This guide provides information about Forum activities in Learning Space, what they are and how they can be created and used.


What is a Forum?

A Forum activity enables communication in Learning Space with staff and students. Depending on how they are set up, they can facilitate the exchange of ideas and allow for the posting of comments. There are five forum types to choose from and they can be used for discussions among students or assessing a piece of work. 

Creating a Forum for notices and announcements

Forums can be used to send messages to all students, or groups of students, subscribed to a course/module.

To create a notices and announcements forum in your Learning Space module or course:

  • Click the 'Edit mode' toggle to turn editing on (top right, next to your profile image).
  • Navigate to the required area in Learning Space that you want to add the forum to.
  • Click on 'Add activity or resource',  then click 'Forum'.
  • Give the forum a name e.g. Notices and from the 'Forum type' drop down menu, ensure 'Standard forum for general use' is selected (which is the default forum type).

Once the forum is in place, you will need to change the settings so that only Academic staff can post to the forum.

Click on the forum title to open it, then click the 'More' link from the top menu and select 'Permissions'.

Select Student from the Advanced role override dropdown.

Type 'start' into the filter box and you will be presented with the activity for 'Start new discussions'. Click on the radio button for 'Prevent' and then click 'Save changes'.

If you do not wish students to reply to notices type "reply" into the filter box and you will be presented with the activity for 'Reply to announcements', 'Reply to posts' and 'Reply to locked discussions'. Click on the radio buttons to prevent these activities and then click 'Save changes'

You have now created a 'Noticeboard' for your course/module that allows you and your colleagues to post and the students to view and receive as email.

Creating a Forum for discussion

A standard forum facilitates a discussion between participants and can be used as an assessed activity or as a noticeboard. 

Selecting Forum from the 'Add an activity or resource' option will take you to the forum edit screen.

Here you will need to fill out some more information. You will first need to give the forum a name. The next section of the forum options is the description text field. This text is presented to all individuals using the forums, so it is a good area to put any posting requirements or house rules etc. 

You will also need to decide what type of forum you wish to create, by default all forums created are 'Standard forum for general use'.

However there are a four additional types of forum you can choose from.

Forum typeFeatures
A single simple discussionA forum which features one topic, discussions are short and more focused.
Each person posts one discussionEach individual can post only one topic discussion topic within the forum. No limit on responses or replies within the forum.
Q and A forumStudents using this kind of forum have to post a topic before being able to view other topics within the same forum.
Standard forum for general useA general purpose forum where anyone can post a discussion topic and reply to other topics within the forum.
Standard forum displayed in a blog-like formatA general purpose forum where anyone can post a discussion topic and reply to other topics within the forum, and in which discussion topics are displayed on one page with.

Note icon

Note: You now have a selection of optional settings that can be applied to the Forum.

Attachments and word count

In this area you are able to set an attachment size in addition to the number of attachments. You can also set the forums to display word counts from here.

Subscription and tracking

Subscription typeFeatures
Optional subscriptionStudents can choose whether to be subscribed.
Forced subscriptionWill subscribe all users to the forum with no option to unsubscribe.
Auto subscriptionSubscribes users initially but users can choose to unsubscribe at any time. Choose this option if you would like to give users the option to not receive notification emails.
Subscription disabledMeans subscriptions aren't used.

Read tracking for this forum

The next option in the forum settings is the “Read tracking for this forum”, by default this is set to optional. When read tracking is enabled individual users can track unread messages in forum discussions.

Other Forum options

The Post threshold for blocking, Grade, Ratings, Common Module Settings and Restrict access options aren’t commonly used in Learning Space. If you would like some more information about these please get in touch with a member of the Digital Learning team.

If you are interested in using the group mode functions within forums please see the section titled: "Sending forum posts to specific groups of students".

To save all settings within the Forum options, scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Save Changes'.

You have now successfully created a Forum. At this stage the forum is blank, if you’d like to start an initial discussion topic for the forum you will first need to click on the relevant forum link on the page.

Starting a new discussion within a Forum

Click the forum title to open it, then to add a new topic to the discussion, click 'Add discussion topic'.

