It looks as if there are two locations to place comments when grading but I don;t see the settings for them. One seems to allow a conversation of comments, the other is only for me to send a comment to the student.
Since I have other methods for students to contact me, and I rarely see the comments when an assignment is submitted, I would prefer to prevent the student from leaving a comment within Moodle at all. Can this be done?
I do not see the one-way comment block that used to be on the far right of the Quick Grading page. Did it get switched off?
In the settings for an assignment, I see "Feedback Types:  feedback comments " and below that I see "Comment inline [yes]" but the "help" option doesn't. If there is some other location to check, please tell me where to go.
"because there was no downside to always enabling it."
Maybe there was more to it than meets the eye but really?
A student placing a comment that will not be read until someone goes in to grade an assignment is not a down side? It gives a false sense of security.
For me, I would prefer to disable it as I would rather the student send me an immediate e-mail message instead. At least I can give a response much sooner and allow the student to make corrections if there are problems.
Maybe this pushes the theory of better default settings at the instructor's level.
As I said, maybe there is more to this story.
In v 2.6 there was a feature called Submission comments (used to be labelled Notes) which allowed students to post comments to the Teacher about the assignment. This was configurable per assignment. The Feedback comments were for the Teacher to respond to the student. Now in 2.8 this feature has helpfully been removed. Could you point me to the thread where this was discussed ? I don't see how a site wide setting substitutes.
Now I'm confused about the point of Feedback comments. I've noticed that the Teachers often post their own feedback comments into the assignment submission comment area. Does this make a difference in terms of what the student can see ?