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Depending on how a Faculty member structures their online course, this module may be the most important - it is here that discussion takes place. The Forum functions much like a newsgroup but has several features that were created especially for the higher education lecture class environment. Individuals post messages and responses that are then displayed in a persistent, common, virtual space. Photographs next to messages help students and instructors in a large class link faces with ideas. Instructors determine the organization and malleability of forums, allowing them to organize messages into categories that reflect their curriculum.
Students logging on to the Forum may be allowed to see a listing of the most recent postings and any replies to their earlier messages as well as announcements from their instructors. Digital images and word-processing documents can be attached to messages, allowing faculty to distribute materials to students and enabling student groups to share project information.