I thought that I would post this idea here in the Moodle forums in order to stimulate ideas before posting this as a feature request in Moodle Tracker.
One thing that has bothered me with Moodle forums is the inability to move individual forum posts around to other specific locations. This need occurs, for example, when students post to the wrong forum or topic. Since I am the manager (and teacher) in my moodle, I tend to solve this problem by logging in as the student, copying in incorrect student post, making a new post to the correct location, and then deleting the original wrong post. Wow, this is some effort but doable. So I am sharing an idea that might solve this problem, while not replacing Moodle’s current feature to move a topic to a different location.
In one of the recent upgrades moodle implemented a “Permalink” for every post, which is really a subtle but great feature. I have grown to love this Permalink feature for whenever I need to reference a post, either within or outside Moodle. This Permalink allows one direct someone to a very specific post to anywhere within Moodle. For example, I can say “See Mary’s post about changing CSS code” and by clicking on this, you are taken right to Mary’s post that I want you to see.
I wonder if a post’s permalink might serve as a target for moving or copying posts around. Maybe this would be called “move/copy to permalink.” Here is the idea. Let’s say that a student makes a post to the wrong topic and I want to fix this mistake. I go to the forum/topic/post where I want to move this incorrect post, copy its permalink, return to the incorrect post, click on “move to permalink”, and paste the permalink to where I want to move this post and click okay!
I am not a database expert, but my guess is that every post in Moodle knows who its parent post is, maybe by permalink. All that might be needed is to replace this “parent location” of the incorrectly located post with the preferred location by using the correct permalink. Not being a php programmer, I have no idea how hard this feature is to code, but it seems like it would be a great new feature.
Some other consideration might be:
1) Should only teachers have this ability to move posts?
2) Might students be permitted to move their posts? Maybe a new forum setting “Allow students to move posts?” Maybe a system setting? Maybe a course setting?
3) Which other roles should have this ability to move or copy posts?
4) How to keep the current “Move” feature and integrate this new “move to permalink” feature.
5) Should this feature be implemented as a “button” or should it show itself where “Edit” and other items are shown?
6) If someone clicks on “Move to Permalink” should a dialog box be used to ask if this is a Move or a Copy?
7) What should be done with “child” posts? Might this be another question in the dialog box, such as “include all child posts?” Might only teachers be able to move all children?
8) Should there be an “undo” method?
Eventually, it would be great to be able to implement this idea in some form of drag-and-drop motion. This can be a future feature. For now, I would be very satisfied with manually copying/pasting the permalink into a dialog box.
What do you think?