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Picture of Rhett Michelson
Editing Forum Discussions
 
It seems that editing (even for the administrator) is set to 30 minutes by default. Any way to shut that off?? At least as administrator it would be nice to be able to edit things rather than have to delete everything to make changes.
 
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Art Lader
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Documentation writers
You can go into the database to do it. Be careful, though.

-- Art Lader
 
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Picture of Herbert Keijers
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Yes of course you can ... being the admin ...
Suppose you have one "bad" post followed by 5 "good" ones.
The only option a teacher has is to delete the entire tree.
If there were an option to edit the post (as a teacher) he could censure (?) the bad section by xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
or ...
he will ask the admin to remove things in the post and having work enough I don't like that smile

 
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Picture of Gustav W Delius
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

You could change the line

        if ($age < $CFG->maxeditingtime) {

to

        if ($age < $CFG->maxeditingtime or isadmin()) {

in cvs:/moodle/mod/forum/lib.php. Then you as administrator could always change your own post. If you also change the preceeding line from

    if ($ownpost) {

to

    if ($ownpost or isadmin()) {

then you can edit anyone's posts. evil

 
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Picture of Herbert Keijers
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
This is a nice one !
Thanks Gustav big grin
 
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Picture of Rhett Michelson
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Ahhh, excellent! Thank you very much for the reply!
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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Unless anyone has any objections I will add this to Moodle 1.2.

Note this means I can now easily edit all of your posts in this course. evil

Edit:  Especially Koen's English!   wink  wink  wink  wink
 
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Picture of koen roggemans
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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Then please to korrect poor English of me grijnsgrijnsgrijnsgrijns
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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I have modified both of the above posts. smile

To be serious though, I'm really concerned about the potential for abuse or even just confusion this could cause. Having the edit button on everyone's post makes it very tempting to use, and some admins may not realise what effect their actions are having in an already fragile information ecosystem.

I'm definitely think this should be a optional feature that needs to be turned on.

I'm also wondering if we need to automatically add a line like "Last edited by someperson, on somedate".
 
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Picture of koen roggemans
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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I have modified both of the above posts.

Great, now I can learn from my mistakes gemengd gevoel

I'm definitely think this should be a optional feature that needs to be turned on.

I agree

I'm also wondering if we need to automatically add a line like "Last edited by someperson, on somedate".

That really sounds like a good suggestion. Would it be possible to put the edited (added) lines in a different color too ?

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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There seems to be a little sorting bug on the course main display under "New forum posts:".

The edited post (18 Feb, 04:19 - koen roggemans) appears in first position, before previous posts (eg. 17 Feb, 21:30 - Sébastien Jaffrédo). It seems to be sorted by creation date, but the displayed date is the modification one.
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Martin wrote:
I'm also wondering if we need to automatically add a line like "Last edited by someperson, on somedate".

Yes, I have seen this done in phpBB (using very small text)  and it clearly shows if and when someone has edited a post.  Useful.

Also, Francoise Blin and I have been discussing teaching writing skills, where peer editing techniques are used extensively.  She is interested in a switch to turn editing on for students in a particular forum, not just universally.   I and other writing teachers would use that kind of feature extensively. 
 
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Me and Ray
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

Don,

Hans de Zwart suggests making a wiki using a modified, editable form of the forum, and I agree but, in any event, in addition to editable forums as you were discussing with Francoise Blin some sort of cooperative writing ability would be highly prized especially by language teachers and learners (including Koen, and I?). Perhaps you might consider resurecting the library.

The link box is pretty big at the moment, eh.

 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

Wiki people are from another planet: Bad words filters? NO! They trust eachother.
Anyone - yes you - can change any page on most Public Wiki sites.(look for the word edit..) To give some examples:

http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?WikiWikiWeb

http://purplewiki.blueoxen.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?HomePage

http://wiki.editme.com/

http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?Wiki~FoxProWiki

http://www.intertwingly.net/wiki/pie/FrontPage

http://wiki.gnustep.org/

To be honest most of these systems store all versions of  a page to reconstruct it after a disaster.

and.. http://erfurtwiki.sourceforge.net

  • Would be great to have that last one as part of Moodle for student workspaces and working on online documents..
  • In educational settings you will choose for a group-password
    (the better systems have levels of rights: view rights, add rights. I use http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/swiki for working on groupproducts until wiki is in Moodle)

 
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Picture of Françoise Blin
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
From a pedagogical point of view, an option for course owners to decide who can edit what, where and when would really enhance the already powerful features of the forums. While most of us (language teachers) would generally use forums to develop fluency, there are times when we want to focus on form and enable the development of accuracy.

