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  1. Moodle
  2. MDL-22077

Forum: Implement a "Private Reply" option

    Details

    • Type: New Feature
    • Status: Development in progress
    • Priority: Minor
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Affects Version/s: 1.9.8, 2.0.1, 2.6, 2.7
    • Fix Version/s: FRONTEND
    • Component/s: Forum, Messages
    • Labels:
    • Environment:
      All
    • Testing Instructions:
      Hide
      1. Unit tests
      2. Behat
      3. Create a forum in course with four users:
        1. Two teachers
        2. Two students
      4. Post a snarky comment as a student
      5. Post a private reply as a teacher
        1. Ensure that both teachers can read the reply
        2. Ensure that only the one student can read the reply
      6. Run the forum cron and check your e-mail
        1. Confirm that only the relevant users can view the reply
      7. View the forum RSS feed as each user
        1. Confirm that only the relevant users can view the reply
      8. Reply to the post as the student
        1. Confirm that the reply is still private
      9. Reply to the post as each of the teachers
        1. Confirm that the reply is still private
        2. Confirm that no option to make the post public is given
      Show
      Unit tests Behat Create a forum in course with four users: Two teachers Two students Post a snarky comment as a student Post a private reply as a teacher Ensure that both teachers can read the reply Ensure that only the one student can read the reply Run the forum cron and check your e-mail Confirm that only the relevant users can view the reply View the forum RSS feed as each user Confirm that only the relevant users can view the reply Reply to the post as the student Confirm that the reply is still private Reply to the post as each of the teachers Confirm that the reply is still private Confirm that no option to make the post public is given
    • Workaround:
      1. Copy the URL of the post permalink.
      2. Click on the user's picture to open their profile.
      3. Click the send message link.
      4. Start the message "About " + Paste.
    • Difficulty:
      Easy
    • Affected Branches:
      MOODLE_19_STABLE, MOODLE_20_STABLE, MOODLE_26_STABLE, MOODLE_27_STABLE
    • Pull Master Branch:
      MDL-22077-master

      Description

      Implement a way that will open the messages tool as a "private reply" to a forum post.

        Gliffy Diagrams

          Attachments

            Issue Links

              Activity

              Hide
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment -

              Please see the linked issue for further comments.

              Show
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment - Please see the linked issue for further comments.
              Hide
              wmpelz Bill Pelz added a comment -

              For my college, this is not a minor priority. Early, private feedback to students in discussion forums is an important pedagogical feature.

              Show
              wmpelz Bill Pelz added a comment - For my college, this is not a minor priority. Early, private feedback to students in discussion forums is an important pedagogical feature.
              Hide
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment -

              I agree with Bill, and the private aspect has become important as we try to comply with FERPA regulations with regard to the display of anything that could be considered student assessment information.

              Show
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment - I agree with Bill, and the private aspect has become important as we try to comply with FERPA regulations with regard to the display of anything that could be considered student assessment information.
              Hide
              dianajeater Diana Jeater added a comment -

              It's almost impossible to do the work that I do without this option.
              In an ideal world, I'd want it to be available for students to reply privately to other posts, as well as tutors, for courses that involve sharing responses to art work and creative writing.

              Show
              dianajeater Diana Jeater added a comment - It's almost impossible to do the work that I do without this option. In an ideal world, I'd want it to be available for students to reply privately to other posts, as well as tutors, for courses that involve sharing responses to art work and creative writing.
              Hide
              bltmacomb Barbara Taylor added a comment -

              Faculty are always asking for this. Can it get implemented for 2.6/2.7?

              Show
              bltmacomb Barbara Taylor added a comment - Faculty are always asking for this. Can it get implemented for 2.6/2.7?
              Hide
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment -

              I'm disappointed to see that this isn't in either 2.6 or 2.7. How many votes does it take to get it on the list? Maybe I'll start a campaign

              Show
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment - I'm disappointed to see that this isn't in either 2.6 or 2.7. How many votes does it take to get it on the list? Maybe I'll start a campaign
              Hide
              skaceli Hubert Simms added a comment -

              This feature would greatly enhance discussions in an online course. Our faculty are inquiring about this too. Voted on this issue.

              Show
              skaceli Hubert Simms added a comment - This feature would greatly enhance discussions in an online course. Our faculty are inquiring about this too. Voted on this issue.
              Hide
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment -

              @Barbera, Lisa and Hubert.
              This is a complex issue. The latest news is this post from Andrew: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=262562#p1138117
              Good luck with your campaign Lisa.

