Forums are online places for discussion. They bring together groups of people with common interests, things to share or issues to resolve. They allow conversations to take place around topics which are dictated by the members of the forum themselves, although many specialist forums have developed (e.g. medical, educational, leisure-based) where participants can post and read information provided by others. Forums are great places for developing a group identity and a community of practice on a given topic.
The forum in Sitebuilder has a designated page template.
Advantages of forums: trainees can discuss a range of topics, either set by themselves or the tutor, so there is room for both directed and student led learning and ownership; forum members will receive email notifications of when a new forum entry has been posted, so that tutors and students can respond in a timely way; trainees can discuss topics at a time and pace to suit themselves, with 24 hr access; with careful planning, forum tasks can be organised in modules to introduce session topic, or to extend the subject following learning
Disadvantages of forums: forums require members to have some basic ILT skills and to be interested in engaging with the technology, which requires some careful induction by the tutor (including forum netiquette); forums require an enthusiastic tutor to initially get momentum going and to encourage participation, which needs to be planned into the tutor's schedule; Warwick forums are unmoderated, so access should be restricted to a specific cohort or course web-group only
How to create a forum
Go to Edit-Create a new page
Select a Forum page template
Give appropriate name and page set up, selecting Span right hand side
How to contribute
To add to an existing topic, open the thread and select Reply
To create a new thread, select Add topic
How to follow a forumSelect the Follow button at the top of the page; updates will automatically be sent to web-group members using their Warwick email address. For alternate emailing options, see here