We're currently running our twice-yearly Teaching with Moodle MOOC and enjoying reading through and responding to the many forum posts which new Moodlers around the world are making. It has reminded me that for a long time there's been a desire for Moodle to have what some people call 'pinned' or 'sticky' forum threads which other message boards offer. It means that a teacher or forum moderator can make a post which is then guaranteed to stay at the top of the page and not get lost a long way down when more people post other discussions.
Some examples of 'pinned' discussions might be:
- making clear the rules of the forum, to be read (we hope before posting)
- an FAQ thread for issues that often occur
- a welcome forum where newcomers can introduce themselves whilst keeping other threads for actual subject queries.
The good news is that in the next version of Moodle, Moodle 3.1, out in May, it will be possible for course teachers to 'pin' important threads to the top of the forum page. Here's how:
Using the first example, our teacher makes their post and then ticks a box 'Pinned' under the attachment area. See it highlighted in yellow below:
When saved, the post has a pin next to it so people can see that it will remain at the top:
When someone else posts, such as a student (who cannot pin discussions) you can see that, in the list, the original post is still at the top, even though the student, Brian, made his post later than the teacher. Normally the latest posts show up at the top, but not for pinned ones:
A teacher can 'unpin' a post by unticking/checking the box and it will revert to normal behaviour.You can also pin more than one thread, if you really need to.
We'll have to wait until May or until Moodle admins upgrade their sites to Moodle 3.1, but I think it will be a useful addition