Forums Quick Start Guide and FAQ

Create an Account
In order to partake in the forums you must create an account by selecting Sign Up in the top right corner. Once logged in you’ll be able to complete forum activities.

Navigating with Zodiac
When a core star directs you into Discourse, you’ll be brought to a Category page such as Introduce Yourself. Just select “+New Topic” on the right hand side to contribute and your fellow learners can reply within the topic you’ve created.

When an optional star directs you into Discourse, you’ll be brought to Topic page such as Schooling in the Social Ecosystem where you can reply directly beneath the description.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about these forums.

Frequently Asked Questions
How can I learn more about the forums?

  • Our forums use a program called Discourse. The Discourse New User Guide is a great place to learn more about basic features and use.
  • A Google search with your question in the format of “how do I do X on Discourse?” is often a good way to learn more about details not included in the New User Guide .

How can I search the forums?

  • Click the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right hand corner and enter your search term.
  • Hint: Use quotation marks to search multiple words together (example: “special education”). You can also search for learners using @+username.

How can I find my own posts?

  • Click your round profile icon in the top right corner.
  • Click on your username
  • Click on summary.

Can I use our forums on mobile?

  • Yes, you can access the Discourse forums on mobile on a mobile web browser (not an app):
  • Log in to the course on your mobile device
  • Tap any ”Launch Forums” button (if you’re in the edX app, use the “View on Web” button to open in a browser)
  • Click “OK” in the pop-up.

How do I change my email or notification settings?

  • Click your round profile icon in the top right corner and click your username.
  • Click Preferences
  • Click Emails or Notifications on the left.

How do I update my profile?

  • Click the round profile icon in the top right corner Click on your username and then click on “Preferences”.
  • Click “Profile” on the left.
  • In the About Me section, provide some information about your background and customize your profile.

How can I see replies to a post in a forums topic?

To see details about how the platform handles posts & replies, see our Discourse Quick Start Guide.

How can I make my posts more accessible to all learners?
You can add alternative text (alt text) to images, so those with visual impairments and those who use screen readers can interact with your images. Here’s how to do it:

  • When you add an image to Discourse (by uploading or dragging & dropping from your computer), it will appear in your post text in coding language. Put alt text in quotation marks and inside the parentheses with the jpeg you’re uploading. The coding language should look like this: ![FileName|FileSize] (upload://.jpeg “alt text goes here”)
  • If it’s not working, check your quotation marks - for example, if your alt text itself also contains quotation marks, it probably won’t work. You’ll know it has worked when you see your image in the right-hand preview box.

Tips: Connecting with Other Learners

  • Tag another learner : Use @+username to “tag” another learner in your post. (see more about “replies” on the forums below)
  • Want to read more by a particular learner? Double click on a user’s name to see a list of their posts (you can also do this with your own username).
  • Direct Messaging You can also send them a direct message by clicking on their picture and then clicking the blue Message button. (you can also message from their profile page).
  • Leverage your titles! For example, if you’re requesting resources or advice, consider mentioning it in your post title.
  • Acronyms can be confusing . Consider using full phrases in your posts instead of acronyms, to help those unfamiliar with the term you’re using.