, edit their own posts, create new threads in the forum, attach files, and quote other students' posts. Additionally, you have the option to allow tagging and 5-star rating of posts.
    Create and Edit section with submit button highlighted
  14. Once you have finished, click "Submit" to create the discussion forum.