Q&A Forum Instructions

Picture of Courtney Nowlan
Q&A Forum Instructions


I work at the University of Illinois to create Moodle courses for our instructors and help them understand how to use Moodle. Many of our instructors had questions on how to set up a Q&A Forum on Moodle 1.9.9. When we directed our instructors to for help, they still had questions on how to set it up.

I want to get your opinion. I posted the instructions that we came up with below. Are these instructions helpful? Is there anywhere else we could direct the instructors for help?



Q and A Forum Help Article

The Q and A Forum is a great instructional tool for instructors to require students to respond to a question or prompt before reading what their peers think. This kind of activity works well to foster original thinking while reducing the “me too” posts that can be common in discussion forums.

Unfortunately, the default settings for the Q and A Forum need to be modified for it to function as intended. In most cases when using a Q and A Forum, an instructor should be the only user starting new threads (discussion topics). Students will then respond to the instructor’s threads and then they will be able to view and respond to their peers’ posts.

When setting up a Q and A Forum, instructors should not include the discussion questions, and/or prompts to which your students should respond in the Forum introduction. The Forum introduction is the place to inform students that they should respond to each of the discussion threads first before being able to view and respond their peers’ posts.

The threads posted by the instructor should be the discussion questions and/or prompts to which the students should respond. A Q and A Forum should always have at least one thread started by the instructor before students access it.

To configure the Q and A Forum to work as described above, make the following changes:

Create a Q and A Forum and add a general Forum Introduction.

Access the Override permissions tab.

Select the Student role.

Set the Start new discussions permission to prevent.

Save the changes.

Save the forum.

Add a new question or prompt for your students to reply to before seeing their peers’ responses.

Add as many new questions or prompts as desired for this Q and A Forum activity.

Average of ratings: Useful (1)
Just wondering . . .
Re: Q&A Forum Instructions

Courteny, what exactly are you wanting to do?

Have I got it right:

  1. You want an instructor to be able to post a post.
  2. You want students to be able to post responses
  3. You want other posts HIDDEN until a student posts
  4. You DON'T want students to be able to start a thread.
  5. Unsure: do you want students to respond to other responses?

Just by the way: have you read (Actually I think this is out of date)

And on a general level: did you send your instructors to one page in, or to the home page?

Average of ratings: -
Picture of Keith Landa
Re: Q&A Forum Instructions

Whenever I use the Q&A forum, the first thing I do is go into the Override permissions tab and remove the permission for students to start new discussions.  I don't understand why that's not the default setting for this activity.  Time and again I've had my faculty tell me that the Q&A forum is not working, because students are able to see what other students have posted before they post.  Invariably it's because the students were posting as new discussions, instead of as replies to instructor started discussions.

The directions you've put together for your faculty are what I tell my faculty to do.

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Just wondering . . .
Re: Q&A Forum Instructions


Have you considered making a tracker request for this?

I'd support it.

Now I am clear what you are thinking.

Why not develop a patch and fix your system?


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Picture of Keith Landa
Re: Q&A Forum Instructions

Yes, it's probably a simple change to have that permission turned off for students by default.  I'll talk with our programmer to see what's involved in the hack, so we can post a more specific tracker request.  keith

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Picture of Keith Landa
Re: Q&A Forum Instructions

Hi Derek - we've found that there's already a tracker request for this:

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