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.
Moodle forums are a vital place for running a course, for discussing topics between students and teachers or for letting students ask questions. This has increased over the last 18 months of the pandemic massively. However, you all know that often students don't ask questions in a forum because they don't want to make a fool of themselves by asking a simple question in front of the class. Providing an anonymous forum where students don't have to expose their identity can help to overcome this barrier.
There is a feature request in the Moodle tracker for adding anonymous forums to Moodle core which was created in 2004, has 178 votes and finally saw a promising implementation approach by Andrew Nichols from Moodle HQ in 2015/2016.
There are two interesting details in his implementation approach:
1. Andrew made clear that a user can't be completely anonymous in Moodle, he can only be disguised. His approach deals with this fact and implements user disguises instead of an (incomplete) anonymization.
2. In contrast to the other existing solutions for anonymous forums which I have linked to below, Andrew's approach for user disguises is completely generic and can be leveraged in other areas of Moodle, too.
Unfortunately, this work ceased without any real reason. There have been some additional comments including a rough estimation by HQ (50k$).
We propose to finish the implementation of user disguises finally and let them become part of Moodle core.
- Project size: medium
- Audience: primary schools, universities, workplaces
- Target users: teachers, students
- Allow teachers to set a forum activity to be disguised
- Allow students to post questions in forums as a disguised user
- (Provide an API to use user disguises in other areas of Moodle core or in Moodle plugins if needed) - it is important to make disguise happen in a forum, if it means that this goal cannot be fulfilled within the scope, this last point should be skipped.
_see description and https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-1071_
- https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-1071 (the original feature request with Andrew Nichols' implementation approach)
- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z6LSKlNj0OD-1V6xL-CmRvQ6weG-6MwPXmszaU5vO14/edit (Andrew's specification document)
- https://moodle.org/plugins/local_anonymousposting (a local plugin which enables anonymous postings in forums, but which does not go as far as the solution from MDL-1071, last update 2016 and v 3.1)
- https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_hsuforum (an alternative forum "Open forum" which provides anonymous postings besides several other features)
... Include mockups, screenshots from similar products, links to demo sites ...