Posted by , Last modified by Melinda Barnsley on 26 October 2017 01:59 PM
When using graded forums in your course, it is best to include clear expectations and a description of forum grading practices in your syllabus. Please read through the following steps to learn more about grading your students' posts.
Tip: If you first set up a single graded forum within your course site, you can then create duplicates (that retain grading and rating settings), rename them, and move them to each week of your course.
Note: For basic instructions on how to create a forum, refer to the Forum Help documentation.
Setting up a Forum category in the Gradebook (optional)
1. From your course home page, click Gradebook Setup in the Administration block.
2. At the bottom of the Grades page, click Add Category
3. Name the category (i.e. Discussions) and select an aggregation setting from the Edit settings menu under Actions. If all forums within the category are weighed equally, choose mean of grades. If you use a sum of grades, you might select the Natural grading aggregation
Creating a graded discussion forum
1. On your course home page, click the Turn editing on button in the upper right corner.
2. Navigate to the topic number or week that you would like to add this forum to, and open the Add an activity drop down menu.
3. Select Forum from the list of choices.
4. Input a name for your forum in the Forum name text box.
5. In the Forum type drop down menu, select your desired forum type. For now let's use the default Standard forum for general use option. In the Forum introduction text box place any student instructions for this activity.
6. Scroll down to the Ratings section. In the Aggregate type drop down menu, choose one of the following grading methods:
* Average of ratings - The mean score of all the ratings pertaining to this forum.
* Count of ratings - The number of rated items becomes the final grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.
* Maximum - The highest rating becomes the final grade.
* Minimum - The smallest rating becomes the final grade.
* Sum - All ratings are added together to form the discussion grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity (use this if you like to give one rating for an initial post and another rating for a response post).
7. Now choose a maximum grade for this forum in the Scale drop down menu. Consider whether you need to account for a rubric or for a sum of ratings when determining the maximum grade.
8. When you have finished, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.
9. To place the forum within the Forums category in the Gradebook, go back into the forum settings and under Grade, select the appropriate category from the drop-down menu (Alternatively, go into Gradebook setup and manually move all forums into the correct category using the check boxes and the "Move to" drop-down menu at the bottom of the page).
Grading student posts
1. Navigate to students' posts by clicking the forum on your course page, and then the discussion topic title. Depending on the type of forum you have set up, students may have replied to a topic you posted or created their own topics.
2. For each post that you would like to grade, click the Rate drop down menu and select a grade.
3. The grade will be saved automatically and will be shown to your student when he/she clicks into the forum or into the grades area.
4. To reply to your student's posting, click on the Reply link located in the bottom right corner of the posting area. Remember, all posts are visible to other students.
5. If students have posted within the same topic, simply proceed through their posts, selecting ratings as you go. If students have posted in separate topics, you can navigate to the previous or next topic by clicking the topic links at the top of the page.
6. To view all student grades, navigate to the Gradebook and view the forum assignment within "Grader report" view.
*Tip: You can pin specific topics so that they will appear at the top of the topic list by clicking the "Pin" button.