I am hosting my first Moodle course. I have established a number of discussion Forums. Is there a way to reply privately to forum posts, i.e. reply that is visible only to the individual posting and not to others in the Forum?
Alternatively, this is not very flexible but if you
1) create a custom scale (click on the scale staircase icon in the course view) and include in it the comments you would like to leave
2) make grades visible only to the person who was graded option in the forum setup
3) and then award that grade to the student using the drop down menu.
Then the comment will be visible to the student only, I believe.
When I click to create a custom scale, I'm not provided the option of a text comment option. When as teacher I review the student's input, I do have a pull-down menu, and can register my rating, but in order to make a comment, I must click alternatively to "reply", in which case the feedback is distributed to all subscribers of the forum.
Perhaps others can help us with suggestions. I would think this would be quite a common situation. In my course, I've set up forums by the week with discussion questions divided by groups. (I've not tested this as yet, but I hope that my groups are only getting mail when they subscribe from group segments of the class forum!) There are times when I want to comment publicly in order to facilitate discussion, and there are times when I want to direct a student's attention to issues that I'd not raise before the entire class. In reading some threads here at Moodle suggesting open email to everybody about everything, I'm rather amazed at my apparently conservative position on this issue of openness.
Before exploring Moodle, I've been a user of Drupal, a more generic php open source tool. It does a nice job with blogs, and in some ways a better job with forums, and is weak in many tool areas. But with any post, one may either post a reply, or post an email to the author, and that has sure made sense to me.
Does anyone know if there are plans to add this capability to the forum module?
If someone hasn't started, then maybe we will.
Years later: this is still a major gap for me. For a discussion-oriented class like philosophy, it's always useful for students to see each other's work, but often equally important to have a vehicle for confidential evaluative feedback. Good evaluative feedback in my field rarely takes the simplistic form that could be summarized within brief customized grading scales.
Emails/IMs don't work well when we have graders (TAs) as well as professors, and I need easy recognition (as professor) of whether a TA has shared feedback with a given student. Having the confidential comment *in* the forum thread, but visible only to the student and professor, is ideal.
Nudge, nudge to whomever may be developing with an eye toward requests...
Weird, I was coming here to see if this exact thing was possible. Forums are great in that you can "grade" them with ratings but the next step is to give comments on that grade.
I'm wondering if you can create a "group" and put the teacher in that group..then all of the other students can not see teh other groups comments (which is only the teacher).
It might be possible, although a little clunky, to set up an offline activity that relates to the forum, but into which you put grades and comments for the forum so that only the students those relate to can see them.
Probably not the best workaround, but a possibility?