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Moodle provides students with a rich environment of information, resources, and activities to enhance what is being taught in the classroom. In Moodle Essential Training for Students, Chris Mattia walks step by step through a typical Moodle course and shows students how to be successful. Chris shows how to post materials to a custom database, participate in a live chat with other students, and even access and complete assignments online.
An activity that you are going to find in many Moodle courses is the discussion forum. You can access all the forums over in the Activities block on the left-hand side by simply clicking on the link for Forums. Otherwise, you can note the icon showing as the two faces looking at each other or having a conversation. And then look for any of those types of activities scattered throughout the main outline of your course. In the Header block for every course, there is always a News forum where news about the course can be discussed. This forum is setup by default in all courses. Your instructor may have turned this forum off but more than likely, it's still listed here.
If I scroll down a little bit further, I can see that in the first week of my semester, my instructor has created a forum called Week 1 Notes, I can go into that forum by clicking on the link for Week 1 Notes and now my instructor is giving me instructions, let's say this forum is a place for me to post notes about the lecture and discuss materials for this week's information. I can then click the button for Add a new discussion topic. Here I can add a subject for my message. I'll say Notes from Elvis. Then in the message section, I have a standard HTML Editor where I can add any formatting that I need to use the HTML buttons at the top of this window or I can simply type in text or copy and paste it from a document that I have written on my local computer.
I am just going to add a quick note. This week's lecture covered an introduction to coral reef ecology. Now I'm going to go ahead and scroll down to the bottom and look at any other option that are available to me. The top option here says that this message is going to be in the HTML format. I have no ability to change or modify this nor can I change the fact that everyone in the class, all students and instructors are all subscribed to this forum. This may be the case or it may be slightly different depending on your course.
Finally, the last thing that I can do in this forum is that I can add an attachment if I would like to post additional documents and attach them to this forum post. This is very helpful in a lot of classes and you may find your faculty member asking you to post copies of your papers that you are writing, so that other students in the class can review them and add comments to them. If that's the case, you simply click the Browse button over here to the right-hand side, navigate your local hard drive to find the document that you want to attach and then click the Open button. Since I'm not going to attach anything, I'm just simply going to click the Cancel button to close this window.
Then I'm going to click the button for Post to forum. This is going to submit this posting up to the forum. When the page finally refreshes, I can see all the of the different discussion topics that are listed in this table. Currently, there is only this one discussion topic that I have added. You can see the subject that I added, Notes from Elvis, who the discussion thread was started by, the number of replies to this thread and whether or not it's been read or not. I am going to go ahead and click on the Notes from Elvis discussion, so we can see how we would reply to if read. Here we are able to see the posting that was made. This week's lecture covered an introduction of coral reef ecology. Since I'm the author of this post, I could go ahead and edit this post if I needed to by clicking the Edit link or delete the post entirely by clicking the Delete link.
If I want to reply to this note and add additional information, I can simply click the Reply button. I can see at the top the original posting. I can see the subject that was added including a Re: or response to this note. In the main message section, I can add an additional note about this topic. In this case, I'll simply add a note just as, I learned about different reef structures. I'll go ahead and scroll down at the bottom of the page and we have the same options that we had earlier when we created the first post.
If I needed to attach a document to this post, I can do so here. I'm not going to attach a document now, I'm going to just simply go ahead and click the Post to forum button. The message is posted up to the forum and now I can see that my initial posting has a response to it. The response has been tapped in showing the hierarchy of responses. This way a discussion can continue on outside of class and not everyone has to be online at the same time to participate in the discussion. I can use the list of links along the top to navigate back out to my Week 1 Notes, and now I see that the discussion topic is still listed who the discussion was started by and the number of responses to that discussion topic.
If I click on the link for Forums, I'm taking to the main listing of all the current forums that are in the course that I'm currently viewing. In this case, there is only the News forum and the Week 1 Notes forum. You can also see how many discussion thread are under each of these different areas, the number of unread threads that I have, whether or not I'm tracking the information inside of this courses and if I'm subscribed to those forums or not. Discussion forums are very helpful tool that are used throughout a lot of classes that use Moodle. So it's a good idea to be familiar with all of these tools. Let me go ahead and return back to my course by clicking on the Biology432 link in the upper left-hand corner.
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