Please note, the "Announcements" forum that is created for each course doesn't allow student interaction. Students cannot post replies on an "Announcement" forum. Follow this guide to add a forum that allows for interaction.
To add a forum, click on the Settings Gear, then click "Turn editing on"
Click "Add an activity or resource"
Click the selection bubble next to "Forum", and click "Add".
Name your forum, then select the "Forum type"
There are 5 different forum types to choose from. Each have a different functionality.
A single simple discussion
A discussion topic that everyone can reply to. Useful for making informational posts to the class. Even people can reply to this forum, there generally isn't an expectation that people will reply to it.
Each person posts one discussion
Students post a discussion topic. This can be useful for class led discussion. The teacher would more than likely write a prompt like "Please post something you found interesting in the reading." Students would follow up by posting a topic they found interesting, and other students in the course would interact with that discussion.
Q and A forum
Students reply to the forum posted by the teacher. They cannot see other student's replies until they have submitted a reply themselves. This is probably the best forum choice to use when you'd like to grade participation or an answer.
Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format and Standard forum for general use
These are functionally very similar. They both allow students to create discussions, and reply to other discussions that students have created.
After you've decided which forum type is your favorite, you can change other settings of the forum, like "Availability". You can leave a forum open the duration of the course, or set it to be open for a set period of time. If you do enable a due date, we'd recommend not enabling a "Cut-off date". When you assess the student's post, you will see when the student completed their post and it will also tell you if the submission was late.
To add a grade to the forum, scroll to the "Ratings" section. Expand "Ratings", then change the "Aggregate type" to "Maximum rating". Enter how many points this forum is worth.
Then, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click "Save and display".
Click "Add a new discussion topic"
Add the subject, then enter the prompt you'd like to start your conversation with. Once done, click "Post to forum".
Grading Student Forum Posts
Navigate to the forum post reply of your student.
After you made your assessment of the student's reply, you can rate it. The number of points you see directly correlates to the number you put in the "Maximum value" field when you were in the "Rating" section of the forum setup.
If you'd like to reply to your student's post, you can easily do that here. Click the green "Reply" button to send a response to the student.