Just curious. Now we have had this function "Email to a forum" for a while: how are people finding it?
Originally I was not in favour of this.
From the tracker:
To address Derek Chirnside's question of "Why are we doing this?" there are a couple of benefits for users.
A. For students or faculty who are commuters, they can use a smartphone to easily respond to a forum post via email. To this from a computer would require Internet connectivity and navigating Moodle from a SmartPhone is not as easy as sending email (which also happens to be the one software interface nearly all computer technology users are familiar with).
B. Using email is easier to navigate than Moodle for those requiring screen readers due to sight impairments.
C. When composing email messages, the post is automatically saved as a draft if connectivity is lost or the user gets distracted. In Moodle, the timeout setting can cause a post to be lost (although users can compose their post in a locally stored text processing program to avoid this issue, it is an extra insurance step many of them do not think to do plus it is less convenient).
[This is seriously hidden in the tracker item here: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-3714 This post is an example of how teachers and geeks can survive on the same page, but teachers can have diffitulty. - this post is also a classic case of they wornderful synergy that is here for these projects, the attention do detail and robust thinking. IMO ]
Email to forums: Where I am at: In response to Christy's thoughtful and courteous post above I changed my opinion.
Yesterday I enabled this functionality on one of the big servers I work with. [Easy to do, although I do have a question: is there any other way besides using the evil gmail? ]
There was some negative response from some staff. I'm surmising that the students AND tutors have got used to treating forum notifications like emails, and just click reply as opposed to Notification to go somewhere else and engage. There is some sort of resistance to using the forums as a forum. Unsubstantiated assertions, based on no scientific data.
I wonder how people are using this. I wonder how our students will like this.
I wonder if we could benefit from a link "Reply direct to sender" but that is huge feature creep.
So we shall see.