A discussion forum is a well-known tool that allows people to communicate in an asynchronous way. As its name reveals, a discussion forum is there to engage in conversations, which may entail asking questions, including images and pictures, adding links, and attaching all kinds of documents.
Within a Moodle course, discussion forums can be added easily. They can then be used in at least two different ways. First, they may facilitate and streamline working processes, so pupils can prepare a task together using a discussion forum. In that case, the task itself can be something totally different (for example a videocommunication task). Depending on the course objectives and time available, the discussions in the forum can then either be pedagogically exploited or not. Second, a discussion forum can be a goal in itself, for example because it is an easy-to-use tool allowing pupils to focus on the contents rather than on the tool they should use. In such a case, pupils can exchange information with their peers abroad and their discussion can then be analysed, corrected, used for reflection, et cetera.
One of the advantages of a discussion forum is the fact that it is an asynchronous tool: pupils can send in their contributions when it suits them, taking as much time as they want, and paying more or less attention to the form of their utterances. Yet this freedom can also be an inconvenient: if reactions from peers take too much time, this may take away momentum and have the discussion end before it is really over.
In TILA's Teacher Networking Area there is also a discussion forum for teachers, who can thus exchange their views about telecollaboration tasks, assessment, time schedules, and so forth.