Currently Moodle's forum allows a very simple moderation of discussions. In a constructive environment, where forum is one of the most important instrument for confrontation and collaborative construction of knowledge, this represents a very relevant problem: currently, off-topic messages can not be moved to more appropriate (already existing) ones and if they have in their hierarchy some other in-topic messages, there is no possibility of separating the first and conserving the others in the original topic. Moreover, Moodle's forum lacks of some forum tools (for example, "sticky" discussions) that usually give moderators more possibilities to organise and manage discussions in an easiest and profitable way.
We would like to transform Moodle's forum in a more usable and complete instrument, in accordance with constructivist ideas and satisfying teachers/moderators needs to manage communication in a collaborative community of students.
Our proposal is to increase moderator's power by adding some features to his role, including the possibility of intervening on the hierarchical order of discussions (and between different discussions, too). This would allow to freely move a single message.
In the case this goal appears to be technically unviable, a simpler option would be to develop these features on a chronologically ordered forum. In this way course managers can choose from two types of forum: a hierarchical forum, characterized by more rigid structure, and a chronological one, more flexible and adaptable to moderators needs.
The same capabilities students has now with the addition of a quotation system (students can quote the message of someone else to answer in a more detailed way, without losing the context).
The same capabilities Teacher has now with following additions:
He can move a single message from a discussion to another that already exists, without having to decide if messages under it are to be erased or taken all to the new discussion. He can manage messages in the hierarchy changing their level and dependence.
He can make sticky some discussions (they will be always displayed at the top of the discussion list). The sticky attribute can be added or removed in any moment.
He can decide to close a discussion: students cannot add other messages if a discussion is closed. This attribute can be added or removed in any moment.
Non-editor teacher role:
He can move messages, make discussions sticky and close them, but he can't edit nor erase messages.
Under the avatar and the name of the user, in the left side, should appear also his role in that forum: student, teacher, etc.
A discussion may be erased (if there is only one message in it - to erase a discussion you must first erase or move all its messages).
Confirmation check on erasing and editing.
Capabilities to be added for forum roles:
Edit messages (and messages' subjects)
Make discussions sticky