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Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups

 
 
Picture of Aracely Gonzalez
Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

I've read several of this forum threads about forums... but none have told me what combination of set ups is neccesary in order to have :

One Single Simple Discussion Forum at course level, where members of several groups (3) could colaborate, seeing just their own same-group messagges...

Either I get the Single Simple Discussion Format with no groups (because if I do otherwise it wont let me participate as student, no matter which group the facilitator belongs to), or a Standard Forum for General Use with groups, but as I want it to be just one topic it makes the student go one xtra click to find the way to participate... besides I need to start one thread for each group in order for them to be able to reply...

I wonder if there is a way to achive what I want to do... It sound logical to me but I dont know if is a valid moodle feature

Thanx in advance,
Aracely

 
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Picture of Imelda Sapawi
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Yeah...I do face the same problem too...thou I set my forum to "A Single Simple Discussion", and have grouped the participants and set the "Group Mode" to "Separate" or "Visible" groups, participants are unable to reply to my forum. I only require the participants to reply to the topic I set, they can't create a new discussion topic. Why is that so?
 
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Fishing was great!
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Where can I find a fix for the single simple discussion with groups problem? I have search high and low and I can't find anything that will get theses two setting to work together!! No matter what combinations I put together my participants are unable to reply to my forum postings. Is there an answer???

 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

I think I am seeing a variation of the same problem:  I have a course with several forums in which I initiate various discussions and students participate.  When new students started this week, I set up groups.  But with either visible or separate groups, the new students cannot reply to the discussions I set up.  This surprises me especially with visible groups, since they can see the posts from the other group by selecting it, but still can't reply.  What they can do is start their own discussions and reply to those.  Students in the original group can still reply to my original posts and each other's posts.

This looks like a bug to me, or is there a reason why both groups shouldn't be able to participate in a discussion thread started by the instructor?  Or have I overlooked a setting somewhere?

Version is 1.5.2+ July 21, ver 2005060220, MySQL 4.0.24, Php 4.3.10

Thanks,

Jim.

 
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Not a PHM :-)
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

James,

I tried to use groups in the Spring when I first moved my courses from Blackboard to Moodle without success...see post here on my blog.

The lightbulb just hasn't turned on for me yet in figuring out the logic of the way groups are structured in Moodle...maybe it's just because I'm using the Blackboard groups structure as my reference point. In Blackboard, groups are separate discussion forums...very distinguishable from other discussions.

To be honest, afer my first failed attempt at using groups, I haven't really given them much thought...I simply set-up separate discussion forums and assign groups to them. Of coures, all groups can see all other groups, but that's not a problem for my use.

Steve

 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Thanks, I'll experiment with it some more, then probably report it as a bug.  Your blog described my experience better than I had done.

Jim.

 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
I reported it as bug #3883 on Aug 10, but so far it doesn't appear to have received any attention.  A little surprising, since groups and forums are relatively core features of Moodle.  Or maybe we're just overlooking or misunderstanding something.
 
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Picture of Michael Penney
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
Group Developers

Hi James, it sounds like that is how it is supposed to work: if you post to group one, with separate groups on, then the post only goes to group one. With visible groups, folks in group two can see the post, but can't reply to it (since you posted it to group one).

Try selecting "all participants" in the "Visible groups" drop down before you post, and see if all the groups can see the post and reply to it. If that doesn't work, I'd say you found a bug.

 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Thanks Michael for pointing that out, I don't know how an old discussion threat (from before groups were defined) would be interpreted.

So I reset the forum to Separate Groups and started a new "Test Reply" discussion to all participants.  I am both admin and course teacher, and not a member of either group (I can't assign myself to both).  Student1 in Group1 could see it but not reply.  Student2 in Group2 could see it but not reply.  Student3 not assigned to a group could see it and reply, and was subscribed on posting a reply.  On selecting Unsubscribe, Student3 received the error message "Sorry, you must be a member of a group to subscribe."  Both Student1 and Student2 can see Student3's reply, but (of course) cannot reply.

So it still looks like a bug to me.

Jim.

 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

I added the above post the the bug tracker and Martin added the following:

You can't let students reply to a post to all participants within a grouped forum, because it would no longer be a grouped forum!!

The point of groups is to keep students separated.

If you want groups to respond to a teacher discussion, you need to post "into" each group separately.  Select the group, then make your post.

