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Forums for Class Discussions

Forums are a discussion tool that allows instructors and students to post and reply to each other's saved messages within their LATTE course.  Through email subscription, students can also receive emails containing content posted to the discussion forums of their LATTE courses.

Creating Forums

To create a forum within your LATTE course:

Step 1: Click on the "Turn editing on" button on the upper right-hand side of your course homepage.

Step 2: Choose Forum from the "Add an Activity" menu in the week/topic area of your course outline where you want to add the forum.

Step 3: Enter the title of the forum in the Forum name box.

Step 4: Select the type of forum from the Forum Type menu.

  • Single simple discussion: Used for a single topic; all posts contained on one page
  • Standard forum for general use: An open forum where instructors and students can start a new topic
  • Each person posts one discussion: A forum where each person can create one new discussion topic
  • Q and A forum: A forum requiring students to post before being able to view other posts

Step 5: Write instructions how you want students to use the forum in the Forum introduction box.

Step 6: Select the settings for this forum, including email subscription options and ratings. More about subscription options.

Step 7: Click on the "Save Changes" button.

 

Starting a Discussion in a Forum 

Step 1: Click on the "Add a new discussion topic" button in the forum you created. 

Step 2: Enter the topic description in the Subject box.

Step 3: Compose your message in the Message box.

Step 4: Click on the "Post to a forum" button.

Step 5: Click "Continue."

 

Tracking Read and Unread Forum Posts

LATTE gives you control to keep track of which forum posts you have read.

To learn more about marking forum posts as read, download these instructions.

 

E-mail Subscription Settings

The instructor has options for subscribing students to each forum. When subscribed, students will receive copies of forum posts within their Brandeis University email. Email subscription settings are chosen when the instructor creates a forum. These settings can also be changed by selecting the "Update this Forum" button on the upper left hand corner of each forum's summary page.

Subscription Options

Subscription options are found in the drop down box next to "Force everyone to be subscribed?".

  • "No". Email subscription is by choice of the student. 
  • "Yes, forever". Instructor forces students to get forum posts by email, and they cannot unsubscribe. This is know as "forced subscription."
  • "Yes, initially". Students will be subscribed to the forum at its start but can unsubscribe themselves at any point.
  • "Subscriptions not allowed." Students cannot receive forum posts via e-mail subscription.

 

Default Forums in LATTE: "News & Announcements" and "Introduce Yourself"

When a LATTE course is created, it comes set up with two default forums:

1) Course News & Announcements 

  • Located in the first section of the course outline.
  • Only the Instructor(s), Teaching Assistant(s), and Course Assistant(s) can post to this forum.
  • Set by default to force students to subscribe by email; instructors can change the subscription options.
  • Posts to this forum will also appear in the Latest news block if the block is added by the instructor.
  • Instructors can hide this forum from students if they do not wish to use it for their course.

2) Introduce Yourself

  • Located in the first weekly or topic section of the course outline.
  • Forum is set so that students must first post before being able to read other student's posts.
  • Instructors can hide this forum from students if they do not wish to use it for their course.

NOTE: When composing long forum posts, it is best to write the post in a word processing program of some kind (e.g. WordPad or TextEdit) rather than directly in the LATTE window. This allows you to access better spelling and grammar check tools, to save partially completed documents, and to avoid losing forum posts due to system time outs, power outages, etc. However, MS Word should not be used, as it brings it's own formatting code into LATTE. If you prefer to use Word, follow these instructions for removing Word formatting code before pasting into LATTE.