What is Forum Assessment?
The Moodle Forum activity is a tool for communication and collaboration that allows learners and educators to exchange ideas by posting comments in a thread. Forums can be a great way to create a sense of community and to get students to interact with each other, share ideas and drive a discussion online. Above is an example of a Moodle Forum - click on the purple question marks for an explanation of some forum features.
The Teacher can set up the forum, with one of the following options recommended for assessment:
- A Standard forum for general use - to use for 'open discussions'
- A Question and Answer forum (Q & A forum) - to use when you would like students to post before seeing other responses.
Once set up, a forum can be used as an assessment tool in a number of ways:
- Small group discussion
- Role play discussion
- Case study
- Question and answer
- Peer assessment
- Quick, positive and constructive feedback
On the forum students can:
- See the following information so that instructions are clear:
- Due date
- Completion criteria (e.g to start one discussion)
- Any other written instructions provided by the teacher
- Start discussions and respond to others
- Add files (images, videos, or other) as specified in the settings by the teacher
- See replies from others
They can also do the following depending on the settings of the teacher:
- Subscribe to individual discussions
- Rate each other's posts
Why are Moodle Forums useful for assessment?
Forums allow for a shared space where students may have discussions with each other, answer questions related to the content and engage with one another to foster collaboration and peer to peer interaction. Forums give students the ability to compare answers with their peers, answer each other's questions, providing transparency for students. You can also monitor forums for common misconceptions.
With this in mind, Moodle Forums is recommended for formative assessment. The forum settings allow for individual reflections, small group discussions, and the presentation of findings (group or individual) on a case study. The forum space lends itself to a range of applications, all of which allow the teacher to assess contributions, replies, analysis and depth of understanding of a concept, task or question.
Forums may be used as a non-graded activity type to encourage discussion or may also be graded based on a number of criteria or marking rubric. Forums can also be graded on student participation and engagement.
What do Moodle Forums for assessment involve?
Creating a ‘Moodle Forum’ activity for assessment involves:
- Deciding what the purpose of the forum is: facilitating a flipped classroom, to motivate students, or to gauge the understanding of individuals, for example.
- Adding the activity to Moodle and configuring the settings.
- Deciding how you will evaluate and grade contributions to the forum.
- Sharing the activity with your students so they can start contributing.