I know Martin is concerned that this could confuse those who are subscribed to a forum where editing is allowed. This is a very valid point but perhaps there could be a way of disabling the subscribing feature when 'editing' is turned on?

If we could get this working, this would be extremely useful.

Following a similar idea, if the teacher could edit students' journals directly (by highlighting some structures, inserting comments at a specific point, etc.) this would also be of tremendous value (to me anyway...). I am fully aware that I may be asking for something quite complex to implement (I am not a programmer...) but teaching writing skills in a foreign language is complex in itself.

And of course, my dream would be to have a module allowing collaborative writing on line...

Françoise
 
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Picture of Allyson Roberts
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

Francoise

Absolutely. As a fellow language teacher and one who is trying to set up a collaborative writing proect online, I am also stuck by the limitations of threaded disucssion spaces and like you, really encourage Martin to take us to the  collaborative writing space of the future smile

Have you tried to use Wikis? I have not yet explored them in any depth.

I would love to hear about your site.

Allyson.

 
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Picture of Tom Murdock
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Hey guys, collaborative writing ideas in Moodle have been discussed at length before. Just search for collaborative and wiki in the search forum. A number of people have "started" projects for collaborative writing, but not finished them. In the meanwhile, if teachers really, really want to edit journals in-line, they can quickly log-in as the student, edit the journal, and use a different font color to include in-line comments.

There may be limitations on discussion spaces in Moodle, but to be fair you should consider what values the existing structures impose on a community of writers. The journal is a place to think and rethink privately. The forum, however, is a public space where we respond to each other. To revise the forum is to mess with history. For example:

Say I become hot-tempered in a post and flame somebody. Perhaps two other participants respond to that flame with fair criticism. If I can go back and edit out the temper-tantrum, someone will read the forum and think the two responses to my initial post were inappropriately harsh. Now when someone reads the thread, as a whole are they really seeing what transpired?

The fact that we error in communication and might need to face criticism, speaks to another really significant element of the writing process: that what we say becomes permanent. I find that there is a great laziness in prose from my students because they are used to writing in instant messenger applications. Their shortcuts, their misspellings, their rants are, for the most part, written on the air. Forums should have a different feel. There should be times in the writing process when we edit and revise (read journals, exercises, assignments, workshops, etc.) but there have to be public moments when things stand as record. If I make the terrible mistake of insulting one of my students in class on a Thursday, there is no way on Friday of taking those words back. In this way, I think the forum should stand as a record and encourage everyone to consider the audience from the start.

Likewise, I feel comfortable calling students on specific posts on occasion. Buddy, do you see how you didn't read the preceding posts carefully? Pal, do you see how you said something quickly in haste that has turned into an incredibly complicated debate? I would rather have his NEXT post reveal that he heard my suggestion, rather than have him revise history and make it not stand for anything.

Forums are "snapshots in time" of a "public us" that I think reveal our passion, our ideas, and what we have missed. It is usually in the "what we have missed" part that we need the commentary of others in order to grow. (As I am sure that I will be lectured by other Moodlers for whatever blinds me at the moment. smile -- I'm ready for it!).

best,
Tom
 
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Picture of Allyson Roberts
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

Tom

Maybe we need to differentiate between users' needs on this matter of editing. I come from the language teaching area, where at times, I need my students to go through a process of peer editing. This means they need to be able to make comment directly onto a shared text, not add comment within a thread. The text needs to be in front of them, so as we would with pen and paper, comments can be added. This finally  results in changes in draft, which of course is written by the orignal writer. Authority (ownership of the docuemnt) is not in question.

