How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)

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2013-03-12 15:26


As an online instructor, your role is to facilitate the conversation and exchange of ideas on the Discussion Board. You will need to ensure that students feel comfortable to share, while also monitoring responses and keeping everyone focused and on track. At the same time, you will want to be careful not to dominate or impede the flow of the discussion.


Occasionally, students may introduce material to the Discussion Board that is inappropriate for the class discussion. Depending on the maturity and the sensitivity of the students in your course, it can be important to review student posts for inappropriate content before sharing posts with the rest of the class.


In a discussion forum, you can assign a user the role of Moderator. A Moderator reviews posts before they are added to a thread and appear in the Discussion Board. The Moderator can be you or another responsible participant. To learn more, see How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles


When a moderated forum is created, all posts to the forum are added to a Moderation Queue. The Moderator reviews each post and does one of the following:

  • Publishes the post.
  • Returns the post to the sender without a message.
  • Returns the post to the sender with a message.

The Moderator can delete, edit, and lock posts in a forum, even if the forum does not use the Moderation Queue. To learn more, see How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads, How to Edit Discussion Threads, and How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum

You can choose to moderate a forum when creating it or by editing an existing forum. Only posts added after enabling forum moderation are available for review in the Moderation Queue. To learn more, see Creating Forums in the Discussion Board.


Note:   If a Moderator is not assigned, the Manager must take responsibility for approving posts in a moderated forum.

Use the following steps to allow the moderation of posts in an existing forum.


  1. Access the Discussion Board and click a forum's Action Link ( Action Link icon ) to access the contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit Forum page, under Forum Settings, select the Force Moderation of Posts check box and click Submit.

    Tip:  When choosing a moderated forum, do not allow students to edit or delete posts. This ensures that the post approved is the one viewed by users.

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  4. After posts have been submitted, access the forum. In the Moderator view, no posts appear because the messages are waiting approval. On the Action Bar, click Moderate Forum.

    Note:  The Moderate Forum function appears only to those users who have a forum role of Manager or Moderator. In the student view, the author can see the post in Tree View with a reminder it is in the Moderation Queue.

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  5. On the Moderation Queue page, the posts appear in alphabetical order by title. Click the column title or caret to sort by post title, author, or date. To review a post, click Moderate.

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  6. On the Moderate Post page, read the post and select the Publish or Return option. Published messages are immediately posted to the thread.
  7. Optionally, type feedback in the text box. You can use the Text Editor functions to format the text, link to files in Course Files or the Content Collection, and include web links, multimedia, and Mashups.

    Note:  Though feedback is optional, this is an opportunity to provide guidance, ask questions, redirect a student's focus, and explain why a post was returned.

  8. Click Submit.

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Returned posts no longer appear in the Moderation Queue. Students see their returned posts in the forum. When returned posts are opened, students see an explanation, if feedback was included, and they can create new threads as needed.

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Content was retrieved from


Navigate to:  Help for Instructors > Course Tools > Discussion Board > Managing Discussions

See Subheading:  How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)

Navigate to:  Help for Instructors > Student Course Experience > Controlling the Release of Content > About Adaptive Release


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