“I would like for the students to post their interpretations, journals and comments and for me to be able to give my individual feedback without the whole class knowing. As of now, I use Forum, but all students are able to see the content there.”
To create a private and individualized document and feedback exchange with students you can try the Forum + Separate Groups Approach:
Step 1. Create a Forum and change the Forum Settings Group Mode to “Separate.”
The forum module is an activity where students and teachers can exchange ideas by posting comments.
The group mode setting in the forum module has three options:
- No groups (default)
- Separate groups – (for privacy) each group can only see their own group, others are invisible
- Visible groups – (for collaboration) each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups
If the group mode is set to separate groups:
- Teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for a selected group, then only group members can view and reply to it. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for all participants, then students can’t reply to it. (This is to ensure that groups are kept separate.)
- Students can only start discussions within their own group.
- Students can only reply to discussions started by other group members or discussions for their own group started by a teacher.
So, using the groups function with discussion forums allow teachers to restrict interaction between students. Separate groups mean only students in the same group can see and participate in discussions within a particular forum. Visible groups allow students to see other group’s discussions, but only participate in their own group’s discussions. Source: Moodle Docs
STEP 2. Create the Groups
In this teaching case, the instructor should create a Separate Group for each of her students. The members of each group would simply be the student and the professor, herself. So, if there are 10 students, then the instructor would create 10 Groups. Members of each group would be a single student and herself. Groups should be named by using student last names for ease of reference.
- Click the ‘CREATE GROUP’ button in Settings > Administration > Groups
- Add a group name and optional description (displayed above the list of group members on the participants page)
- Click the ‘SAVE CHANGES’ button; rinse and repeat if creating multiple groups
- Next, select the group to which you want to add participants, then click the ‘ADD/REMOVE users” button
- In the “Potential members” list, select the user(s) you want to add to the group. Multiple users may be selected using the Crtl key.
- Click the ADD button to add the users to the group
STEP 3. Re-visit the Forum
Instructors can view student posts to the Forum by scrolling through the “Separate Groups” drop down menu in the upper left corner. Replies to individual students are also managed here. Replies to All Participants can also be drafted here.
Note: If students will be posting course assignments to the forum, e.g. Word docs or other course files like MP3 (audio) files, the instructor should also be sure to increase the maximum attachment size to ensure that the files are upload-able.
To make changes to an existing forum, click the “UPDATE THIS FORUM” link in the upper left corner of the Forum.