There seems  not to be a unified understanding of editing. From a langugae leanrners' perpsective, it is a valuable tool for learning about / working with the details of language, message adn meaning, not just simply a mater of replying to a message.

Where now?

Allyson

 
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Picture of Tom Murdock
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Yes, I agree, this is a process that is absolutely critical in language development. I just don't perceive the forum module as being the best tool for the task. A wiki-like, multi-versioned document is probably best solution for this kind of work. One promising module is being looked at by Mike Churchward here. Does this fit the bill?

-T
 
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Picture of George Kao
The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 

Tom,

You've written an excellent explanation here of the philosophy underlying the "no editing after 30 minutes" limitation of Moodle.  I vote for it to be included in the FAQ!

That said, this thou shalt not edit thy post after 30 minutes limitation, it seems to me, is one of the major drawbacks of Moodle.  Other popular forum software, such as phpBB and BlackBoard, all allow a person to edit his post for as long as he wants... or at least gives the admin the option of turning that  feature on or off.

The option to edit one's post for as long as one wants encourages open and more honest / authentic online communication.  I have seen this transpire in my courses on Blackboard.  The reality is that most people do not use the edit feature... they're too busy.  But knowing that it's available should they need to is very comforting and encourages them to post their thoughts anyway, even if it is not perfectly written.

It's not that with the "edit anytime" feature, a student would post just anything, without concern for quality-- they know that even if they edit it later, someone may have already read the first version.  So they tend to use that feature responsibly, or at their own risk.

Forcing a posting to be set in stone after 30 minutes, as it were, is a scary thing, especially for perfectionistic personality types, of which there are quite a few in my classes... it can discourage open and authentic reflection.

I am kind of dreading showing Moodle to our students for this very reason. 

Almost everything else about Moodle is an improvement over BlackBoard.

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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George, you say you like Tom's description (which is excellent and I totally agree with) but then you carry on as you hadn't read it.

This is not just an "at their own risk" issue. Editing posts after they have been mailed out and after people have read them affects everybody.

Suddenly things people remember can't be found anymore, history is revised, the fragile web of memories that makes up a community is broken. There needs to be a place where some record of interactions is preserved and forums is that place. The process of discussion is as important as a polished final text, particularly in collaborative learning.

Imagine if our most public social forums (such as the mass media) could be rewritten by politicians and celebrities whenever they felt like it!

Four solutions for you:

  1. Firstly, Moodle has other places for reflective rewriting, such as journals (and soon Blogs), and also places for public collaborative writing (such as Wikis, Glossaries, Exercises etc). I suspect the reason BB and PhpBB have these features is because there are no other place they could put them.
  2. Note that the 30 minutes is an admin option (you can set it anywhere from 1 minute up to 60 minutes)
  3. Secondly, 30 minutes re-editing does not mean a 30-minute limit on editing ... on your first edit you can take hours if you want. You can take weeks if you want, using a journal or your own word processor, then copy and paste into a forum.
  4. Lastly, Moodle is open source. If you truly feel your students can't deal with the change (and I strongly suggest you do real research on this before assuming it's the case) then it's a three-line hack to make it work your way.

In mod/forum/lib.php and mod/forum/post.php, change this line:

OLD: $adminedit = (isadmin() and !empty($CFG->admineditalways));
NEW: $adminedit = (!empty($CFG->admineditalways));

And add this to your config.php:

$CFG->admineditalways = true;
 
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Picture of George Kao
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 

Martin, thank you for that thoughtful (and very prompt) answer!

I agree that this issue is different here in Moodle (vs. BlackBoard) because Moodle sends email, so in a sense, the email is the official record of the posting.  BlackBoard has no email feature (and because of this, Moodle already has great advantage over BlackBoard). 

You say it's a one-line hack to make editing available forever... I would love to know this solution! 

Even though I am starting to understand the philosophy of a posting being a permanent record, all the students and faculty at my school have been trained by BlackBoard to expect to have the ability to edit.  I want to give that option to them (as well as explain why they might not want to use it) to avoid a revolt.

Thanks for understanding.

