Achieving effective communication can be challenging when dealing with large student cohorts. Moodle Forums can help you with avoiding duplicating messages for absentees, and getting important messages to all students in a timely manner. Used in the right way at the right time, they can also boost student engagement and learning.

Moodle Forum Use Cases

Moodle Forums have many uses, such as

  • A social space for students to get to know each other
  • Course announcements (using a news forum with forced subscription)
  • Discussing course content or reading materials
  • Continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
  • Teacher-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
  • A help centre where tutors and students can give advice
  • A one-on-one support area for private student-teacher communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one student per group)
  • For extension activities, for example ‘brain teasers’ for students to ponder and suggest solutions to

Moodle Forums – Key Options

Moodle Forums allow ‘asynchronous’ (not real time) communication. The main forum types are:

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A ‘Standard forum’ where anyone can start a new discussion at any time.
Each person posts one discussion‘ Just what it says.
‘Question and answer forum’ where students must first post before being able to view other students’ posts (avoiding ‘group think’.)

A teacher can allow files to be attached to forum posts. Attached images are displayed in the forum post.

Different subscription options are available: optional, forced or auto, or prevent subscription completely.

If required, students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period; this can prevent individuals from dominating discussions.

See these staff guidelines to Moodle Forums and Emailing Students and these guidelines for students on managing emails received from Moodle.

Forum posts can be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.

Consult the documentation for general guidance on all options available for Forums, and feel free to contact your campus learning technologist for advice.

Using Forums with Groups

Consult Using Forums with Groups for guidance on how to achieve such aims as allowing students to have discussions within a group which are not visible to other groups.

Internal messaging in Moodle

View student messaging

Moodle has its own internal messaging system which allows you to create an email to individual or whole class without leaving the Moodle environment. The email is sent to both the student Moodle account and to their university email account. Simply select the students from the Participants page and choose to send a message.

See these staff guidelines to Moodle Forums and Emailing Students and these guidelines for students on managing emails received from Moodle.


A system for sending out emails you need to get to the students in half-an-hour (forum messages are usually sent in an evening digest). ‘Quickmail’ is presented as one of the side-blocks on the right of your page when you turn editing on.

Moodle Chat

Largely overtaken by the emergence of more powerful collaborative environments, the chat activity module enables participants to have text-based, real-time synchronous discussions.

Not what you are looking for?

If you have realised that what you are looking for is a real-time communication tool, you may wish to consult our documentation on Webex and Microsoft Teams, which are real time collaborative environments for meetings and teaching events.