Teaching with Moodle

Commenting on course content like FutureLearn?

Matt Bury
Commenting on course content like FutureLearn?
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers


I've seen this question has come up before on Moodle.org (that discussion is old and now closed).

FutureLearn, the Open University's MOOC platform, has an interesting feature in its course content that enables students to post comments next to/below course content, e.g. text or video.

Screenshot of FutureLearn's commenting feature

This can be achieved as one-off page of content plus comments/discussion with the Forum activity module and also a slightly different effect with the 3rd party Hot Question activity module, i.e. students can vote comments up and down.

These options are interesting but presenting several pages/slides of content with comments in this way, i.e. as a coherent, cohesive "lesson" would be rather clunky, e.g.

  • A Forum instance with a discussion thread for each page/slide

  • Some way of ordering and linking the threads/pages/slides to each other

So has anyone come up with a less clunky solution or is there a plugin that can enable this kind of functionality?

Thanks in advance,

Matt smile

FutureLearn: https://www.futurelearn.com/ (Registration and enrollments are easy and free)

Average of ratings: Useful (1)
Picture of C Schipper
Re: Commenting on course content like FutureLearn?

Have you tried having a play around with the Comments block?

Also, having a look at the way United for wildlife does commenting on materials might help: https://learn.unitedforwildlife.org/ (free signup). Their site is Moodle-based.

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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Commenting on course content like FutureLearn?
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Hi Matt,

As for a likely plugin that can do most of what you want, have you thought about trying the Content Pages (mod_icontent) plugin? It allows students to post questions and notes below the content. Notes can be private or featured. Questions can be public or private to the teacher/tutor only. Content is presented very similar to the way presentation slides are shown. The teacher can even provide quiz questions for a grade, but not every question type is supported. It also seems you can have as many pages of content as you want.

As for the Hot Question plugin, it would be interesting to modify the submitdirections field for it to allow for some "content". Right now it only allows text up to 255 characters long, but could be easily modified. Again, all the student input would appear below and a big limitation would be that it would not allow multiple "pages" of content.

Average of ratings: Useful (1)