THIS IS AN MUA PROJECT PROPOSAL THAT WILL BE OR HAS BEEN SUBMITTED FOR POSSIBLE MUA FUNDING. ANY EXISTING TRACKER ITEMS THAT THIS MIGHT DUPLICATE SHOULD BE LINKED TO BELOW.
The Moodle Forum Activity is a core activity module and considered one of the "big three" activities linked to the most commonly used in Moodle. This enhancement proposes to change the basic visual design of the activity in an effort to improve the user experience for both students and facilitators. These changes are based on observed usage by students from numerous countries in a large-scale virtual exchange project as they struggled to navigate the forum discussions.
This project also includes an analytics report for the Moodle Forum which gives valuable insights on how students participate in forums within a course and possibly within the site.
Also, most of the code for this project has been written by the community already. It is just a matter of folding in the enhancements to the core version of Moodle forum that remains.
- Project size: small
- Audience: universities, workplaces – all users of the Moodle Forum activity
- Target users: teachers, students, and administrators
The goals of this project include making some basic user interface design changes to the Moodle Forum Activity and increasing the ways users can interact with forum posts and replies. These changes include moving the discussion title to a more prominent position in the forum discussion list; adding a simple and easy to understand discussion follow switch; and including customizable react icons to posts (i.e. Like, Emoticons, etc) Lastly, an analytics report showing student activity with respect to number of posts, number of replies, words written, views, and a link to the student complete report is also part of it. The report will cover forums based on the context of being run – if it is run within a forum it will report on that forum. If it is run within a course, it will report on all the forums in the course. If it is run within the Moodle site, it will report on the forum activity site-wide. Custom filters are included in the report for items including specific forums, specific user profile fields (country, city, etc) and so on.
Another goal is to add the function of being able to export the forum in a variety of forms. Forums are a rich source of data for research. Being able to export all the text/multimedia in a forum, just a particular (or some particular) user’s forum input, or a/some particular thread(s) of a forum, would enable researchers to do a lot. At the moment, the only way to do this is copy and paste which is extremely time-consuming. A simple method is required.
As a teacher, I should be able to better guide students' user experience in the forum activities I design. I will also be able to design forums which have reaction icons for posts. Also, reporting student activity across forums in my course will be made simpler thanks to the forum report that accompanies this enhancement.
As a student, I should be able to easily determine to which discussions I want to read and contribute. I should also be able to easily subscribe and "follow" posts I want to follow. Lastly, I should be able to "react" to forum posts in the discussions so I don't always have to "reply" in order to be part of discussions.
As an admin, I should be able to configure forums as normal with additional options.
This is a view of how the forum looks with the enhancements: https://youtu.be/CCivVTgPiLk?t=6s
MoodleRooms Advanced forum: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-61495
See the existing screenshot of the current forum interface. Also, check the attached document giving some details on the initial forum UX enhancements. The MoodleRooms Advanced forum also has a lot of useful ideas to improve the Moodle Forum. Lastly, you can see the react forum plugin which offers a range of ways for students to react to posts.
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