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. Click on the Edit option directly across the selected forum.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the Edit settings page to the Restrict access section. Click on the Add restriction button.
4. In the dialogue box that opens, select Date as the type of 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.
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.
3. From the drop down menu select “Permissions”. Most likely, a host of permissions will display.
4. Change the settings for:
Reply to posts then select the “Guest Student” and “Student” to prevent further access.
Start new discussions then select the “Guest Student” and “Student” to prevent further access.
Do not change any other permissions settings. You will be asked to confirm the role change and no save is needed after this.