The short answer is Yes, most forums without a moderator rarely succeed.
You will need to have a good think as to who will moderate the forum, think about the purpose of the forum.
Course trainers would be an obvious candidate or a subject matter expert would be good choices.
What can a moderator do?
So they can have a range of responsibilities that you may want them do below are a few suggestions:
- answering questions
- moving posts to appropriate threads
- removing inappropriate posts
- starting discussions
- sharing interesting content
- asking questions to prompt further discussions
- encouraging conversations and prompting quieter users to bring them into the conversations
But you can chose what the moderator does.