              In particular, I agree with Hubert. For something like Moodle to claim to be constructivist but to have such a poor forum is a bit sad. <off soapbox and hobbyhorse now> I think with two of the biggest Moodle Partners (Moodlerooms and Catalyst/Totara) and the OU having developed their own forums, there is a little less pressure to bring Moodle into the new decade. The problem from HQ's POV is outlined in Andrew's post. Too much under the hood attention is needed for their confidence in long term maintainability and stability. And we all have our opinions on what features are "most needed". I'd like to see Martin support full time work on this by Andrew, where we can push snacks under his door, and he is allowed out once a day to sleep and is insulated from any meetings, official visits, time wasters and crises.

              -Derek

              Show
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment - @Barbera, Lisa and Hubert. This is a complex issue. The latest news is this post from Andrew: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=262562#p1138117 Good luck with your campaign Lisa. In particular, I agree with Hubert. For something like Moodle to claim to be constructivist but to have such a poor forum is a bit sad. <off soapbox and hobbyhorse now> I think with two of the biggest Moodle Partners (Moodlerooms and Catalyst/Totara) and the OU having developed their own forums, there is a little less pressure to bring Moodle into the new decade. The problem from HQ's POV is outlined in Andrew's post. Too much under the hood attention is needed for their confidence in long term maintainability and stability. And we all have our opinions on what features are "most needed". I'd like to see Martin support full time work on this by Andrew, where we can push snacks under his door, and he is allowed out once a day to sleep and is insulated from any meetings, official visits, time wasters and crises. -Derek
              Hide
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment -

              Probably this should be retired or added to the ATTO epic tracker item.

              -Derek

              Show
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment - Probably this should be retired or added to the ATTO epic tracker item. -Derek
              Hide
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment -

              I'm sorry Derek,

              I'm not quite sure how this fits into Atto... Could you perhaps elaborate?

              Andrew

              Show
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - I'm sorry Derek, I'm not quite sure how this fits into Atto... Could you perhaps elaborate? Andrew
              Hide
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment - - edited

              Hi Derek, Andrew, et. al.

              I see that the "private replies" enhancement is included in MDL-39707, and that this issue is marked as unresolved. However, Andrew (in the post linked to above) mentions that some changes may be included in 2.8. I'm afraid I'm having trouble sorting out all the various forum issues and figuring out which ones are being looked at and which ones are being dismissed as "not quite right for Moodle."

              Since I'm often asked about an efficient way to give private feedback to students regarding forum posts, I'd appreciate being able to tell people whether a solution is in the works, or probably not ever going to happen.

              Thanks,
              Lisa

              Show
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment - - edited Hi Derek, Andrew, et. al. I see that the "private replies" enhancement is included in MDL-39707 , and that this issue is marked as unresolved. However, Andrew (in the post linked to above) mentions that some changes may be included in 2.8. I'm afraid I'm having trouble sorting out all the various forum issues and figuring out which ones are being looked at and which ones are being dismissed as "not quite right for Moodle." Since I'm often asked about an efficient way to give private feedback to students regarding forum posts, I'd appreciate being able to tell people whether a solution is in the works, or probably not ever going to happen. Thanks, Lisa
              Hide
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment -

              Hi Lisa,

              I have indeed been working on a variety of issues for Moodle 2.8 relating to forums. So far we have:

              1. Per-discussion subscriptions,
              2. Next/Previous thread links

              I'm currently working on the ability to reply to forum posts by e-mail.

              I'm unsure whether private reply will reach Moodle 2.8 at this stage, but I suspect that it may not at this stage. The point at which all new features must be ready for demonstration is fast approaching and I don't know whether we'll be able to complete it before then.

              I'm sorry I can't give you more definite news at this stage,

              Andrew

              Show
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - Hi Lisa, I have indeed been working on a variety of issues for Moodle 2.8 relating to forums. So far we have: Per-discussion subscriptions, Next/Previous thread links I'm currently working on the ability to reply to forum posts by e-mail. I'm unsure whether private reply will reach Moodle 2.8 at this stage, but I suspect that it may not at this stage. The point at which all new features must be ready for demonstration is fast approaching and I don't know whether we'll be able to complete it before then. I'm sorry I can't give you more definite news at this stage, Andrew
              Hide
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment -

              Thank you, Andrew. I very much appreciate all the work you're doing. I'm sure the enhancements you're making in 2.8 will be great.

