In Moodle, it is possible for users to receive email notifications of activity on the Moodle site, depending on how the settings have been configured. Forums in Moodle allow users to create or view topics of discussion and reply to the topics or other user’s comments. In a course any user can post and reply in a forum (if settings allow). It is also possible to receive notifications of forum activity.
So, why are users not receiving forum notifications?
There are a few different items which, when in place, should result in forum email notifications being received:
1. The cronjob must be running. The cronjob is an automated process on the server which executes automated tasks such as sending email notifications. Usually this is performed every 5 to 10 minutes.
To check if cron is running, go to Administration block > Site administration > Notifications. On the page, if the cron did not run in the last 24 hours, there will be a message informing you.
2. Users should check their profile settings to make sure that they have email notifications configured for forums.
To enable forum notifications, navigate to Administration block > My profile settings > Messaging
On the page that loads, scroll down and find the 'Forum' heading. Tick both the boxes under 'Email'.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Under the heading 'General settings' make sure that the box beside 'Temporarily disable notifications' is not ticked.
Click the 'Update profile' button.
3. However, in order to receive the notifications from a forum, the user needs to be subscribed to the forum.
Students can check if they are subscribed to the forum by entering the activity. In the Administration block, if listed under 'Forum administration', click 'Subscribe to this forum'.
Users with forum-editing rights can edit the settings of the specific forum activity to force subscriptions so that all users have to be subscribed to the forum:
Navigate to Administration block > Forum administration > Edit settings
In the 'Subscription and tracking' section select 'Forced subscription' from the Subscription mode drop-down menu.
If a user is subscribed to multiple forums, and there is a lot of activity in them, their inbox can become full of forum notification emails. To limit the number of emails they are receiving, users can edit their profile settings:
Navigate to Administration block > My profile settings > Edit profile
In the drop-down menu for 'Email digest type', and choose either Complete (one email a day with the contents of all the new posts) or Subjects (one email a day which includes only the subjects of the new posts).
Click 'Update profile'.
Mail now feature
When a user is replying or posting in a forum there is a 'Mail now' box which, if checked, results in an email notification being sent immediately (i.e. when the cron next runs) to everyone subscribed to the forum, rather than after the post editing time limit (usually 30 mins). The mail now feature in the Forum is usually only available to teachers and administrators.