Learning how to transition BlackBoard-brainwashed users over to Moodle, 

George

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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No, I said three-line hack. And the hack was included ... I don't know how much clearer I could make it!  wink



 
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Picture of George Kao
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 

LOL!!

ok ok you got me!

still, I would like to know how to do that two-(or however many)-line hack smile

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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But I already told you above!  Are you blind?    wink
 
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Picture of George Kao
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 

...giving me a taste of my own medicine.  argh!!  smile

 
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Picture of N Hansen
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
LOL!  In a situation where there were a bunch of teenagers or not so mature adults (which I have seen before) the ability to edit forever could be abused. One could attack others and then change it later. Especially since Moodle does not add a tag saying that a post has been edited, there is plenty of room for shenanigans with unlimited editing.
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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Even with a tag saying that a post has been edited there is still no way of knowing why it was edited and what it used to say.  It's a slippery slope.

Seriously, if anyone wants this they should look at the Wiki module, permanent editing is exactly what it was meant for.
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
Hi Martin!

Does the post automatically indicate if an instructor/admin has altered or adjusted a post and the date and time it was done?

If not, could that be an optional feature?

WP1
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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The timestamp is updated, yes (you can see this in the posts above).  But this doesn't mean people will notice it.
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
Hi Martin,

Let me clarify my questions.
  • Is there a notice generated somewhere within a post (usually at the bottom) that the post has been adjusted/corrected by a admin/teacher with date and timestamp?
  • If so, can it be an administrative option determined in each forum for this notice to show?
WP1
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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No, and yes, it could.  wink
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
smile big grin

WP1

 
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Picture of W Page
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
Hi N!

And "shenanigan" some of them will.  I think a good forum policy adjusted to the forum topic and located at the top of the forum page helps with this issue.

Any other opinions?

WP1
 
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Picture of N Hansen
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
I was just reading an interview with the founder of Craigslist. In it he mentions how the forums on his Web site allow users to flag posts they think are abuse of some kind. I think having something like that in Moodle would be kind of nice, and would promote a sense of collective good behavior and free up the teacher from having to closely monitor behavior in busy forums.
 
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Ray Lawrence
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
(Not read the interview) Not sure about that as the means to promote good collective behavior. Isn't that part of the teacher's role i.e. to exercise judgement under the protocols of the course?

Plus, if a teacher can't  properly monitor busy forums isn't there an underlying issue about student numbers?


 
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Picture of N Hansen
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
What if there is a strictly social forum within a course, or a forum whose primary purpose is for students to discuss among themselves? Must a teacher read every post in such forums? Or what if the teacher is not reading the posts 24 hours a day or is backlogged on reading them and isn't yet aware? Or what if it is a publicly accessible course where anyone can post anything so there is risk of abuse? Just yesterday I found a link to a pornographic web site had been inserted into the developer documentation wiki here at Moodle, which I edited out. But what if something like that got posted in a forum? It would be nice if there were a way for participants to flag such things, so that a teacher could attend to such problems as quickly as possible before they get out of hand. It's not a substitute for teacher monitoring, just a way of flagging something for immediate attention by the teacher and his or her judgment in the end.
 
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Picture of Gustav W Delius
I was blind too.
 
I must admit I was blind as well. I tend to read forum messages in my email client which is very convenient. However the email of your post did not contain the hack. Was that stripped out by the mailer or did you edit your post after the mailing had taken place. If the later then this is a good example of the confusion that editing after the mailing can create.
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: I was blind too.
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That's precisely the point I was trying to make. smile
 
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Picture of George Kao
Allow students to edit only their own posts...
 

Hi Martin,

How to allow students to edit only their own posts?  Your solution above (in its current incarnation big grin) allows a student to edit any post, regardless if they wrote it or not.

Thanks for your help,
George

 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Martin -

I agree with your assessment completely. A forum, in the context of the way it is used in Moodle, is a record of a conversation - a historical record - it cannot be changed.

For this reason, I'm puzzled why there is a 'delete' option on posts. Deleting a post in this record can also mess up the continuity and drastically change the meaning. I just spent quite a bit of time tracking down a post that I read via RSS that no longer exists on the Moodle site.

