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The course element File discussion  is similar to a course element Forum . However, the basis for dialogue here are files that can be uploaded by the tutor or students. Each file comes with its own forum.

 

Content

Usage: Learners' View

Overview

The course element File discussion includes an overview of all existing files. Additional files can be uploaded, and existing files can be edited and deleted. Each file is assigned a discussion forum. To start a forum, click on Discussion .

The course supervisor can assign various rights for this course element type. The displayed functions and areas depend on these settings.

Overview file discussion

Functions for users

Subscribe to file discussion

You can subscribe to course elements to get automatically informed about changes.
 How to do that?

To subscribe to a course element, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the relevant course and go to the desired course element.
  2. Click the Subscribe button in the upper right corner of the course element view.

Example: Subscribing to a course element File discussion

Subscribe to course element



3. If you have already subscribed to this course element, you will see the button Unsubscribe. Click this button if you want to cancel the subscription.
Unsubscribe button

For further information about the general configuration options for receiving notifications, refer to the page Subscriptions and notifications.

In the course element File discussion , you can use functions for a single file as well as collection functions for multiple table entries.

The tutor can assign various rights for the file discussion. The displayed functions and areas depend on these settings.

General table functions

 The following collection functions are available in the table head ...
Upload

You have the option of uploading files to the course element for discussion. 

 How to do that?

To upload a file, proceed as follows:  

  1. Open the course element File discussion .
  2. Click on Upload file .
Upload file button

3. Select a file from your hard disk and click on Upload .

4. The file is now displayed in the summary table of the course element.
Upload button
 Download

You can download a single file by clicking on the file name. With the function Download file in the table head, you can download one or more selected files as a ZIP archive.

 How to do that?

To download a ZIP archive of the selected files, proceed as follows:  

  1. Open the course element File discussion .
  2. Select the checkbox in front of the file(s) you want to download.
Select file(s)

3. Click on Download .

4. The file(s) will now be downloaded as a ZIP archive.
Download button


Delete

You can delete a single file by clicking on the trash can icon in the table. To delete multiple files, use the trash can icon in the table head.

 How to do that?

Proceed as follows:

  1. Open the course element File discussion .
  2. Select the checkbox in front of the files you want to delete.
Select file(s)

3. Click on the trash can icon in the table head.

4. Confirm the deletion process with Delete .

Delete button

Deleting a file also removes the associated discussion posts. The data is automatically archived in your Personal folder.

Download tableYou can download and save the content of the table.
 The following functions are available for a single table entry ...
 Download fileYou can download a single file by clicking on the file name.
DiscussionFor each file, a discussion forum is created. These forums allow the users to exchange information about the files. A detailed description can be found in the following section.
EditBy clicking on this button, you will directly switch to the editing mode of the selected file. You can edit the metadata of each file and the file content depending on the file format.
DeleteYou can delete a single file by clicking on the trash can icon in the table.
ArtefactBy clicking on this symbol, you can also save your file as an artefact to your eportfolio or assign it to a collaborative folder.

Start file discussion

For each file, a discussion forum is created. Discussion forums include all functions of a forum and allow the users to exchange information about the files.

 Start a discussion about a file …

To open a discussion forum, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the course element File discussion .
  2. Select the desired file and click on the button Discussion .
Discussion button

3. An overview of all existing topics appears below the table. If there is no topic yet, the button New topic will appear.

Overview of existing topics

Within the open discussion forum, you can use all common forum functions.

 Functions in the forum ...

Options in the topics overview

In the overview table, the following functions are available:

 Open topic

Clicking on the title of a topic in the topics overview opens the relevant topic.

Create new topicThis function allows you to create your own topic. Other users can then respond to your topic and/or submit a rating.
 How to do that?
  1. Open the relevant course element.
  2. Click on New topic.
New topic button
3. Enter a title and your post in the appropriate text fields. More formatting options can be found here.Text fields title and post
4. Now you can mark your topic as important by selecting the checkbox. A topic which is marked as important is always listed at the top of the post overview.Mark topic as important

5. If anonymous posting has been enabled by the course author, this option is also available to you. To publish your topic anonymously, activate the respective checkbox.

Depending on the setting of the course author, the anonymous post may need to be released by the moderator. Only after the release, it will be visible to other users.

