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School of Medicine handbook for staff & students
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Galen Forums

Galen Forums is a collaborative space within Galen to host online discussions. The use of the forums allows space for students to share experiences and ideas and help support each other with their learning. Staff and students can hold conversations with each other in the form of posted messages. The forums can be hosted for open or restricted access depending upon the settings applied. If students wish to use the forums they should be set up in collaboration with the module co-ordinator.
The forums are not formally moderated by staff and should be self-moderated by the various student groups or the staff member responsible for the forum.
If any student is unhappy with a posting on the site they should email their module email account (MD2000; MD3000 or MD4000) immediately. Staff will review the posting and take action if thought necessary.


The Galen Forum is a tool which can be used to enhance collaborative learning by facilitating open and on-going discussion of the school’s curriculum subject matter. The forums can be used in a variety of ways from whole school debate to individual group discussion and can either be teacher led with a staff member setting the discussion thread topics or open for all to start threads. The intended manner of a given forums use should be made clear both in the forum description and when it is introduced.


Any number of Galen forums can be set up at any one time. These ‘forums’ contain ‘threads’ which themselves can be composed of a number of ‘posts’. Forums each have their own rules concerning who can see them and their contents, who can start threads and who can post to those threads. A forum may also exist within another forum.

Conditions of Use

The school reserves the right to moderate the forums as it sees fit and may remove content without warning and for any reason. The forums are not anonymous and deleted material can be recovered so professionalism must be considered at all times. Posts made to a thread should be on topic and relevant to the current discussion. New threads and forums can be created, possibly by a student in the former case or by a staff member in the latter, if the need is identified.
Rules for the Forum:

  1. You are responsible for what you write
  2. Be civilised and considerate to others. Causing embarrassment or discomfort to other forum users is not acceptable.
  3. Try to express your thoughts carefully and clearly
  4. Keep contributions on topic and in the appropriate topic board
  5. Criticise ideas not people
  6. Please keep your posts to a reasonable length, around 200 words maximum.
  7. Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable.
  8. You should only post materials to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise, or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.

If a section of your module includes a discussion topic then it is important that everyone participates. The process of participation will enrich the experience and learning both on an individual and a group level. The idea will be to develop a range of different perspectives and the discussion forum will give you the opportunity to give and receive important insights into the topic being discussed.

Student Functions

Students can:

  1. View all forums which are targeted at groups of which they are a member.
  2. Post replies to existing threads (depending on forum permissions).
  3. Delete posts that they have made (these can be recovered).
  4. Create new threads by making a first post (depending on forum permissions).
  5. View a list of recent posts to forums which are visible to them.
  6. Access RSS feeds from threads.

Staff Functions

Staff members can (in addition to the above, regardless of permissions):
Create and edit forums, set their permissions and target group.
Contact the LT team for further information if required.