What are forum subscriptions?
Forum subscriptions control whether messages posted in the forum are forwarded to users' email accounts.
Instructors choose which subscription mode to use with each forum (except for the Announcements forum) in the forum's settings. In the Subscription and tracking section under the Subscription mode field. The default choice for new forums is Options subscription - meaning no one is automatically subscribed to the forum, but that students can choose to subscribe later.
In addition to Optional and Auto, forum subscriptions can also be set to Forced, to make sure all students are automatically subscribed (and can't unsubscribe), or Disabled, to make sure that no one can subscribe.
Under Optional (not subscribed initially) and Auto (subscribed initially) Subscription modes, users can add or remove their subscriptions themselves. Inside the forum, users click the Actions menu (gear icon) to subscribe (or unsubscribe). For Forced and disabled modes, these options are not visible.
For instructors, the forum Actions menu also has an option to view and manage the current subscribers by clicking Show/edit current subscribers.
On the subscribers page, instructors can click Manage subscribers to add or remove students from the subscribers list.
Instructors can also quickly switch to another subscription mode by selecting it from the forum Actions menu.