Post anonymously

6. If necessary, add a file as an attachment to the post.

7. Click on Submit.

8. Your topic will be created and is now available in the forum overview.

Submit button

Download table
Export table content as a file. The file format you have selected within your System settings will be used as the default format.
Open topic options

Depending on the user's rights, the following functions are available for an open topic and the posts it contains:

Back to overviewClicking this button will directly take you to the post overview. The post overview lists all existing topics.
Last postClicking this button takes you to the last post created on the respective topic.
View

Here you can filter the displayed posts. You can choose between four different post views. For example, you can view all posts or just the most recent ones.

 The following settings are available ...
  • All posts
  • All posts (flat)
  • Favourites
  • New posts
Available view options
Reply (directly)

With this option, it is possible to reply directly to a post. You should use this function if you want to reply to a post other than the last one in the thread. The reply is displayed directly below the entry concerned.  

 Learn more ...
  1. Click on the arrow next to the post you want to reply to.
  2. A reply window opens. Enter your reply, add a file if necessary, and click on Save .
  3. Your reply will now be displayed directly below the post.
Reply to forum post


StarClick on the star to mark a post as a favourite. You can undo this process at any time by clicking on the star again.
Mark as best postUsing this option, you can mark the best post on a topic.
ArtefactWith this button, you can save your posts to the ePortfolio.

Advanced functions

  • Quote
  • Edit
  • Delete

This option allows you to quote, edit, or delete posts.

 Quote post ...

The Quote function allows the user to refer directly to a specific statement from another user. In this way, the overview in the discussion is for example maintained.  

  1. Click on the expand icon and select Quote .
Use the forum function quote
2. It opens the reply field with the quoted text in the upper area. Enter your reply below the quote and click on Save .Forum reply window including quote


 Edit post ...

To edit your reply, proceed as follows:  

  1. Click on the expand icon and select Edit .
Use the forum function edit
2. You are now in the editing mode. Make your desired changes and click on Save to complete the editing process.Forum reply window open for editing


 Delete post ...

To delete a reply, proceed as follows:  

  1. Click on the expand icon and select Delete .
Use the forum function delete
2. Confirm the deletion process with Delete .Delete confirmation dialogue


Reply

Use this button to reply to the last post. The given answer is displayed at the end of the thread. 

 Learn more ...
  1. Click on Reply .
  2. A reply window opens. Enter your reply in the appropriate text field. Upload a file if necessary.
Reply to forum post

3. If anonymous posting has been enabled by the course author, you have the option of marking your post as anonymous. To do so, activate the checkbox Post anonymously .

4. Click on Save .
Mark forum post as anonymous


Rate
The option Rate allows the user to express their opinion on the quality of a post. 
 How to do that?

To rate a topic or reply, proceed as follows: 

  1. Open the course element Forum.
  2. Click on the thumbs up button to rate a post positively.
Rate a post positively
3. To rate a post negatively, click the thumbs down button.Rate a post negatively

The number above the respective symbols indicates how often a post has already been rated positively or negatively.

 Moderate topic

Users with the right to moderate have, among other things, the option to release posts, close topics, and delete other users' posts.  

 Functions for moderators ...

If you have the right to moderate in the forum, the following functions will be available to you: 
Hide topic

A hidden topic will no longer be visible to users without moderating rights.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Forum and the topic you want to hide.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the Subscribe button and select Hide topic.

Follow the same procedure to make the topic visible again. 

Use the hide forum topic function 


Close topic

If a topic has been closed, it is no longer possible to respond to it.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Forum and the topic you want to close.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the Subscribe button and select Close topic.

Follow the same procedure to reopen the topic.

 Use the close forum topic function


Configuration: Authors' View  

In the course editor

The following functions are available in the course editor:

Add a course element file discussion

 Click to open instructions on how to add a course element ...

To integrate a course element into your course, proceed as follows:
1

Open the course you want to edit.

Use the pencil icon at the top of the page to open the editing mode.

Switch from the course view to the editing mode

2

Select a course element from the menu on the right.

Select course element

3

In the new window, you can define the position of the new course element within your course structure (left navigation pane). The available positions are marked with an insert icon.