Shouldn't we consider removing the delete function as well (for the same reasons)?

I guess the administrator (or teacher) should still be able to delete posts that have broken rules of conduct, but so should they be able to edit posts for the same reason (editing could be less destructive; remove offensive words). If deleting is allowed, something should be added in its place ('post deleted for reason X').

I propose that deleting a post should follow the same rules as editing.

mike
 
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Picture of Gustav W Delius
"Delete" should follow same rules as "Edit"
 
I completely agree with Mike: Deleting posts should be restricted in the same way as editing posts. This was also requested in bug 1273. Any objections?
 
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Picture of George Kao
Re: "Delete" should follow same rules as "Edit"
 

I respectfully disagree.  Because if you eliminate even the "delete" option, you isolate a lot of potential Moodle users, especially those switching over from BlackBoard, or phpBB or other popular forum software.

In BlackBoard, the teacher can choose whether a student is allowed to edit or delete his own post, regardless of time frame.  Note that BlackBoard is widely used in major universities.  A huge potential customer pool for Moodle.  Our college (not yet a major school) has switched over from BlackBoard to Moodle, and one of the few things we're discontented with is the inability in Moodle for students to edit posts after 30 minutes (or whatever time frame). 

In phpBB (one of the most popular forum softwares of all time), users can edit posts for as long as they want, and a note appears at the bottom of the post "Last edited [time and date]".

I suggest keeping the delete option.  And also, adding in the ability for an author to edit his own post regardless of timeframe, or at least, allow the teacher to set this option.

If you insist on eliminating the ability to delete, could you make it at least an option that teachers could set?

Thanks!

 
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Picture of Gustav W Delius
Re: "Delete" should follow same rules as "Edit"
 
I don't think that you are disagreeing with the idea that "Delete" and "Edit" should follow the same rules. They probably do for BlackBoard. If "Edit" and "Delete" are made to follow the same rules then it will only make it easier for you to hack your copy of Moodle to change those rules to your liking.
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: "Delete" should follow same rules as "Edit"
 
But why "hack" Gustav?  What about making it an Admin  and teacher (course) choice to do - Edit and Delete?

WP1
 
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Picture of Daryl Hawes
Re: "Delete" should follow same rules as "Edit"
 
Speaking of hacking in the ability to extend/remove max editing time - the solution I use on my site is documented in moodle bug #849, fyi.

http://moodle.org/bugs/bug.php?op=show&bugid=849&pos=2
 
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Picture of George Kao
Allow editing of a post regardless of time
 
Daryl, this might be the solution I've been looking for! smile

Has it worked well?  Are there any potential issues I should be aware of before using the hack?

Thanks so much!
 
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Picture of Daryl Hawes
Re: Allow editing of a post regardless of time
 
I have discovered no technical problems with it so far. There is the obvious problem that this thread is centered on - late editing can cause discontiguos and odd forum threads.
Daryl
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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I'm undecided on this one, but let's take it to bug 1273.
 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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Once again, the delete function has bitten me. I received a forum post in my email, read it, spent the effort to reply to it, went to the site to post and the post I was replying to was gone.

This is really distracting. I really think that deleting has to follow the same rules as editing.

mike
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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Yeah, on balance I agree.  Leave it with me.

Note, though, that the same thing can still happen if you are replying to a post that hadn't been mailed out yet.  Someone could delete it from under you.  However, I don't recall this ever happening to me.
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
Hello Martin!

The change you made was for Moodle.org only and not for the distribution?  Correct??

WP1
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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Incorrect, WP, it's in Moodle 1.4 now.
 
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Picture of N Hansen
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
 
I sometimes delete my posts, but I do it to save people the trouble that you went through-wasting your time answering a post unnecessarily. Sometimes I have a question, but five minutes later I find the answer myself and don't want to waste anyone's time answering it, so I come back and delete it. 
 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: The philosophy underlying "no editing after 30 minutes"
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Yes. I understand that completely. The problem is that the post may have already been emailed out (or read on-line) as was the case here. When a post can be edited or deleted after it has been read or replied to, it messes up the history of the conversation. That's the flaw we have to wrestle with.