So there it is, thanks Martin for clearing that up.  Not a bug after all: posts to all participants are by design seen by all but replied to by none -- sort of a news post.

 
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Picture of Chris West
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Glad this has been cleared up (for me also). I like the way this works (being able to post to each group separately). But I think it's bad design to base it all around a drop down list that is only labelled with 'Visible groups' (or similar). However, now that I know how, it seems simple.

From what I have read on this forum, we are not alone in being caught out by this!
 
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Picture of Chris West
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Thinking about his some more, it seems that of you wanted to post the same discussion topic to all groups for them to respond in their own ways (visible to each other but can't edit/reply to each other's) then you'd have to post the same topic again and again to each group separately (otherwise no-one would get a reply link). Seems like hard work.

(I have no idea if I explained that well - posting on a forum about using a forum is no easy task)
 
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Picture of James Robertson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Exactly.  I would still like the option to post to all groups in a way that allows all groups to see and reply to the post, even if they can't see or reply to posts from other groups. 

I expect the problem is the difficulty of keeping them separate within the thread.  With visible groups, students would see everyone's posts, but would be able to reply only to those within their own group.  With separate groups they would see only posts by those of their own group, also any that were replies to posts by their group that had been posted while the forum was in a "no groups" condition (this is what it currently does).

 
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Picture of Teresa Gibbison
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup TestersGroup Translators
Thank you all for bringing this up. We have been trying to figure this problem out for a few days now!

We are running Moodle 1.5.2 (2005060220) and have forums in several courses set to visible groups. We remember, in our previous version of Moodle 1.4(something), being able to have a forum set up with visible groups, having a separate topic to research and post various replies for each group as well as the teacher posting a topic for "All participants" so the groups could post their final reports/conclusions to.

We now find that if we want this functionality in 1.5.2 we need to create two separate forums - one with visible groups and topics and the other with no groups with the teach topic which seems a little 'detached' from the subject.

Any ideas on correcting/changing this as we enjoyed being able to do this in past Moodle versions.

Teresa
 
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Picture of Andrew Munslow
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Hi,
I am not sure what conclusion this posting has come to but here is my contribution:
Moodle version: 1.5.3+ ( 2005060230) Windows XP Pro PHP 5.0.4

I have spent the evening testing the different permutations of the course setting for groups (Group Mode) and changing the simple dicussion forum to a standard type.
The conclusion I have come to is that seperate groups/forced has asome sort of issue in that a learner assigned to group should be able to reply to a posting made in a simple discussion group and that when the forced flag is set to no, that at forum level, groups stops the forum working.

Have I missed something in the way it should work with groups? The learner I was testing with was in a group (two groups on the course, the other had no learners in the group).

As a work-around I shall remove the Forced flag at the course level and have no groups at the forum level.

Here are my results:

Group Mode : Groups Yes, Forced Yes
Simple discussion forum: teacher can post, learners can see post but cannot reply.
No choice of groups available. Group mode on forum disabled.(since it is forced)

Group Mode: Groups Yes, Forced Yes
Standard forum: eacher can post, learners can see post but cannot reply.Choice of groups available  to learner but makes no difference. Group mode on forum disabled.(since it is forced)

Group Mode : Groups Yes, Forced No
Simple discussion forum: teacher can post, learners can see post.
No choice of groups available. Group mode on forum enabled.
    Forum group mode : No groups
       Learners can reply to postings.
    Forum group mode: seperate groups
       Learners cannot reply to posting, but can edit any posting that they own. (posting made when no groups on forum)
    Forum group mode: Visible groups
       Learners cannot reply to parent posting, but can edit any posting that they own. (posting made when no groups on forum). Cannot reply to their own posting.

Group Mode : Groups Yes, Forced No
Standard forum: teacher can post, learners can see post.
Choice of groups available. Group mode on forum enabled.
    Forum group mode : No groups
       Learners can reply to postings. Reply and edit own postings.
    Forum group mode: seperate groups
       Learners cannot reply to  any posting, but can edit any posting that they own. (posting made when no groups on forum)
    Forum group mode: Visible groups
       Learners cannot reply to any posting, but can edit any posting that they own. (posting made when no groups on forum).


