Student Guide to Moodle

Participating in Discussions

Decorative groupOnline forums allow you to reflect and share your thoughts about what you are learning. Messages remain posted in the forum for participants to read and respond to within a time frame set by your instructor or any time.

Online discussions are usually considered to be homework, so be sure to review your writing prior to posting your thoughts. Follow your instructor's guidelines carefully to ensure that you receive proper credit for your postings. For example, you might be required to post to a forum at least once during the first half of the week, and then respond to another student's posting by the end of the week.

This handy handout explains how to participate in Moodle discussion forums. (See this accessible version in Word.)

Check out these helpful hints:

Helpful Hint #1: If you spend a lot of time composing a response, you might want to draft it in a Word document and then copy and paste what you've written into your forum message. If you craft a lengthy reply in Moodle itself, select all of the text in the message box and copy it before you attempt to post it, just in case your browser session has timed out without warning. If you need to, you can paste it into a new textbox—and avoid the frustration of having to start all over again! Read more about how to avoid losing text in textboxes.

Helpful Hint #2: You may be asked to attach a file to a discussion post in order to share your work with classmates. When you do, be sure your file name includes a file extension (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) so that others will be able to open the file. Learn how to "embed" a web link in a post in case you'd like to provide a link to a website in your discussion thread.

Helpful Hint #3: You can insert photos in your posts, but be sure to make them a reasonable size (4" x 5" or 300 x 400 pixels, under 1MB) before you post them. Moodle displays photos in their "native" size – a full-screen photo of you and that steelhead might be a bit much for the rest of us! Find out how to resize images for Moodle.