I think the 30 minute time out period is a good compromise, although not perfect. Even before the 30 minute time-out someone could have read or responded.

mike
 
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Picture of Roger Palay
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
I thought this was a wonderful discussion ... I skimmed through most of it and decided to add a reply here, after Tom's ever so correct observation. What happened to the idea of marking edits for what they are, as is done in a word processor? I would maintain that the author, and only the author, of a submission should be able to edit that submission. Such a change should be allowed at any time. Changes before anyone else has read the submission should be made without note of the change (no harm, no foul). After a submission has been read by someone else, the author should be able to make changes, but the changes should be noted. There are many ways to do this and I am sure better minds than mine will determine the best approach. Thanks, Rog.
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
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The simple problem is that regardless of how you mark things as edited, you are continually forcing people to re-read things they thought they had read already, increasing their workload considerably for very little gain.

You can't edit speech, you can't edit email and letters (once sent), and you can't edit face-to-face activity.  Forums are the online analogy of this and should be that way.  It's a very particular kind of time-oriented interaction that shouldn't be messed with. 

I feel very strongly about this.   Leave all the editing to the other modules designed for it.
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Nice conversation!  And I agree with all points (please don't change my words, Martin wink )

Martin wrote:
You can't edit speech, you can't edit email and letters (once sent), and you can't edit face-to-face activity.  Forums are the online analogy of this and should be that way.  It's a very particular kind of time-oriented interaction that shouldn't be messed with.

Yes, in a serial analogy, speech is uneditable, like a ticker-tape of stock prices.  But communication is more than the actual words we speak, isn't it?  As we construct knowledge, don't we edit speech in our minds?  The resulting concept in our heads is an incomplete or overcomplete summary of a conversation, including interconnections to other thoughts and points. 

Discussions/Forums have many purposes and some purposes could be for re-usable knowledge.  Normally we pre-plan documents and put this re-usable knowledge into FAQs and Resources and Documentation.  But what if at first we didn't intend to create re-usable knowledge, or didn't have authority to create it?  Sometimes a simple forum question generates discussion that becomes worthy.   We may need to think about intermediary forms of condensed insights--less pre-planned than a FAQ or glossary.   How do we transform a useful discussion into something more permanent.  How many great threads like this disappear into the old-thread wasteland?

I don't where this is leading.  smile   I am not so concerned about editing individual threads, though there are times when it seemed to me absolutely necessary.  I am also not so concerned that ticker-tape historical records of conversations be preserved.  That is nice, but they will be forgotten.  What bothers me is how to crystalize the new knowledge that is created in forums?   What if we had wiki-like summary boxes at the top of a thread where a moderator could pull together thoughts?  I imagine group consensus on policies, how-tos, and lecture points could be hammered out this way.   

In short, I think we need discussion tools where heavier forms of moderation/facilitation can be applied.  I am eager to try the Wiki tool to do this but I have doubts--isn't it a single document, not a discussion?   One example of an expanded discussion is polling attached to forums.  This is a very useful combination, because comments can explain the reasons for a particular vote.  We have also talked about "great"threads getting assigned as "sticky" threads that stay at the top.   What if we could keep this thread intact (uneditable) and then attach a summary at the top and stick it in a place where anyone concerned about forum tool development could see it?
 
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Ray Lawrence
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hmm. How about the ability to archive part of the discussion rather than delete it? The first post after the archived part of the discussion would need to be a summary of what had gone before. also one would need to be able to access the archived posts (which I suppose would need to be searchable too).

Would this solve some of these issues? Is it possible?








(p.s. stuff just keep appearing on this site! This is an anchor)


 
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Picture of Kingsley Kerce
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Don Hinkleman wrote:
Martin wrote:
You can't edit speech, you can't edit email and letters (once sent), and you can't edit face-to-face activity. Forums are the online analogy of this and should be that way. It's a very particular kind of time-oriented interaction that shouldn't be messed with.

