Making a Graded Discussion Forum (pre-3.9)
These instructions will only cover basic settings for creating a graded discussion forum. For more information about specific forum settings not covered here, click the question mark icon next to the setting field on the settings page.
When you are ready to add a discussion forum to your class, with editing turned on, open the Add an activity or resource menu in the section where you want to add it. Chose Forum from the menu, and click Add.
You'll be taken to the Forum settings page. Begin by giving your forum an appropriate name in the Forum name field.
Next, pick your Forum type from the dropdown menu. Standard forum for general use should be preselected and is a good multi-purpose choice, but other types may work better for specific circumstances.
In the Grades section, choose the Grade category under which this graded activity will appear in the gradebook. Only categories you've already created will appear here in the dropdown menu.
Under Ratings, choose the Aggregate type for your forum. This is how grades will be recorded and calculated. For example, Sum of ratings adds up all the points you give for each post by a student. Meanwhile, Maximum only records the points for the highest score you give on a single post for a student (even if you grade multiple posts).
Next, under Scale, choose Point as the Type (should be pre-selected) and then set a Maximum grade for your forum (default is 100 points). This is the amount that you will score your students "out of."
If you want students to start posting right away, go to the Common module settings section and make sure that Availablity is set to Show on course page. If you don't want students to access the forum yet, set this to Hide from students.
At the bottom of the page, click Save and return to course to save your settings and return to the main course page. Your forum should now appear in the chosen section within the course.