The Forum tool is similar to the Conversation tool but is used to create links to multiple conversations from a single page. It is useful when there are several topics or themes that require discussion, and participation is better handled in separate Conversations rather than within a consolidated one.
The Forum is a compound tool that is comprised of three separate features. The Forum Container is the main component that displays the main forum topic or question, stats on how many views, participants and comments have been made and a link to the related conversation.
When a Forum is added, a new ‘Forum Page’ is created and linked to the Forum Container. The Forum Page also contains a ‘Conversation Block’ which is automatically created along with the Forum Page.
As the Forum is comprised of two Blocks, settings must be adjusted in two places. The main settings for the Forum can be adjusted in the Forum Block, while more detailed settings can be adjusted in the associated Conversation Block (refer to Conversation settings for details).
In some cases, settings may appear in both the Forum and Conversation Block. In these cases, the settings are automatically synced between the two Blocks. For example, if the Registration Required setting is turned off in the Conversation Block, it will also be turned off in the Forum Block.
Viewing results and reports
You can access your results and view reports for a Forum
activity by going to Dashboard --> Reports --> Results. Click
the 'View Results' link next to the relevant activity name to view the
Information in the report is filtered by the date
range, which you can adjust at the top-right of the report. Some
reporting information relating to categories and voting will only
be shown if these features were enabled in the activity.
To get further information about any reporting metric, hover over the question mark at the top-right of the reporting component to view a description.
The 'Summary' section of the report provides the following information:
- Key statistics - shows a number of top-level metrics relating to the activity including:
- the number of contributions collected through the activity
- the number of unique contributors who made contributions
- the number of discussion threads started by participants. Discussion
threads are root level comments that have at least one reply
- the number of total replies made to all root level comments
- the total number of votes cast in response to all contributions
- the average number of votes cast per contribution, indicating the intensity of the voting activity
- the total number of file attachments (i.e. images, documents, etc) uploaded by participants with their contributions
- the number of unique contributors that uploaded a file along with their contribution.
- Sentiment - a bar chart showing the overall sentiment analysis of all posts in the
activity, classified as either 'positive', 'negative', 'neutral',
'mixed', or 'unclassified'. This information is determined by Site
Users by applying the text analysis tools.
- Tag word cloud
- a word cloud visualisation showing tag (theme) analysis of all post
content, with the size of each tag determined by the number of times the
tag was used. Tags used more frequently display at a larger size in
the word cloud than those used less frequently. This information is
determined by Site Users by applying the text analysis tools.
- Tag table
- a table showing the number of times (count) a tag was used in the tag
analysis and the percentage of times that tag was used as a proportion
of total tags.
- Voting - a chart showing the overall
results of the voting activity. The visualisation type will
depend on the voting method used in the activity (e.g. upvoting or upvoting/downvoting).
The summary report can be exported as a PDF by clicking the 'Export'
button at the top-right of the page.
'Overview' section of the report includes high-level meta-information
about your activity including information about whether participants
were registered members or anonymous, when the activity occurred, what
devices and browsers were used by participants and a breakdown of
selected demographic information (for member participants only).
This report is standard across all participation tools. More information can be found in the Reporting section.
The 'Data' section of the report includes the raw data collected through the activity, in a table view.
The data table for the Forum activity includes the following information:
- Contribution ID - a unique identifier for the post
- Date submitted - the date the post was made
- Response - the text comment made by a participant
- File Attachment - the filename and link to any attachment uploaded as part of a participant's contribution
- Upvotes - the number of upvotes a contribution received
- Downvotes - the number of downvotes a contribution received
- Total votes - the number of total upvotes and downvotes a contribution received
level - the level of hierarchy a contribution sits at within a
discussion thread. For example, the original, top-level contribution is
given a value of '1', a reply to that contribution is given a value of
'2', and a reply to the reply is given a value of '3'
Parent ID - the ID of the top-level (level 1) contribution that a reply
relates to. This lets you associate a group of contributions with a
common discussion thread.
Additional fields containing the personal information of the participant may also be appended to the data table.
from the data table can be exported by clicking the 'Export' button at
the top-right of the page. Data can be exported as either CSV or XLSX.
Data can be filtered on a number of attributes by clicking the 'Show Filters' button at the top of the page and adjusting the values. Any filters applied to the data table will persist in the data export.