Yes, in a serial analogy, speech is uneditable, like a ticker-tape of stock prices. But communication is more than the actual words we speak, isn't it? As we construct knowledge, don't we edit speech in our minds? The resulting concept in our heads is an incomplete or overcomplete summary of a conversation, including interconnections to other thoughts and points.

You can have both: the unedited original discussion, and an edited resulting concept written elsewhere. Keep the forum content as it was written, except insert (i.e., in another forum post) hyperlinks off to a static page which provides a summary.

How do we transform a useful discussion into something more permanent. How many great threads like this disappear into the old-thread wasteland?

It's already permanent. Part of learning how to use forums effectively is to learn to search them effectively. Consider Google Groups (once known as DejaNews), the archive of Usenet news postings dating back to the 1980's. What a treasure trove! I can't count how many answers I've gotten from it.
If users would just learn how to effectively research a topic; it's not easy, but neither is being intelligent.

What bothers me is how to crystalize the new knowledge that is created in forums? What if we had wiki-like summary boxes at the top of a thread where a moderator could pull together thoughts?

Why must the summary be on the same page as the thread? Why not intersperse reply posts which include hyperlinks to static pages containing summaries?

I am eager to try the Wiki tool to do this but I have doubts--isn't it a single document, not a discussion?

Please take the time to research the wiki concept. There are exemplary wiki sites which not only describe the concept in words, but display it in action.
Google for wiki: the best sites are in the first three results.
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
The current Moodle search does bother me, and moodle.com has just engaged a programmer to develop a decent google-like search function.
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Re-using dicussions: absolutely very important.  And in that context (within an archive) it might even make sense to edit a discussion for clarity.  But that's different from everybody editing their own posts all the time.
 
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Picture of Eduardo Mayorga
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Yes, this is a good option UBBthreads has it. And it leaves that message
 
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Picture of Peter Sereinigg
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

übel Please do this Breite Grinsen

Peter

 
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Picture of Peter Sereinigg
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

is this part of 1.2 ..........would help me a lot!!!!!!

Peter

 
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Picture of John Gone
Re: Editing Forum Discussions: HOW?
Group Developers
Moodle 1.2 Beta 2004022400
I've retrieved http://cvs.sourceforge.net/viewcvs.py/moodle/moodle/mod/forum/lib.php
and installed but still can't figure out how to edit a forum post. I'm logged in as admin. Any help, clues, hints or pointers would be appreciated.
 
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Picture of Gustav W Delius
Re: Editing Forum Discussions: HOW?
 

Did you uncomment the line

$CFG->admineditalways = true;

in config.php?

 
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Picture of John Gone
Re: Editing Forum Discussions: HOW?
Group Developers
Of course not blush Thanks Gustav. I've done this now and all's well, thanks again.
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Folks!

  • What about the ability to preview a post before posting it. I think it might help a bit. The reason is the Text window can be limiting so one may not know how a post will look until after actually posting it. This is very true if you inclue an image with the post. .

  • Also there is no spell checker right now [although one is one the way].

  • This is also another problem. Occasionally one cannot edit a post. Something happens and something freezes while editing the post. Sometimes one has to delete a post they may have saved less than 30 minutes before because they cannot make the correction for some reason and then re-write the post.

Just a few things to keep in mind before making a decision about this.

WP1
 
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Ray Lawrence
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Preview: Ok, but one sees the post immediately it is posted and has time to edit it.

Spell Checker: Prediction - Grief Ahoy. I don't know about other languages but keeping English users happy will be a task in itself. So what if each post isn't perfectly spelled?

Cant edit post: Can't comment, have never experienced this.

Ray
 
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Picture of W Page
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
Hi Ray!

Sometimes the thread is very long and takes a while to load.  A preview page would be shorter and quicker to load.

A multi-language spellchecker is on the way.

WP1
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Yeah, I'm not exactly hanging out for a spelling checker myself, but lots of people seem to need the help.  wink
 
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Picture of Gene Koo
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

I think it's both patronizing and presumptuous to impose an artificial limit on editing time upon Moodle users. If Moodle admins choose to utilize "bad pedagogy" or whatever is being railed against in this thread, what business is it of the developers to impose that viewpoint when it would be trivial to give the option?

