How to set up discussion forums in nanoHUB

The discussion forum has several organizational levels.  The following screenshots help to illustrate how the forum appears and how it can be organized.  This is a top-level view of the forum:

Introductions is a section. 

In this section, there are 4 categories:

  1. HUBzero introductions
  2.  Mentee introductions
  3. Mentor introductions
  4. NCN Staff introductions

Additional categories can by added using the "New Category" button.

Group managers can set the visibility of the category.  Note that this generally defaults to “Anyone” and is not automatically the same as who is allowed to access the forum.  Depending on the nature of the group, group managers may want to limit the forum content to group members only. (see below for a screenshot)

Here is how a new section appears.  The visibility of the section defaults to "Anyone", despite the fact that the forum is accessible to "Group Members Only".

These are the settings for the group areas, from the "Edit Group Settings" page.  Note that the forum is available to "Group Members Only". 

However, if the group manager does not set up the visibility of the category correctly, anyone will be able to read the group forum posts.  Only group members, however, will be able to make new posts.

For each of the Categories, you can see the number of Discussions and Posts displayed.  Opening up the last Category (NCN Staff Introductions), we see:

There is one Discussion, in this category, and it is called Tanya Faltens.  Opening up the discussion, you can see all of the posts and responses, as well as a list of everyone who participated in the discussion.  In this case, there is only one post.  

Below this post, there is an area to enter a new post.  Anyone in the group can create new discussions and new posts.  However, only group managers can set up new Sections and Categories. There are options to attach files and include links (URLs) in a forum post.

The next Section in this forum is called Questions.
This section contains 5 Discussions:

  1. Computer-Related Questions
  2. Jupyter-related questions
  3. nanoHUB questions
  4. Other Questions
  5. Rappture-Related Questions

The Discussions are automatically listed in alphabetical order. If you want to impose your own order, add a preceding number to the name of the Discussion.


  1. Section 1

    1. Category 1

      1. Discussion 1

        1. Post 1

        2. Post 2

          1. Comment/ Response

    2. Category 2

      1. Discussion 1

        1. Post 1

        2. Post 2

      2. Discussion 2

        1. Post 1

    3. Category 3

      1. Discussion 1

        1. Post 1

Depending on the timeframe of the group, you could make sections for each year, or for a group that is active in one year, you can use sections for different types of posts.

For example: Within a category, there can be several discussions. You can see the number of Discussions and posts in the above image.

Here are some example screenshots to view. (This link is only available if you are in the group.)

Section: NCN URE 2016
Category: Introductions
Discussion: 20
Posts: 20

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 1.47.26 PM.png

In the Outreach Group:
Section: NanoDays Discussion Board
Category: NanoDays Introductions
Discussion: 1
Posts: 11


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