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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
Now that we have our Discussion Forum completely set up, let's say it's the first week of our term. We want to make this Discussion Forum available to our students. So, on the left-hand column we can go ahead and click the Edit Settings option for this forum. We can scroll down to the bottom of the page and simply change the Visible setting from Hide to Show, then click the Save and return to course button. We are taken back to Week 1, let me go ahead and scroll down on the page, we can see that the Discussion Forum is now available to our student, hit the Move right button to move it into the proper place.
Now let's go ahead and logout of Moodle, by going back up to the top of our screen and clicking the Logout button, and then let's log back in as a student. Click the Login link, type in the Username Al and the Password of 12345. Hit the Login link, and now we are back in as the student. Go ahead and go back into course, Coral Reef Ecology and scroll down to the bottom of Week 1. here we can see the Week 1 Discussion Forum. Go ahead and click on that forum and this is what students would see, they would see the instructions they we have provided to them and they would see the initial four questions that they have been prompted with.
We can go into the first question by clicking on the link for question 1, and now we can read what that question says. Well, let's go ahead and make a response. So hit the button on the right that says Reply and then for response, we will simply type in Bermuda is an example of an island with coral reefs and is found outside of the 30N and 30S Range. Go ahead and scroll down on the forum and here the students get the same set of options that we do.
As a student they can choose to receive the emails for the postings or not. I will go ahead and leave it to set to Send email copies of this forum to me, so then as the student, I will be able to get the responses that somebody may respond to this particular forum, so I would know when to come in and start making additional responses. Hit the button for Post to forum and we are given a confirmation that the posting went on. Now when the page reloads, we can see the initial posting, and then we can see our response listed underneath of it. We can choose how we want the responses to look. initially, they're displayed in a Nested form.
We can also choose to display them as a Threaded form, where the initial posting is made and then any additional responses are listed underneath, we could choose to also look at them as a flat file with the newest first, so that the newest postings would be the first things that we see as additional postings are made,, or we can choose to see the oldest first. I like to look at these as a nested form, so that any responses to this question would show up tabbed underneath, whereas, additional responses to the initial posting would show up at the same level.
It just helps to keep things organized. Okay, now we know what the student sees. Let's go ahead and logout of the students view and log back in as our view. So back up to the top and click on the link for logout, then login again, logging in as yourself, I am going to login as Chris, my Password is 12345. I will back into My course, by clicking on the Coral Reef Ecology link, and now I can scroll back down to the bottom of Week 1 and here I am given feedback directly inside of my course to where I see that there's one unread post that I haven't read, that's related to this forum. This is great! A student made a posting in here and without even going into the forum.
I know that I already have something to read. I can go ahead and click on the Discussion Forum, and I can see that I have got one item that's been unread in this particular forum. I can go straight to that message by clicking on the number 1 and I can keep track of what's going on in the Discussions as they're happening by my students. Let's go ahead and return back to our course by clicking on BIOL432 in the breadcrumbs. Discussion Forums are a fantastic way to keep your students involved and engaged in your course material.
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