 
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Barbara Schroeder
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Great response and same results I've seen. I must tell you I was so delighted to figure out that I could create one course with two sections, and then decided I would see what it looked like to a student enrolled in one of the sections. That is when I discovered that the forums would not allow students to post!

So, I am still going to use one course for two sections, but then create separate groups for the forums, I guess. Maybe this is a better solution, and I will create smaller groups for the forums anyway.

I will adjust the course settings to groups Yes, Forced No and then set the forum group mode to no groups. From there I think I will play around with trying to set up forum groups, so groups within groups. Which reminds me, I have the admin settings on my Moodle site to allow grouping within groups. Maybe that is causing some of the problems?

We need to figure this out, as it seems logical that once a student is enrolled in a separate group in a course, they should be able to participate in any of the activities separated by those groups.

Thanks again for the detailed research.
 
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Picture of paola perez
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Hello
I have the following issue with single simple discussion, no groups.
When I set this type of forum and save the changes it displays the message 'unable to get course module instance". So I have to set it again as a general forum and then change it to single simple discussion.
Any idea why is this happening?

thanks

Paola


 
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Picture of Claudio D'Ipolitto
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Dear friends,

As long as I can see, there is no effective solution to the "Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups" issue.

All we have seen is a way of CIRCUNVENT what in reality seens to be a "design inconsistence" or an "implementation bug".

I hope a clearer and cleaner solution could be given, because whenever we need that different groups work separatedly into the same set of questions, THEN we need to use "Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups".

Looking forward for some really good news from the developers.

Best regards,

Claudio D'Ipolitto

UFF Federal University

Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 
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Picture of Kim Scannell
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups - Workaround
 
If I understand correctly what everyone here is asking for, the objective is to have only one topic (discussion) thread that only members of that group and yourself can see and reply to.

Your course settings -- at course level, not forum settings -- should be set to Groups: Separate groups, Force: No.

As teacher, go into your course and create a new forum with these settings:

Forum type: standard forum for general use
Can participants post...? No discussions, but replies are allowed.
Force everyone to be subscribed? Subscriptions are not allowed.
Group mode: separate groups
Visible: show


As teacher, you WILL have to start a new thread ("Add a new discussion topic") for EACH group.
Since they are separate groups, each student will see ONLY the thread for his/her group. Students can reply to your (teacher) posts and to posts of others in their group. They can not start a new discussion. **This effectively maintains the 'single discussion' forum idea.**
Since it's a 'single discussion' thread, you'll only need to do this once, so no big deal (unless you have oodles of groups).

So, as teacher, click on the name of your forum, and choose the first group from the drop-down menu. Write up your post and submit it. (You may want to copy your post so that you can just paste it in to the new topic threads for the other groups.)
Do this for each group.

Voila! When students login, they see only 1 topic (assuming each student belongs to only one group), and they can reply to it. You as teacher can see them all and reply to all the students' replies.

Yes, if you need to tell something to all groups, you will need to post that in each topic. Or use the 'all participants' if you don't want/need them to reply to that post. Remember, they can still respond to what you post in their group topic thread, they just can't directly reply to your 'all participants' post.

Let me clarify confusion about force groups. In the course settings, all that 'force groups' means is that whatever you've selected--none, separate, or visible-- will be the default that shows up in all activities you add to your course.

If your course settings are Groups: Separate, Force: Yes, then you can not change an activity's (such as a forum) settings to Groups: Visible.

If your course settings are Groups: Separate, Force: No, then you can change an activity's settings to Groups: Visible, if you like.

Let me clarify confusion about Force subscription. Subscription is the feature that sends ALL posts from a forum to ALL course users. It does not recognize groups. ALL posts in a forum go to ALL course users, always. There is NO way for a group to receive via email ONLY the posts of others in his/her group.
This means that forums must be checked manually be students, since they will not be receiving email notification of a new forum post.

So, if you are using Separate Groups in a Forum, set Force everyone to be subscribed to 'Subscriptions not allowed'.
 
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Picture of Susan Mangan
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups - Workaround
 
Great info, thanks for this! Works like a charm, although I have one question ... I don't see the following setting:

"Can participants post...? No discussions, but replies are allowed."

Students are still able to add new Discussions. Which.. is not necessarily the end of the world but would be nice to have for the purpose of a simple discussion.

We are currently running 1.8.2 - is this something added in .3 or .4?

Thanks!
 
