vhlcentral Forums: Educator Guide


What is a Forum?
Forums are audio-enabled discussions that allow users to post text as well as recorded messages. Using Forums, instructors and students in a course can communicate asynchronously. 

Uses for Forums

  • Provide oral instructions or feedback for students
  • Provide an open forum for student-based discussion
  • Practice pronunciation and improve oral and listening skills
  • Give oral presentations

Tips for Success
To use successfully:

  • Be clear with your students on when, how and why you will be using Forums.
  • Set some ground rules for your students about your expectations, particularly with regard to the tone and language they use in Forum assignments. 
  • Give students a trial period to get started. Some students may need time to familiarize themselves with Forum's functionality or to set up their computer properly. Provide coaching, assistance, practice and/or instructions (e.g., microphone placement, sound level adjustment and using pauses before and after each recording to avoid recording issues).
  • Advise students to look for Announcements (from you) about newly posted Forums.
  • Keep the number of Forums small (per semester or year) especially when assessing students’ responses. Listening to many discussions is time consuming.
  • When reviewing recordings, take notes as you listen to avoid constant fast forwarding and reviewing.
  • Be sure to inform your students (via course Announcements) when a new Forum is posted and by when students are expected to submit a reply.
  • Include a "reply by" date in the title of the Forum or in the title of a post.
  • Track student grades for their work on Forums by adding an "external item" in your course gradebook.



Click the following link to view the recorded session: to come



Please review the site technical requirements for supported browsers and operating systems. Head set with mic or speakers and mic required for audio-enabled posts. Forums are available on VHL Central 3.0 platform programs in courses with "Plus" access. (Am I using Supersite 2.0 or 3.0?)



  1. On Courses dashboard, click on the course or course section in which you wish to create a Forum.
  2. Select Communication, Forums.
  3. On the Forums dashboard, click 'Add a forum' or the 'Add forum' button for the desired course section. Note that Forums can not be shared across all sections of a course, so you will need to create a duplicate forum for each course section.


4. Enter a name for the new forum (include a 'reply by' date in the name)

5. Enter content of your first post. Posts can be audio- and/or text-based. For audio posts, make sure your microphone is set up and on; use the recording controls to record and review your post. NOTE: All Forums are public, so all students in the course section can view and reply to each other's posts as well as your's.

6. Click 'Save.'

    • Students can access the new forum in their account under Communication>Forums.
    • We do recommend that you send an Announcement (post to the calendar) to alert students that the forum is posted and due by a certain date, because students will not see the forum in their Assignment menu or calendar.





  1. From your Courses dashboard, click on the desired course or course section.
  2. Select Communication, Forums.
  3. Click the edit icon (pencil) for the desired forum.
  4. Click in the 'Forum name' field to make changes to the forum title. 
  5. Click 'SAVE.'




  1. From your Courses dashboard, click on the desired course or course section.
  2. Select Communication, Forums.
  3. Click the delete icon (trash can) for the desired forum.
  4. Click 'DELETE' to confirm that you wish to remove the forum.





  1. From your Courses dashboard, click on the desired course or course section.
  2. Select Communication, Forums.
  3. Click the title (appears as a link) of the forum you wish to review.




  1. From within the forum, click on the 'Reply' link in the post to which you wish to reply. NOTE: Use the expand/collapse arrow to reveal all replies.
  2. On the 'Reply' window, you can reply using text or recorded audio.
  3. To enter a text reply, click your cursor in the text area and type a reply.
  4. To enter a recorded reply, click the record button and begin speaking after the recording indicator starts.
  5. Click 'SUBMIT'. 




  1. To edit a post, click on 'Edit' for the post. 
  2. On the 'Edit' window, make adjustments to the subject, text, or recorded audio. NOTE: You can only edit your own posts/replies.
  3. Click 'SUBMIT.'