FoxTALE Student: Posting in a Discussion Forum

Posting overview

Posting in an online discussion is something you will do often in your program.  Usually the discussion will be set up by your professor to facilitate meaningful interaction concerning the topics covered in class or in the reading.

Forum Icon

Forum Icon

Discussions are hosted in forums. Think of a forum as the folder that contains listings of discussion threads. Forums are easily identifiable on your course home page in FoxTALE by the Forum icon. The text label to the right of the icon is the name of that particular forum.

A quick overview of a course home page on FoxTALE will be helpful. As shown in the screenshot below, each course has left and right columns of information.  The right column, commonly shown in a Weekly Outline with dates or sometimes a Topic Outline without dates, gives the current information for the course. It is here that you’ll find course resources and forums.  

Tips on how to Control the Appearance of your Course HomePage


  1. The left or right column of the course home page is made up of several blocks.  The Navigation block is shown here; use it to navigate to sections of this course or to switch to another course.  You may dock this Navigation block, or any block, by clicking the box in the upper right corner, just above the arrow in the screenshot above.  Docking means that the block is moved to a tab on the left side of your screen and may be accessed at any time.
  1. Course resources such as the syllabus are available to you.  Click the syllabus to open it.  Depending on your browser, you might need to right click (<Ctrl> <Click> on Mac) the file link and select Save Link As... or Save Target As…, enter a path, and save the file to the location of your choice.
  1. Week 1 and Week 2 Discussions are examples of your weekly forums.  Click on the forum link to open the forum where you can read and post.

  2. Some forums, such as the News Forum, will be used by the professor to communicate news about the course.   These forums will be found in the very top section, and they usually do not allow responses. All forums should be monitored on a regular basis.

Post a New Discussion Topic

  1. To start a new discussion topic, click the button labeled Add a new discussion topic.

Add a New Discussion Topic Button

Example of a Forum

  1. When you click the Add a new discussion topic, you’ll see the screen below:

Posting Criteria for a Forum

  • Subject (required)- The Subject line will be the title of the discussion once it is posted.

  • Message (required) - The Message box is where you type out your topic in the text editor.  We recommend that you compose your topic in a text processor (i.e. NotePad, TextEdit) and then copy and paste it into FoxTALE.  Save your work outside of FoxTALE before you copy and paste it into FoxTALE.  Formatting can be completed using the tools in the FoxTALE text editor.  Another option is to compose in the FoxTALE text editor, highlight and copy your work onto your computer clipboard before you post to the forum. In either case you save your work outside of FoxTALE so that you do not lose it if there is a submission problem.  FoxTALE now saves your text as you type every 60 seconds.  A message will appear every 60 seconds letting you know a draft has been saved (see below) but we still recommend you keep a copy of your posts outside of FoxTALE for your own records.

NOTE: We do not recommend using Microsoft Word because it contains hidden code which will create formatting problems when you paste into FoxTALE.

Text Box in Forum

  • Add an image - You can insert an image to your post by selecting the image button in the editor toolbar or drag and drop your image directly into the text editor or into the attachment field. Be aware of size before uploading. 

  • Subscription - You can decide whether you want to receive emails for each post and response in this forum.  If you choose not to receive email copies, then you’ll need to log in to FoxTALE to view the forum.  We recommend that you check forums daily.

  • Attachment - You can also attach files to your post by uploading or drag and drop. Please notice the file size limit, and be aware that this file will be accessible to all who can read the discussion.

  • Post to forum - After you are done typing in or pasting your topic, click the Post to forum button to post your discussion topic. Your topic will appear as a discussion in the forum.  

Example of a Forum in FoxTALE

Click your post subject to view your post, as shown in the screenshot below.  You can edit or delete your post up to 30 minutes after it is posted.  After 30 minutes, the post will be permanent.  Other students will be able to view your post and reply to it. To view replies to your post, simply revisit your discussion topic. Replies will appear beneath your initial post.

Example of Student Interaction in a Forum

Reply to a Post

  1. Some discussion topics will already be posted by the professor or your colleagues and you will be required to respond. To post a reply, click on the discussion topic to which you wish to respond.  The same method shown below will also apply when you want to respond to someone else’s reply to one of your own posts.

Replying to Another Student's Forum

  1. On the bottom-right of the post, there is a link labeled Reply. Click on this Reply link, and a window will open. Add your reply just as you would if you were adding a new discussion topic. The same 30-minute editing timeframe will apply to your reply.
    Replying to Another Student's Forum Post
  1. Others can now view and reply to your response, creating a string of replies. Clicking the Show Parent link of the bottom of a post will jump you back up to the post that started the discussion.

Example of Student Interaction on a Forum

See All Course Forums at Once

In the column of blocks on your course home page, you’ll usually see an Activities block.  The Activities block lets you look at all forums, assignments or other activities at once.  Selecting the Forums link will allow you to see all the forums in your course and give you direct links to each forum and the discussions it contains.

Activities Block

Subscribe to individual discussions within a forum.

Subscribing to Individual Discussions on FoxTALE

You can subscribe to individual forum discussion topics and get email copies of just the replies you want. Click on the little dot to the right of each discussion. Once you subscribe, the dot will change to a small envelope icon indicating your are receiving emails for that discussion thread.

Subscribe to a Forum

Subscribing to an Entire Forum

See Course Participants

In column of blocks on your course home page, you’ll usually see a People block that contains a Participants link.  You’ll also see a Participants link in the Navigation block.

Clicking on either Participants link will allow you to see all the participants in your course and give you direct links to their profiles.

People BlockNavigation Block

Forum Preferences

Q2.  How do I turn off receiving email messages from the forums?

To unsubscribe from a single forum or discussion see above in “Manage Subscriptions”

To no longer be auto-subscribed to every forum you view:

  1. In your user menu (upper right), click Preferences and then Forum Preferences.  

User Menu        User Account Menu

  1. Set Forum auto-subscribe: to “No: don’t automatically subscribe me to forums.”  This is the default setting and you should not need to change it unless you want to.

Selecting or Deselecting Forum Auto Subscribe

Q3.  How can I see when there are new posts?

Users can choose whether or not to track unread posts in their profile settings under 'Forum tracking'.

Selecting or Deselecting Forum Tracking

   If the user chooses 'Yes: highlight new posts for me' and the forum administrator has set the 'Read tracking for this forum?' to Optional then the user will have new posts highlighted for them. (all forums are set to “Optional” by default)

Each user can turn this feature off or on for each forum in two places.

  1. Activities Block>Forums

You now have a column heading “Track” and you can choose “yes” or “No” by clicking on the button. (shown above)

  1. From within the forum, look in the Forum Administration block at the leftForum Administration Block

These are active links that you can click to change.

Q4.  What if I need to edit my post after the 30-minute time limit?

After 30 minutes, your post is permanent and you will need to contact your Professor if any changes need to be made or to have your post deleted.

Questions? Contact the Service Desk | | 503-554-2569