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ForumNG: Study advice

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Although time got eaten up by a zillion things unrelated to ForumNG changes, I did manage to develop one of the new features this week...

Study advice forum type

With this forum type, you can only see discussions that you started. (Except for moderators/advisors who have the capability that lets them see all posts.) All other discussions are entirely hidden.

So a student can post a question. Then the advisor can respond to it (and the student sees the response). But the student can't see questions that other students asked.

I'm not sure how useful this is in general; obviously we have a specific use case here which means it was 'critical' that this gets done in time! It is. Phew.

Development was a bit of a nightmare. I thought I'd finished inside half an hour... then I realised I'd only made the changes for the normal web view. Much, much, much harder were the changes to correctly display the 'unread message' count on the homepage (only includes ones in a discussion you can see), to make email subscription work (only sends emails you can see), and finally to make feeds work too. I kept realising there was another bit that needed fixing. Hopefully that is all done now.

And by the way - I haven't yet implemented the 'other' forum types in standard Moodle forum smile The Q&A type, for instance. That's scheduled for a future release.

Today we (Sharon and Lisa who are organising the 'FirstClass replacement' programme of work, plus me as the developer) met with a writer for the in-house magazine for tutors. For those not familiar with the University, FirstClass is the old, commercial conferencing software used here, and the new ForumNG software I'm working on is intended - along with the rest of our course website facilities - to finally replace it. Tutors heavily use FirstClass and are attached to the way it works, so that's why the magazine wanted to talk to us.

I said a number of inadvisable things involving the phrase 'sucks'. Let's see how many of them end up in the article. smile

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