              I'm glad to hear that the private reply feature is still being looked at. Perhaps the "reply by email" capability will at least give our instructors a way to respond privately in order to avoid running into FERPA problems.

              Good luck with your deadlines,

              Lisa

              Show
              beachtch Lisa Beach added a comment - Thank you, Andrew. I very much appreciate all the work you're doing. I'm sure the enhancements you're making in 2.8 will be great. I'm glad to hear that the private reply feature is still being looked at. Perhaps the "reply by email" capability will at least give our instructors a way to respond privately in order to avoid running into FERPA problems. Good luck with your deadlines, Lisa
              Hide
              nilmadhab nilmadhab mondal added a comment -

              It will be a great option.

              Show
              nilmadhab nilmadhab mondal added a comment - It will be a great option.
              Hide
              fern Fernando Oliveira added a comment -

              Looks like this was also missed in Moodle 2.9. Any plans to put it in 3.0?

              Show
              fern Fernando Oliveira added a comment - Looks like this was also missed in Moodle 2.9. Any plans to put it in 3.0?
              Hide
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment -

              Just a note here. I'd like to see this implemented with attachments possible. (Just n case people think reply=messages) At present in Moodle there is no way to send individual students messages with attachments.

              It also needs to be themed differently so everyone knows this is a personal response. Maybe an extra click on the personal reply.

              There is a recent thread on this here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=188802

              Maybe 3.1???

              -Derek

              Show
              derekcx Derek Chirnside added a comment - Just a note here. I'd like to see this implemented with attachments possible. (Just n case people think reply=messages) At present in Moodle there is no way to send individual students messages with attachments. It also needs to be themed differently so everyone knows this is a personal response. Maybe an extra click on the personal reply. There is a recent thread on this here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=188802 Maybe 3.1??? -Derek
              Hide
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment -

              I've started putting together a branch to add this functionality.
              I believe that the code is complete, and functional, though currently missing unit tests, behat tests, and manual tests. It also may need some extra thought with regards the styling of the posts.

              Things I believe are currently done:

              • only those with the postprivatereply capability, or the intended recipient can view the post
              • reply counts
              • e-mailing out of posts
              • viewing discussions where private posts are present
              • recent activities block
              • replying

              The following rules apply:

              • only those with the capability can post private replies (editing teacher, teacher, manager)
              • once a post is private, all replies should be private. This is only enforced in the DB (e.g. we do not check ancestors at display time)
              • once a post has been replied to privately, it is not possible to make it public.

              I'll try and finish this feature off over the next week in time for the Moodle 3.1 freeze.

              Show
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - I've started putting together a branch to add this functionality. I believe that the code is complete, and functional, though currently missing unit tests, behat tests, and manual tests. It also may need some extra thought with regards the styling of the posts. Things I believe are currently done: only those with the postprivatereply capability, or the intended recipient can view the post reply counts e-mailing out of posts viewing discussions where private posts are present recent activities block replying The following rules apply: only those with the capability can post private replies (editing teacher, teacher, manager) once a post is private, all replies should be private. This is only enforced in the DB (e.g. we do not check ancestors at display time) once a post has been replied to privately, it is not possible to make it public. I'll try and finish this feature off over the next week in time for the Moodle 3.1 freeze.
              Hide
              cibot CiBoT added a comment -

              Fails against automated checks.

              Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git

              More information about this report

              Show
              cibot CiBoT added a comment - Fails against automated checks. Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git Testing instructions are missing. master (3 errors / 0 warnings) [branch: MDL-22077-master | CI Job ] phplint (0/0) , phpcs (3/0) , js (0/0) , css (0/0) , phpdoc (0/0) , commit (0/0) , savepoint (0/0) , thirdparty (0/0) , grunt (0/0) , shifter (0/0) , travis (0/0) , More information about this report
              Hide
              cibot CiBoT added a comment -

              Fails against automated checks.

              Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git

              More information about this report

              Show
              cibot CiBoT added a comment - Fails against automated checks. Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git Testing instructions are missing. master (2 errors / 0 warnings) [branch: MDL-22077-master | CI Job ] phplint (0/0) , phpcs (2/0) , js (0/0) , css (0/0) , phpdoc (0/0) , commit (0/0) , savepoint (0/0) , thirdparty (0/0) , grunt (0/0) , shifter (0/0) , travis (0/0) , More information about this report
              Hide
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - - edited

              I've implemented this using two new capabilities:

              1. mod/forum:postprivatereply - the ability to post a reply privately; and
              2. mod/forum:readprivatereplies - The ability to read all private replies.

