Forum: An activity where students and teachers can exchange ideas by posting comments. Instructors may allow files to be attached to posts, attached images will be displayed inline. There are five basic forum types within GauchoSpace, the most popular being the standard forum for general use. Forums can also be graded through the Gradebook if you use ratings.
Groups and Groupings: Groups are collections of activities and visibility from other groups in your course site.. Groups can have many functions, including small groups for collaborative projects, or larger groups for a course section. Groups that correspond to a course section are often created automatically when a department adds a Teaching Assistant to a section. Many functions of GauchoSpace, including and , can have altered functionality when used in different Group modes. Groupings are collections of Groups. Using Groupings allows you to restrict
Which type of forum to implement can be a tricky decision for instructors -- there are pros and cons to each style:
- Q&A forum can be used to elicit fresh perspectives and opinions that could otherwise could be shaped or influenced by peer responses.
- This forum is also is an ideal tool for blending formative assessment with class discussion. Because initial student responses are drafted blind, instructors can gauge students' independent understanding of a topic, but still have an open space for sharing perspectives and views.
- The Q&A forum is not always preferable to a standard forum. While it may be tempting to think that blind forum posts will always result in a forum full of original thinking and diverse perspectives, this may not always be the case. Sometimes, students may unknowingly author initial responses that are quite similar to those of their classmates. Conversely, the transparency of the standard forum can encourage students to develop original ideas that have not already been offered by other students.
To set up the Q&A forum, follow these steps:
1. On your course page, at the top if the page, click Turn editing on.
2. At the bottom of the section/week where you would like the forum to appear, click Add an activity or resource:
3. Select Forum.
4. Under Forum name, enter the forum name that you would like to display on your course page.
5. Under Forum type, select Q and A forum
6. Click Save and display. You will now be taken to the main page of the new forum activity where you can draft your initial post. Remember, with this forum type, students will not be able to post content until you have drafted your initial post (i.e. the "Question" to which they will provide an "Answer").
There are separate instructions for drafting the initial forum post, depending on whether you want 1) a single, open discussion, or 2) separate smaller discussions that are only visible to members of a given discussion group:
If you want a single class discussion, follow these steps:
1. Click Add a new question.
2. Put in a subject heading, and draft your "question" to which students will reply:
3. Click Post to forum:
4. Now, the initial question has been posted! Students can reply by clicking on the discussion name...
5. ... and by clicking reply.
If using separate discussion groups, follow these steps:
1. If your forum is set up with the "separate groups" option enabled, you will need to create an initial post for each section.
2. To draft the initial post, you create a new "question":
3.There is a convenient setting, however, that allows you to copy the initial post to all groups:
4. Now, each section will have a separate thread:
5. Students can now open the discussion shared with their respective group...
6. ...and post a reply!
Here are some common issues that can arise while from using the Q&A forum:
- Students cannot post new discussion topics; they can only reply to existing ones.
- If you are using discussion groups, you will need to create a separate forum post for each group. You can use the post a copy to groups feature for this.
- Like all forum posts, the 15 minute editing window applies. Student posts will be editable and not publicly visible during this period.
- If you want to be able to give a numerical grade to students' forum posts, you will need to enable ratings.