Moodlerooms have produced "Advanced Forum" https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=mod_hsuforum (it originally started at Humboldt State Uni)
It extends current Moodle forum code to prove some of the most-requested forum features such a:
- Anonymous forums: This feature allows students to make an anonymous post to a discussion forum while still receiving credit for their post. Instructors can also read all the posts made, and view how many times a student posted to the forum without knowing which student posted which forum. This feature is useful for sensitive discussions and can be used for anonymous student evaluations.
- View Posters: This feature gives instructors the ability to view the number of posts, replies, and substantive posts a student has made as well as the content of those posts (even in an anonymous forum).
- Discussion Sorting: Sorting enables users to view all the posts by one individual within a particular forum. This is especially useful for instructors when grading participation for one or more forums.
- Discussion Subscription: This feature enables students and faculty to receive e-mail postings related to just one topic, rather than forcing them to subscribe to the entire forum.
- Simplified Navigation and User Interface: Forums have been improved by reducing the number of clicks of the mouse you have to use to navigate through all posts in a discussion. Additionally, several Forum UI enhancements provide instructors and students with multiple views into a course’s forum discussions. These UI designs are intended to provide the user with a way to view posts and replies quickly compared to the Moodle default view of a forum discussion. Users are also given a variety of new preferences to set a preferred view of an Advanced Forum in all courses.
- Instructor Post Highlighting: This feature differentiates an instructor’s post from a student's, which makes it easier for students to notice the posts that may be more relevant for them to read.
- Forum Marking: Forum marking enables instructors to identify posts that need review and have had a substantial impact on the reader or the forum in general.
- Private Reply: With this feature, instructors can send a private reply to a forum post. This reply is only viewable by the student that made the original post or reply and invisible to the rest of the students. It should be noted that the only way a student knows that a reply is indeed private is that they cannot reply to it.
This bug is to track the feasibility of porting (some or all) these into standard forum.