Blocks: Discussion Feed

block_discussion_feed
Maintained by Picture of Manoj Solanki Manoj Solanki, Picture of Jez H Jez H
This block aggregates and displays the latest discussions from all forums for all courses a user is enrolled on. It is possible to reply to posts when the block is displayed in the dashboard. On a course page, the block allows a user to reply to posts as well as create new discussions for a forum.
23 sites
89 downloads
4 fans

Moodle Discussion Feed

This block displays the latest discussions from a course on a frontpage, dashboard page, or course home page.  It will allow a user to reply to any post.  In addition, on a course home page, it will allow a user to create a new discussion if there is a forum of type "general forum" available within the course.  This block uses functionality from the course_discuss block and a forum is linked to a course implicitly by the block so it can be used to store any new discussions. 

The video below shows the discussion feed in use alongside two other plugins (Course Discuss and News Slider):



Guidelines for use

*Note: Each course will require a valid forum activity module and the block plugin course_discuss will need to be installed prior to this plugin.*

As per the course_discuss block, this plugin will silently assign itself to a relevant forum in the course to use when the block is first rendered on a course page, if it can and if one is not assigned already. 

The block should be added to a block region that will appear on the frontpage, dashboard page and course homepage

When using Adaptable, this can be achieved by adding the block to the dashboard page in the desired block region.  After that, also add it to block region "Course page slider region" that appears on the frontpage in the admin section.  Configure this block to appear on all pages.  Then, in any course page, configure the block to only appear on any course main page.  This is very important, as the block will otherwise attempt to render twice on the dashboard page, potentially causing performance issues.

Please be careful not to add this to block regions in way that could cause the block to be loaded more than once on a page!

How do I get set up?

Installs at /blocks/discussion_feed

Settings

Site-wide configuration options are available under: Site Administration -> Plugins -> Blocks -> Course Discuss

The following settings are available:

  • Days back to show latest posts for. This is the number of days in the past to show latest posts.

  • Max length of post to show. Maximum length of post to show to limit the number of characters.

  • Use caching. Switch on caching (uses Moodle cache API). This is strongly recommended as this block does make quite a few database calls!

  • Cache Expiry time. Cache expiry time in seconds (TTL).

Currently no per Instance block settings are available.

Language pack

Please note that from version 1.3.1, the following are now language strings instead of settings (in block_discussion_feed.php):

- Message to display when no forum updates available for showing on dashboard. (language pack string name: "nocontentdisplaymessagetext")

- Message to display when no forum exists and the block appears on a course page. (language pack string name: "displaynoforumexistsmessagetext")

Compatibility

  • Moodle 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

This block has been developed and tested with Adaptable 1.7.2 onwards, which includes a block region that will specifically appear on the relevant pages. It will probably work with other themes, however it will need to appear in an appropriate block region that renders on a frontpage, dashboard page and course homepage.

Contribution

Developed by:

  • Manoj Solanki (Coventry University)

Co-maintained by:

  • Jeremy Hopkins (Coventry University)

### Licenses ###

Licensed under: GPL v3 (GNU General Public License) - http://www.gnu.org/licenses



Screenshots

Screenshot #0

Contributors

Picture of Manoj Solanki
Manoj Solanki (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Jez H
Jez H: Co-maintainer
Please login to view contributors details and/or to contact them

Comments RSS

Show comments
  • Picture of Plugins bot
    Fri, 14 Dec 2018, 10:30 PM
    Approval issue created: CONTRIB-7572
  • Picture of Daniel Hoffmann
    Thu, 28 Feb 2019, 5:07 PM
    Thanks a lot for this plugin. I installed it yesterday and it works.

    I have some suggestion to improve it's functionality:
    - Is it possible to use the standard date format of the user?
    - Some items are not translatable (Reply, Expand)
    - I would like to disable the possibility to answer in the dashboard
    - Images on the dashboard broke
    - Is it possible to show the number of comments / answers of the new ones?

    Best wishes

    Daniel
  • Picture of Manoj Solanki
    Thu, 7 Mar 2019, 8:16 PM
    Hi Daniel,

    Thank you for the suggestions and comments.I will look to implement these in the future.

    M
  • Picture of Daniel Hoffmann
    Fri, 8 Mar 2019, 4:08 AM
    Thanks again. My community really likes this feature. Looking forward to the next versions.
  • that is a great plugin for me because in few month later ssc exam result published and i work on it many people discuss with me about their result
  • Picture of Thomas College
    Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 4:21 AM
    Has anyone tried to install this while using the Clean theme and Moodle 3.6.2? When we try to install, the installation process fails. Validation is successful, but installation fails directly after validation completes.
    Thanks
  • Picture of Daniel Hoffmann
    Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 6:01 PM
    Hello Thomas, I have it running on my site with the clean theme. Did you already install the other dependent plugin?
  • Picture of Daniel Hoffmann
    Tue, 12 Mar 2019, 6:02 PM
    But I had problems updating to 3.6.3 yesterday. I had a database error and had to rollback to 3.6.2.
  • Picture of Thomas College
    Wed, 13 Mar 2019, 12:54 AM
    Daniel, thanks for the reply. I missed that there was a dependent plugin. It installed properly once the dependent plugin was installed.
Please login to post comments