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Moderating Discussions

Last Modified
12:49, 23 Aug 2013

You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. For example, to help control the discussion board content that is presented to your students, you can assign a responsible user the role of moderator.

How to Assign Discussion Forum Roles

In a forum, each user has a forum role and can have only one role per forum. By default, instructors have the role of manager and students have the role of participant. When you are logged in as an instructor, you cannot change your own forum role.

Your school determines which course roles are available.

You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. The following table describes the forum roles and their permissions.

Forum Roles and Permissions
Role Permissions
Manager Managers have full control over a forum and can change forum settings, moderate posts, and assign roles and grades.

Users with a course role of instructor or teaching assistant are granted this role by default.

Builder Course builders can edit, copy, and delete forums, but not grade or manage forums. Inside a forum, a course builder can perform the same actions on posts as an instructor, with the exception of grading threads.

Course builders can also create new threads in a forum, and can enable grading for a thread and type a value.

Users with a course role of course builder are granted this forum role by default.

Moderator Moderators can delete, edit, and lock all posts in any forum, even if the forum does not use the moderation queue.

If you use a moderation queue, the moderator approves or rejects posts in the queue before they are made available to all users.

Users with a course role of instructor or course builder are granted this forum role by default.

Grader Graders can read, reply to, and grade posts. The grader role has some access to the Grade Center, but cannot assign grades to their own work.

Users with a course role of grader are granted this forum role by default.

Participant Participants can read and reply to posts.

Users with a course role of student are granted this role by default.

Reader Readers can read the contents of a forum, but cannot post responses or add threads.
Blocked Blocked users cannot access the forum.

Use the following steps to assign a forum role.

  1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
  2. Select Manage.
  3. On the Manage Forum Users page, a list of users appears. Access a user's contextual menu.

    If you want to show only one role at a time, make a selection in the Display Forum Role drop-down list on the action bar and click Go.

  4. Select a new forum role. The new role appears in the Forum Role column for the user.
  5. Click OK to return to the discussion board. Alternatively, click the forum title in the breadcrumbs to return to the forum.

    Image illustrating associated text

    To change multiple roles at one time, select the users' check boxes and point to Edit Role on the action bar to access the drop-down list. Select the check box in the header row to select all users.

How to Control Discussion Board Content (Moderating)

As an online instructor, your role is to facilitate the conversation and exchange of ideas on the discussion board. You need to ensure that students feel comfortable to share, while also monitoring responses and keeping everyone focused and on track. At the same time, you want to be careful not to dominate or impede the flow of the discussion.

Occasionally, students may introduce inappropriate material for the class discussion. Depending on the maturity and sensitivity of the students in your course, you may need to review student posts for inappropriate content before sharing posts with the rest of the class.

In a discussion forum, you can assign a user the role of moderator. A moderator reviews posts before they are added to a thread and appear in the discussion board.

When you create a moderated forum, all posts to the forum are added to a moderation queue. The moderator reviews each post and does one of the following:

  • Publishes the post.
  • Returns the post to the sender without a message.
  • Returns the post to the sender with a message.

The moderator can delete, edit, and lock posts in a forum even if the forum does not use the moderation queue. To learn more, see How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads, How to Edit Discussion Threads, and How to Change the Status of a Thread in a Discussion Forum.

You can choose to moderate a forum when creating it or by editing an existing forum. Only posts added after enabling forum moderation are available for review in the moderation queue. To learn more, see Creating Forums in the Discussion Board.

If you do not assign a moderator, the manager must take responsibility for approving posts in a moderated forum.

Use the following steps to allow the moderation of posts in an existing forum.

  1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit Forum page, in the Forum Settings section, select the Force Moderation of Posts check box and click Submit.

    When choosing a moderated forum, do not allow students to edit or delete posts. This ensures that the post approved is the one viewed by users.

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  4. After posts are submitted, access the forum. In the moderator view, no posts appear because the messages are waiting approval. On the action bar, click Moderate Forum.

    The Moderate Forum function appears only to those users who have a forum role of manager or moderator. In the student view, the author can see the post in Tree View with a reminder it is in the moderation queue.

  5. On the Moderation Queue page, the posts appear in alphabetical order by title. Click the column title or caret to sort by post title, author, or date. To review a post, click Moderate.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. On the Moderate Post page, read the post and select the Publish or Return option. Published messages are immediately posted to the thread.
  7. Optionally, type feedback in the text box. You can use the content editor functions to format the text, link to files in Course Files or the Content Collection, and include web links, multimedia, and mashups.

    Though feedback is optional, this is an opportunity to provide guidance, ask questions, redirect a student's focus, and explain why a post was returned.

  8. Click Submit.

Returned posts no longer appear in the moderation queue. Students see their returned posts in the forum. When returned posts are opened, students see an explanation, if feedback was included, and they can create new threads as needed.

video  Managing Discussion Board Roles (Flash movie | 3m 10s)

video  Changing Forum Setting

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