Forums

Written by admin

Topics: E-Learning, Education

One of the most anticipated areas of the learning platform are the forums. To generate and perpetuate student interest and buy in to the Learning Platform from day one we wnt live with a small selection of forums, But before we did we made sure that we had students apply to be moderators, so that when use increased we did not see lots of issues growing with them. What has been every interesting is the students response to the forums – particularly the forum I set up to encourage students to make suggestions as to how FROG could be developed.

A few ideas have come our from our students directly about how forum functionality could be improved, summarising their feedback:
  • Can edit own posts
  • Can quote a previous thread in a reply
  • Embed some html into posts – including url’s and smilies, links to hosted images etc..
  • Display some MIS data with user, such as what year group they are in
  • Voting for threads so that the list becomes one based on preference of user selection (I know this is coming in future releases)
  • Put the total number of posts of the user to date
  • Automatically generated email sent informing you of response to one of your posts – currently only way of seeing new posts is to regularly check forum. This is crucial for staff who have not time to develop this as a new routine.

It’s been pretty clear that many students immerse themselves on forum’s (such as phpbb/vbulletin based systems) when at home – they have high expectations as to how they perform and are disappointed when systems do not meet their expectations. Students are exposed to so much information on the internet that they are quick to make decisions on the quality of content and presentation, something that clearly affects perceptions and level of buy in. One student in particular had an interesting vision about the learning platform having some sort of virtual currency. So that the return of marked assignments would equate to points/credits that would be combined with points earnt through activity on certain forums and other activities such as posting work to a gallery, school attendance etc…. These virtual credits would then have the potential to be exchanged for items from the school shop – or virtual commodities – layouts/components for their profile, avatars etc….

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