Like it or not (and I don't), forums are currently the flexible and adaptable method of sharing information on Moodle. The announcements section is a forum -- we have no choice in that matter! We utilize this forum for announcing activity pairings, and these change. It is ridiculous to force us to choose between (a) abandoning the announcements, or (b) posting replies to ourselves correcting the original post, which forces students to read the entire thread before figuring out exactly what's going on.

If an editable blog performed the default news function in Moodle, I'd be more (but not perfectly) happy with this design decision, but since it's not, and since there is more than one way to use a forum not simply for learning discussion purposes, I feel this is an unnecessary restriction on users' ability to use Moodle as they see fit.

 
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Picture of Charles Applegate
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 

I got around this in 1.8.2+ by editing mod/forum/lib.php around line 2257 to

    if ($ownpost or $editanypost) {
        //if (($age < $CFG->maxeditingtime) or $editanypost) {
            $commands[] =  '<a href="'.$CFG->wwwroot.'/mod/forum/post.php?edit='.$post->id.'">'.$stredit.'</a>';
        //}
    }

i.e. always allow the edit link...

 
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Picture of Gordon Graber
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
It is now 2010, has this been implemented as an option on a forum by forum basis yet or not? No. Why not? It is completely inane to limit users/students use of the discussion forums on a global basis. The pedagogy this seems to be based on is really only desirable in assessment situations, and there are many cases were it is good pedagogy to allow student complete freedom to edit for the duration of the course.

There must also be a start and stop date on each forum. Without these types of configurable features, the Moodle Discussion forum is less than desirable.
 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

just found this thread, and i think it needs to change.

on twitter i can delete, on facebook i can delete, in forums like quora.com,stackoverflow.com etc i can edit and it stores when i edit the reply/comment.

it's a paradime users are used to, and when you take it away from them its probably not a good thing.

 

 

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

The problem is that Moodle forums are threaded. I have now replied to you. If you now delete your post, where does my post go?

(Actually, sam solved that in ForumNG, were moderators can delete a post at any time. The post gets replaced by a 'This post was deleted by the moderator' placehodler.)

Perhaps more seriously, if you could edit your post, then my reply might no longer make sense. Once you have added your thoughts to a discussion, and others have read them, and perhaps built on them, then I am afraid that your contribution is no longer just yours. It has become a part of the thread, and should stand as is.

Also, after the 30 minute time-out, that is when the post has been emailed to all the subscriber's mailboxes, so editing it after that won't be seen by many people.

On the examples you cite. Twitter and Factbook are about having a personal space online where you can express yourself. No problem if you can do what you like there.

I'm not familiar with quora.

stackoverflow 'discussions' are not deeply nested. It seems be restircted to three levels: question/reply/comments no reply. So that makes it easier to delete most things. I am, however, really surprised if they let you delete your question if several other poeple have written good answers, or rated it highly, or edited it for clarity.

Anyway, for me the 30 minute editing time-out is a good compromise. It gives you time to notice and fix most of your errors, while still allowing subscription emails to be sent, and other people to build in your ideas in the discussion.

If you every really need to amend your ideas later, you can either reply to yourself with the new thoughts, or you can find a moderator to make the edits for you.

 
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Picture of luciano biondo
Re: Editing Forum Discussions
 
I don't like the idea to change/delete my old mail: almost nobody would notice it.

I don't like the idea to reply to myself: in nested view, my reply would be shown in a crazy invisible place and not at the end of the thread, so it can't suggest to develop a discussion.

A different way to solve problem: reply to myself with a link. So, if I want to change my old email:
1) I can open a new thread, and I write there my email in its new version (if needed, including an "errata-corrige"), with a link to previous thread;
2) in the "old" thread I can reply to myself with a link to the new thread, and everybody can understand that there is a new version of the mail elsewhere.

Moodle contains in itself a lot of solutions to a lot of new problems.The real problem (with old and new mails) is that with Moodle 2 mails are sent to subscribers without css, in a very bad and unreadable view. Can anybody solve THIS problem?

Luciano
 
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