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Most Moodle activities have a straightforward way to set access time periods (e.g. a cut-off date for Assignment submissions).  The Forum activity requires a bit of a work-around to get the same result.  There are two basic options: automating a start/stop date for forum visibility or manually preventing further posts while retaining the ability to read posts.

Restrict Access Automatically

This option has the advantage of auto-hiding the Forum at dates/times you specify. The drawback is once a Forum is hidden, students can no longer see it and read their contributions or those of their peers or instructors.

1. Select the Forum you wish to restrict access to.

2. Go to Administration > Forum administration > Edit settings

Forum administration edit settings link

3. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit settings page to the Restrict access section.  Click on the Add restriction button.

Add restriction button

4. In the dialogue box that opens, select Date as the type of restriction.

Add date restriction


5. In the second line, use the From/Until drop down menu to set whether the restriction should determine when the Forum becomes available (From) or when it should stop being available (Until).  Note that you can add multiple restrictions, so it is possible to set both a start and stop date.  When you have set all the restrictions you want, click either of the Save buttons.

Restrict access until specified date and time


6. On the course homepage, the Forum restriction settings will be displayed and a Forum that is no longer accessible will display in grey font.

Visibility of date restriction settings


Prevent Further Posts, but Retain Ability to Read Posts

This process makes the Forum “read-only” once you follow the steps.  You cannot specify in advance when to switch from a forum that is “read/write” to “read-only.”

1. Click on the Forum you wish to make read-only.

2. Go to Administration > Forum administration > Permissions

Moodle forum permissions link

3. From the Advanced role override drop down menu, select “Student.

Advanced role override drop down menu

4. Change the settings for:

Reply to posts

Start new discussions 

to “Prevent.” Do not change any other permissions settings.  Scroll to the bottom and click Save changes.

Settings to Prevent Posting to Forums