To insert the new course element into an existing substructure, you need to open the substructure by clicking on the small triangle symbol next to its title. The area will open and you will again see insert icons at the positions which are available.

Click on the insert icon at the desired position within the structure. The selected area will be highlighted.

Confirm your choice with Insert course element.

Insert course element into the course tree

4

The element will be inserted into the course structure at the selected position.

Depending on the course element, you have to make additional configurations or add content in order to complete the configuration.

For these changes to take effect, you must publish the course. The course element will then also become available in the course view.

Configure and publish course element



General configuration settings

In the course editor, you will find the following configuration tabs:

Title and description
 Configuration options in the tab title and description ...

Course editor settings in the tab title and description
ElementsDescription
Title

You need to enter a title for the course element. The title can comprise a maximum of 100 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear in the navigation menu of the course and also as a heading in the content area.

 Changes to the title of the first course element, the so-called main course node ...

(warning)  If you change the title of the first course element, the new content will only be applied to the main course node and then displayed in the opened course. If you wish to edit the course title or description, you can do so using the more settings menu of the course.

SubtitleYou can enter a subtitle for the course element with a maximum of 255 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear as a tooltip in the navigation menu and - if selected and configured accordingly - as a subtitle in the content area.
Description

Here you can describe the course element. The description will appear in the content area below the title.

Depending on the settings configured in the element Display, this additional text is displayed to the user when opening the course element. The user can expand or collapse the view of the text.


Display

Define which information about the course element should be displayed in the course view. In addition to the content, you can optionally display the title and description. All course elements are provided with a reasonable presetting, which mostly includes the setting Title, description and content. You can adjust this setting in accordance with the options available for each course element. For an example of the different setting options, refer to the help page Displaying information about the course element.

Set link for this course element

Each course element can be accessed via fixed link addresses. Therefore, an internal and an external URL is assigned to each course element. These direct links to concrete elements can be used within courses or provided to learners. The URLs are located below the title and description of the element and will appear upon selecting Set link for this course element.  

  • External link: To refer to this course element from outside of the course or learning platform, you can use the external link and insert it, for example as a href attribute, into the desired HTML page.
  • Internal link: To set a link to another course element within the same course, you can insert the internal link as a href attribute into the desired HTML page.
IDYou will need the ID number of the course element (on the bottom right), for example, if you wish to use the expert mode in the visibility or access tab.


Visibility
 Configuration options in the tab visibility and access ...

In the areas Visibility and Access, authors and course owners can individually determine the presentation of course elements. If no input is made in the access area, the content of a course element will by default be visible to all course participants after publishing the element. Apart from the general options listed below, additional configuration options are available depending on the course element.

The following general options are available for the configuration of visibility and access:

Course editor - Tab visibility and access


General configuration optionsDescription
Blocked for learners

If you select this checkbox, all other configuration options will disappear. The course element content is now exclusively accessible for tutors and administrators of the course.

Block access or visibility for learners
Depending on dateMark this checkbox to specify a particular access time. You can set individual dates or date ranges by filling in only one or both input fields respectively. You can also create or delete dates via the + and - buttons.

Set access or visibility rights depending on dates

Depending on group

Select this checkbox to restrict the accessibility of the course element to learning groups or learning areas. You can then select existing groups and areas or create new ones.

If you set restrictions with the configuration option "depending on group", the corresponding course element will be restricted for all non-members of the group. This includes, for example, users who have not yet confirmed the group invitation or who are on the waiting list for a group. Such users cannot yet see or access the restricted course element.


Set access or visibility rights depending on groups

Depending on assessmentHere, you will find all assessable course elements. These include, for example, the elements test, assessment, task, or structure. 

If you select the option Check for "passed", you will be able to choose a course element from the input field Course element, which the user must have passed as a prerequisite to accessing this course element. 

If you select the option Check score, you can indicate a number of points in the input field "Passing score", which have to be achieved in order to be able to access the course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on assessments

Depending on attribute

The visibility of this option is system-dependent.

Via this option, you can set visibility or access rights according to user attributes. Only users who meet the predefined attributes will be able to see the course element or have access to its content. Multiple attributes need to be linked with an operator (AND/OR).

