Sakai Tips: Working with Forums

The Forums tool allows instructors to set up threaded discussion questions that can be read or contributed to by the entire class or designated groups. The tool records the number of posts by students and forum posts can be linked to the Gradebook for grading.

Discussions are organized under the hierarchy of  Forums > Topics > threaded original posts and replies.   Below are screenshots that show the structure.

Forum > Topics:

Discussions with original posts and replies: 

Tip 1 –  Forum and Topic settings

You can fine-tune the permissions of groups to write, read, and edit posts. Forum permission settings will apply to all subsequently created topics in that forum, but if you modify forum permission settings after topics have been created, you must change the topic permission settings separately.

Tip 2 –  Creating forums for designated groups and set up restriction to others

You can use Sakai’s group settings to help you create forums for each of your groups. For example, say you have 5 groups of students in your course and you want each of them to have a forum where they can post and respond to one another. Furthermore, you want each forum to be visible to every student in your class, but you only want students within the designated group to be able to add posts or respond to posts. Read more here

Top 3 – Turning off Email Notification

If you do not want to receive an email each time a new message is posted in a forum, you will need to change the default notification setting. Within Forums, click Watch, choose the No notification button and then hit Save.

Q- Why can’t my students see a Forum I created?

A- A forum is not visible to your students unless at least one topic is created by instructor, or you can set up a forum that allows students to create a new topic.