              With this combination of capabilities it becomes possible for a teacher to reply privately to a specific student allowing any other teacher to view the reply.

              I have adjusted:

              1. discussion reply count
              2. web services replies
              3. recent activity block
              4. RSS feed
              5. Email templates (to indicate that the current post is private)
              6. Web view (to indicate that the current post is private)
              Show
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - - edited I've implemented this using two new capabilities: mod/forum:postprivatereply - the ability to post a reply privately; and mod/forum:readprivatereplies - The ability to read all private replies. With this combination of capabilities it becomes possible for a teacher to reply privately to a specific student allowing any other teacher to view the reply. I have adjusted: discussion reply count web services replies recent activity block RSS feed Email templates (to indicate that the current post is private) Web view (to indicate that the current post is private)
              Hide
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment -

              Pinging Helen Foster for advice on the new strings:

              +$string['forum:postprivatereply'] = 'Post a new private reply to a post';
              +$string['forum:readprivatereplies'] = 'Read all private replies';
              +$string['postisprivatereply'] = 'This post was made privately and is not visible to all users.';
              +$string['privatereply'] = 'Reply privately';
              +$string['privatereply_help'] = 'When posting a reply privately, it is only visible to the author of the post being replied to, and a selection of other users.';
              

              Show
              dobedobedoh Andrew Nicols added a comment - Pinging Helen Foster for advice on the new strings : +$string['forum:postprivatereply'] = 'Post a new private reply to a post'; +$string['forum:readprivatereplies'] = 'Read all private replies'; +$string['postisprivatereply'] = 'This post was made privately and is not visible to all users.'; +$string['privatereply'] = 'Reply privately'; +$string['privatereply_help'] = 'When posting a reply privately, it is only visible to the author of the post being replied to, and a selection of other users.';
              Hide
              cibot CiBoT added a comment -

              Fails against automated checks.

              Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git

              More information about this report

              Show
              cibot CiBoT added a comment - Fails against automated checks. Checked MDL-22077 using repository: git://github.com/andrewnicols/moodle.git master (8 errors / 0 warnings) [branch: MDL-22077-master | CI Job ] phplint (0/0) , phpcs (8/0) , js (0/0) , css (0/0) , phpdoc (0/0) , commit (0/0) , savepoint (0/0) , thirdparty (0/0) , grunt (0/0) , shifter (0/0) , travis (0/0) , More information about this report
              Hide
              timhunt Tim Hunt added a comment -

              Should this be a new capability?

              Or does it a new forum type (called 'study advice' forum type, since that was the first use case)? In the OU's forum NG, it is done as a forum type (like general forum, Q&A, ...)

              Or, are you implementing something other than that? In which case, aren't you just duplicating moodle's messaging system in the forum code? Is that desirable?

              Show
              timhunt Tim Hunt added a comment - Should this be a new capability? Or does it a new forum type (called 'study advice' forum type, since that was the first use case)? In the OU's forum NG, it is done as a forum type (like general forum, Q&A, ...) Or, are you implementing something other than that? In which case, aren't you just duplicating moodle's messaging system in the forum code? Is that desirable?
              Hide
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment -

              Hi Andrew,

              Thanks for asking my advice on the new language strings. Here are my suggestions:

              For forum:readprivatereplies

              'View private replies'

              ('View' rather than 'read' for consistency with other capabilities; no need for 'all' as it's assumed that you can read your own private replies.)

              For forum:postprivatereply

              'Reply privately to posts'

              (For consistency with an existing capability 'Reply to posts' and avoiding repeating the word 'post'.)

              For privatereply_help

              'A private reply can only be viewed by the author of the post being replied to, and any users with the capability to view private replies.'

              Show
              tsala Helen Foster added a comment - Hi Andrew, Thanks for asking my advice on the new language strings. Here are my suggestions: For forum:readprivatereplies 'View private replies' ('View' rather than 'read' for consistency with other capabilities; no need for 'all' as it's assumed that you can read your own private replies.) For forum:postprivatereply 'Reply privately to posts' (For consistency with an existing capability 'Reply to posts' and avoiding repeating the word 'post'.) For privatereply_help 'A private reply can only be viewed by the author of the post being replied to, and any users with the capability to view private replies.'

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                  22 Start watching this issue

                  Dates

                  • Created:
                    Updated: