The Forums Tool

Introduction

The Forums tool has three levels of hierarchy: Forums, Topics, and Discussion Threads.  The Forums and Topics levels are organizational; the Discussion Threads level is where the work takes place.

Select the Forums tool from the Course Tools list on the left side of the WISE page.  On the Forums main page, select "New Forum" from the menu at the top of the page.  The forum functions as a container for one or more topics of discussion.

add forum

Setting up a New Forum


Give the forum a title ("Week 1 Discussion," "Sustainable Agriculture," etc.).  Optionally, add a Short Description or Description with additional information about the forum subject, requirements for posting or other information for participants.  Files relating to the subject can be attached directly to the forum if desired by clicking the "Add Attachments" button, making it easy for participants to refer to relevant materials.

forum title

Scroll down the page to complete the settings.  In most cases, the default settings are OK, so click "Save Settings & Add Topic."

forum settings

Setting up a New Topic

Use the same process to set up new topics within a forum.  Give the discussion topic a title and add descriptions and attachments as desired.  Once again, the default settings are usually fine.  When done, select either "Save Settings" to finish or "Save Settings & Add Topic" to add additional topics.  Selecting "Save Draft" saves the forum and topics for later editing; site participants do not have access to the forum until "Save Settings" is selected.

Using the Forums

The Forums main page now includes the new forum and its new topic and site participants can begin posting threads to the topics.  To create a discussion thread, click on the topic name ("Topic 1" in this example) to open the Threads page.

using forums

Select "Post New Thread" from the menu at the top of the page.

forum thread

Give the new thread a name and enter the text in the "Message" box.  When done, click on the "Post Message" button to post the thread.

To comment on a thread, click on the title of the thread; on the next page, select "Reply to Thread" from the menu or the "Reply" link to the right of the thread title and enter the comment text.

forum comment