Using the forum activity
  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 4 minutes to read

Using the forum activity

Article Summary

Forum posting

The default content of Subject is usually 'Re: <the name of the parent post>', although you can change it if required.

A forum activity with a single discussion.

Sharing images through forums

When an image is attached as a file to a forum message, it is immediately displayed full size after the message (i.e. no need to click on an attachment). This is an excellent way of sharing images without having to go through the process of uploading them as files and linking them from within web pages.

You can upload images using the file picker, or by dragging and dropping into the editor.

Sharing sound and video through forums

If multimedia filters are enabled, a sound file (mp3) or accepted video file can be attached. These files will be embedded into the forum post in an appropriate player. As with images in the previous section, multimedia files can also be dragged and dropped from the desktop instead of uploaded via the file picker.

Pinned post

When adding a new post to a forum you can decide if you want it to be a Pinned post. This means it will be stuck at the top of the forum even after additional new posts are added. Pinning a post can be helpful if you want to ensure an important post doesn't get lost down the list of new threads. You can only pin posts if you have editing rights within the course (e.g. Editing Trainer). 

Post length

Long posts can cause problems when searching within forums, and can be difficult to read on screen. Rather than creating a very long post, consider copying and pasting the text into a text file and add it as an attachment to your forum post.

Post editing time limit

There is a time limit for editing posts, usually 30 minutes. It is set by a Site Administrator using the Maximum time to edit post setting in Quick-access menu > Security.

Mail now

A Mail now checkbox is available for anyone with the capability to manage course activities, typically trainers and admins.

Checking the Mail now box results in a notification being sent immediately (i.e. when the cron next runs) to everyone subscribed to the forum, rather than after the post editing time limit.

For users who have enabled email digests in their profile, the notification is not sent separately from other forum post notifications.

Reply to posts via email

If enabled by an administrator (in Incoming mail configuration), you can reply to forum posts via email.

  1. Click the Reply by email link in the email. You will see a special unique email address to send your reply to.
  2. Reply using the email address provided. Make sure you remove the original email content so that your forum post does not contain the quoted text.
  3. You should receive an email saying your reply has been successfully posted.
  4. Your post now appears in the forum.

Moving between forum threads

Links top and bottom left and right (where applicable) take you to the previous and next forum discussion in a list.

If your forum has groups, you only need to post once and your post is copied for each group.

Searching forums

All of the forums within a course are searchable and browsable. Performing a forum search can find useful information easily. All forums within the course are searched simultaneously.

The Search forums block can be added to your course page and enables you to quickly search for a particular word within a forum post.

For advanced searching, press the search button without typing anything in the words field, you will see a complete form that makes it easier to do advanced searches.

An advanced search enables you to refine your search in any/all of the following ways:

  • These words can appear anywhere in the post: One or more words you type in here will be found in all the places in the post they appear.
  • This exact phrase must appear in the post: The phrase you enter must appear exactly as you enter it.
  • These words should not be included: Identifying words you don’t want can help narrow down the resulting list of messages.
  • These words should appear as whole words: The search engine will return posts that contain your words as part of a larger word. For example, if searching for “cat”, posts with the word “catalogue” will be returned. Selecting whole words will look for a space before and after the words you have entered.
  • Posts must be newer/older than this: This narrows down the number of posts according to time limits.
  • Choose which forums to search: This enables searching within one forum only.
  • These words should be in the subject: If you know the subject line of the posts you want, you can limit your searches by the subject line.
  • This name should match the author: If you only want posts from certain authors, enter their names here.

Next steps

© Copyright 2024 Totara Learning Solutions. All rights reserved. Some content originally obtained via GPLv3 license and continues to be available under GPLv3. All other content is the sole copyright of Totara Learning Solutions. 

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