Subject (hidden) Error

Picture of Michael Phillips
Re: Subject (hidden) Error

Maybe the student isn't giving you accurate information. For instance, in your original post you stated "When they go to the Forums page in their course they can see some posts but other posts have "Subject (hidden)" in the subject field and "Author (hidden)..." but now the student indicates it is a Social forum, not Q&A.

The problem is that the Social forum is only available when the Social format is applied as the course site's format. Ergo, the site is one, big, forum. Period. Below is a screen capture of the types of forums available for sites formatted as Weekly or Topics:

And, as the other folks who replied pointed out, the "hidden" message the student relayed to you is associated with the Q and A forum. 

Further, when the student stated to you that they have to "go to the Forums page in their course" - that could only be true if their course site was Weekly or Topics format, because the Social format is only a single forum... there are no other areas to navigate to, and the type of forum cannot be changed (as far as I can tell, when the Social format is applied). 

So, these could be two separate issues. Have you checked the permissions to determine if the instructor has tweaked any of them for the forum or forums in question? Whenever I believe I may be getting misinformation from someone (student or faculty member), I often ask them to drop by my office and demonstrate their difficulty. Ninety-nine percent of the time it is user error due.

Also, have you tried logging in as the student to replicate their problem (using the "login as" option)?

Please let us know when you do get to the bottom of this - the solution may prove useful to many of us in the Moodle community.


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Picture of Graham Stone
Re: Subject (hidden) Error

Hi Michael,

Yes sorry I should have said that when I checked the course in question it had been set up as the 'Social Format' and I have logged in as this particular student and can confirm that what she reports is correct, I was only able to see her post when logged in as her and all the other posts had the above error message.

I've checked how the Forum has been created to make sure it's not a Q&A but as the course format as been set to 'Social' it just displays the Forum type as social as well with no option to change it.

I'm wondering if changing the course format back to the standard 'Topics' might fix it but the tutor obviously chose this option for some reason.


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Picture of Michael Phillips
Re: Subject (hidden) Error


I just learned something, triggered by your comment about "changing formats" from Topics to Social (or vice-versa). I experimented and did just that - created a Q & A forum in a weekly-formatted site, made posts as students, then changed the format to Social.

Lo and behold, the Q&A forum seemed to disappear, replaced by the Social forum (empty, of course). But... I then noticed a block called Social activities with the Q & A forum and the Social forum both listed!

I swear I've not seen this before, but it's probably been there all along (not many of our faculty use the Social format for courses). Notice, too (in the image) that you can also add resources and activities to the Social format... bizarre!

Well, not really bizarre, just surprising (at least to me).

Oh, well. I guess I couldn't help, but I did learn something.

Take care!


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