You can create discussion questions and require (perhaps through a grade) students to participate. This can be done through two forum tools Moodle (which are also added to any section of your course through the Add an Activity or Resource link – Observe that the list of tools is in alphabetical order when trying to find it!).
There are various Forum types that you can choose from when creating the forum:
- Q and A forum requires students to post an answer to your question before seeing all the other answers.
- A single simple discussion creates a single discussion where everyone can participate.
- Click on the ? by Forum type to see the details on each Forum Type.
- Assigning grades for participation in a forum: This is done through the Ratings section on the forum page, and NOT through the Grade section (counterintuitive in my opinion). If a student posts several times to the forum you can have the Ratings system either simply count the number of posts for the student, or you can give a rating to each of the comments posted and the system can average them or sum them.
Enhanced forum (beta)
- This is a feature still under testing that will allow you to:
- Grade the forum directly (rather than through ratings) just like grading an assignment
- Students will see their grade in the gradebook but not in the forum activity
- Privately reply to students
- Give the option for students to post anonymously.
In both cases, you can do forums where students are broken down into groups as well.
Students working in groups independently
Students can collaborate in groups by setting up UMass Zoom meetings on their own through https://umass-amherst.zoom.us.