Different kinds of relational operators might be available depending on the selected attribute. For example:

  • "contains the value"
  • "does not contain value"
  • "has exactly the value"
  • "does not have value"
  • "starts with value"
  • "ends with value"
  • "greater than" (>)
  • "less than" (<)
  • "greater than/equals" (<=)
  • "less than/equals" (>=)

A list of all available attributes of several selected institutions can be found on the page Overview of the OPAL-Shibboleth attributes.

Set access or visibility rights depending on attributes

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutorThis option does not become visible until one of the other options has been selected. If you activate the checkbox, the same access rules which apply to users will also be valid for tutors and course administrators.

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutor

PasswordThis option is only available in the area Access and can either be applied to the whole course or a structural element of the course. Enter the desired password, which users will need to use in order to gain access to the course content, in the text field.

Set access or visibility rights depending on passwords

Display expert modeClick on the button Display expert mode to open an input field, which allows you to perform a more complex configuration according to your needs. For more detailed information about the expert mode, see the help page Publishing within Courses (Expert Mode).
Set access or visibility rights in the expert mode
Advanced configuration optionsIn the case of individual course element types, there are further attributes to configure access to editing rights for course participants.

If various restrictive single options are set, they will be linked with AND, i.e. all conditions of the single options must be met for the user to see and have access to the course element. The only exceptions are the single options Attributes. In this case, various restrictive single options can also be linked with OR. The OR linking only requires the fulfilment of one condition in order to enable visibility or access, unless other restrictive single options prevent this.

All restrictions are also automatically valid for all subordinate course elements.

Note about hiding access restrictions

If a course element is visible, but there are

  • current or future access restrictions or
  • restricted rights for the course element,

the user will be informed accordingly when accessing the course element. This information helps the user to learn more about the functions available, e.g. which functions will be available at what time and under what conditions.

If required, however, you can hide this information text (from the user) for each course element individually.

 How to do that? ...

Notification message about existing access and authorisation restrictions in the course view:

Course element with notification message about authorisation restrictions

1

To hide this message, open the course editor and switch to the Visibility tab of the respective course element.

In the section Information if course node is visible but not accessible (max. 248 characters), remove the check mark in front of the entry Show access restrictions below the text field.

Publish your changes.

Course editor setting to hide notification message

2

The note will no longer be visible in the course view.

Course element without notification message about authorisation restrictions


Access
Forum/storage configurationIn this tab, you can upload files and decide on the display of the forum. Detailed instructions are given in the following section Special configuration settings .
MultilingualismIn this tab, different translations can be added to individual course element areas.

Special configuration settings

In the tab Forum/storage configuration , an overview of all existing files within the course element File discussion is provided. In addition, you can customise the display of the forum.

You have the following configuration options:

File discussion

Upload files for discussion.

 How to do that?

To upload a file, proceed as follows:  

  1. Open the tab Forum /storage configuration .
  2. Click on Upload file .
Upload file button

3. Select a file from your hard disk and upload it using Upload .

4. The file is now listed in the file overview.

Upload button
Forum
In the section Forum , you can decide how a discussion forum will be displayed to the course participants.

If you activate the option Open forum in pop-up , the discussion forum related to a file will be opened in a new browser window.

 How to activate this setting? ...
  1. Open the tab Forum /storage configuration .
  2. Select the checkbox next to the entry Open f orum in pop-up if the discussion about a file is supposed to be opened in a new browser window.

    If this checkbox is not selected, the discussion will be displayed in the same browser window below the file overview.

Display of the forum
 


In the course view

In the course view of a course element File discussion , you have access to all the functions available to users.

Moderate discussion forum

If you have the right to moderate in the forum, the following functions will be available to you: 
Hide topic

A hidden topic will no longer be visible to users without moderating rights.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Forum and the topic you want to hide.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the Subscribe button and select Hide topic.

Follow the same procedure to make the topic visible again. 

Use the hide forum topic function 


Close topic

If a topic has been closed, it is no longer possible to respond to it.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Forum and the topic you want to close.
  2. Click on the down arrow next to the Subscribe button and select Close topic.

Follow the same procedure to reopen the topic.

 Use the close forum topic function

Via the course element's access rights, you can also enable other users to moderate in a discussion forum.