When creating a new discussion topic, you are required to enter a subject title and message text. The forum description is also displayed at the top of the page. The message box editor where text is entered, provides some formatting options and allows you to add links, images, attach files and record with or add a video from Panopto.

Once you have created a discussion topic click the 'Post to Forum' button at the bottom of the page. With any type of post using forums you will be presented with the following notification:

Within the first 30 minutes of posting you will be able to edit and amend your content. If you want to make any changes to your post, click your post title open your post.

Click 'Edit' (bottom right), edit your post, then click the 'Save changes' button. 

Note: Forums by their nature display chronologically, the most recent topic will always be displayed at the top. 

You have now posted a discussion topic to the Forum.

Adding an attachment to a Forum post

When leaving a comment or starting a thread within a forum you are presented with a 'Subject' and 'Message' input box.

You can also add attachments to a discussion topic. To do this click the 'Advanced' link.

This will open the 'Files' box where you can drag and drop a file into the attachment area below the text box.

Please note that there will be an attachment limit listed on this page that will differ from forum to forum. 

If you are happy with your attachment selection click "Post to forum". You are then taken back to the forum area, where the post with attachment can be seen in the thread.

You have now successfully posted to the forum area with an attachment.

Inserting an image into a Forum post

When leaving a comment or starting a thread within a forum you are presented with a Subject and Message input box where you enter a title and message text. You can also add images to your discussion topic post.

To do this you can drag and drop your image file into the message text box, then click 'Post to forum'.


You can click the 'Show more buttons' icon

Select the 'image' icon, then follow onscreen instructions to locate and add your image (browse repositories > choose file >save image)

This method provides options to add alternative text/mark as decorative, adjust image size and select your preferred alignment.

Clicking 'Post to forum' will create your post and take you back to the forum area. 

You have now successfully posted an image to the forum area.

Sending Forum posts to specific groups of students

Within Learning Space you are able to create forums that are only available to certain groups within a module or course. To do this you will first need to create the relevant groups you would like in your module area. For more information on creating groups please see the Creating Groups guide. 

Next, ensure you have edit mode enabled by clicking the 'Edit mode' toggle (top right, next to your profile image).

Click the 3-dot icon at the end of the forum row and select 'Edit settings'.

Scroll down to 'Common Activity Settings' and choose 'Separate groups' or 'Visible groups' from the dropdown box next to 'Group Mode' and click 'Save and display'.

Group modeFeatures
Separate groupsAllows only students within certain groups to see certain discussion threads. For example Group A would only be able to see discussion topic for Group A, they would not be able to view Group B’s discussion topic. This also applies for other students enrolled on the page, they could see the forum link, but when clicked would be unable to view the threads unless assigned to a group.
Visible groupsAllows students within certain groups to view all other groups discussions, however students could only post within their relevant groups discussion thread. For example Group A could see Group B’s discussion thread, but would be unable to contribute. They could only contribute to Group A’s discussion thread. Other students enrolled on the page could view the forum threads for the other groups but would be unable to post unless assigned to a group.
No groupsAllows anyone enrolled on your page to interact and post within the forum.

In the 'Group mode' drop down menu, choose 'Separate groups' to prevent students seeing and getting notifications from threads intended for other groups.

To start a discussion with a single group, click'Add discussion topic', enter the subject title, your message and add any attachments, then click the 'Advanced' link.

Above the 'Post to forum' button there is a group dropdown box that allows you to select the group you want the discussion to be seen by.

Select a group, then click 'Post to forum'.

A group forum has now successfully been created.

Adjusting email notifications from forums

If you are receiving too many notifications from Learning Space, you can adjust your settings to receive a daily snapshot from the forums you're subscribed to. 

Note: This change effects ALL of the forums you are subscribed to. 

Click your profile icon (top right) and select 'Preferences'.

Click 'Forum preferences', select from the options available, then click 'Save changes'.

Question mark iconFurther Support

For further support on Learning Space, or to report any issues with this guide, please get in touch with the Digital Learning Team via dlsupport@falmouth.ac.uk. Alternatively, please refer to the numerous help guides found on our Knowledge Base

View the Accessibility Statement for all of our support guides.