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Barbara Schroeder
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Okay I have figured out something that at least works for the students and makes it possible for me to have only one course for two sections. Here it is:

Course Settings:
Group Mode: Separate Groups
Force: No

Then, when you create any type of discussion forum, you will need to set the Group Mode to Visible (NOT Separate) groups and of course Visible to Show when you want the Forum available to students.

Then, students CAN reply to forums! They CAN see the other groups, but hey, this works and allows me to just have one course to go to for two sections.

If anyone has found another work-around, please let me know and thanks for all of the responses. I knew I'd find something here that would help me.
 
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Picture of Lori Cheezem
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Hi Aracely,

What I've been doing for our instructors is creating a standard discussion forum, with groups (you can have visible or separate - your choice) and then overriding the student role so that new discussions are prohibited. You do have to place the first posting in each group, but then the group members can reply to that posting. It might be another alternative for you to try.

Good Luck!

Lori
 
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Picture of Anne Dawson
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Instructions to change settings for forums
see attached gif for full instructions

 
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Picture of Susan Mangan
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Awesome! Thanksamillion.

ps.. love your instructions .gif, very clear and concise.
 
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Art Lader
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
Group Documentation writers
Re: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=26282#p396932

Nice job, Anne! smile

I wonder if you might want to post that image somewhere appropriate at docs.moodle.org.

-- Art

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
She's no longer enrolled in this course.
 
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Chris Schembri Baldacchino's Pic
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
Hi ppl, Still new to moodle.org (my first post in fact)..


I've been researching this issue as I did find the same problem. It's great that there is a work-about to the problem, BUT something still needs to be done to get the system working as should be.

I am saying so because of how our system is set to operate. I am a moodle admin for our University. Lecturers have tutor roles with restriction over the override function. Most of the lecturers did in fact request a forum which has a single topic that each group could reply in. OK, for a few requests, I would find time to manually fiddle with override settings, but its quite hectic to do so for a hundred or more.

What is the procedure of reporting a bug (which I believe it is, in this case) on Moodle? Any info would be greatly appreciated!


Chris
 
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Picture of Leonardo Mendes
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
I was just fiddling with this issue and I agree with the last poster, it's not viable when you have to override permissions everytime argh!

But what completely baffles me is that I have the same problem with my moodle now as others had back in 2005?!?!?! Five whole years have gone by and this didn't get solved? Weird.

Also, I'd like to add for any that might still come here, problems like these are a result of bad conception in the first place, or at the very least the developers didn't give this aspect that much attention.

To me it seems obvious that you'd want to build a course and teach it many many times. You'd want to set up a structure that would serve every class from the moment of creation on. You'd want then to create a group of people and have them go thru the course. Then you might have other groups at the same time taking the course.
So basically a group has to be an entitity with priviliges, and element that can receive a start and end date, etc, etc.
It seems logic that this would be the main usage of a teaching platform.
Instead groups were just some sort of filter and very very limited.

We all HOPE however that that changes with 2.0. Let's hope it does for it will seriously save a lot of time to many moodle users out there.
 
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Picture of boy brown
Απάντηση: Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 
I have the same problem, in version 1.9.9, still we can't have a solution.
Please fix the Bug
 
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Picture of Don Hazelwood
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Is there a bug tracker for this issue?

We're experiencing the same issue as above. As the admin, we just don't have to time to set permissions to every single forum that this issue pops up.

 
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Picture of Keith Landa
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

This is considered resolved: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-14270

"Single simple discussions cannot be set to separate groups. Instead, a standard forum should be used, with the teacher copying and pasting the same discussion topic for each separate group. If required, a permissions override may be set to prevent students from starting new discussions." - in May 2008, this has been added to the documentation on editing forums: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Adding/editing_a_forum

The fact that people are still running across this problem (myself included, just this week) suggests to me that the note in the documentation is not enough.  It would be nice if the settings page for single, simple discussion forums would not allow Separate groups to be set for the Group mode, and if the course were forced to Separate Groups on the course Settings page, then single, simple discussion would not show up as an available forum type.

 
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Picture of Don Hazelwood
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

Thank you, Keith.

We're going to update our training and documentation about this issue.

 
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Picture of Plecto Rincus
Re: Single Simple Discussion Forum + Separate Groups
 

I just got through this issue too using Moodle 1.9, and it's 2012 now!

 
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