Customized Discourse Help Needed (requests below)

Our requests:

What we (ideally) need from Discourse over time:

§ Membership area
§ Host video recordings
§ Ability to submit assignments using forms
§ Ability to have unrated (or not rated enough times) assignments show up for feedback and rating
§ Ability to view the feedback and rating that your assignment has received
§ Ability to rate feedback received
§ Ability for our team to see the feedback that has been tagged as not good
§ Ability to get a report by participant in terms of how many assignments they have submitted, rated, feedback on their ratings
§ Ability to get a report by assignment ranked by rating that people got so we can look at highly-rated assignments and showcase them, we can look at highly rated assignments and identify ones that are not on the mark and low rated assignments to see where people tripped up
§ Ability to give people badges based on for e.g., how many assignments they have rated

We already have our install up and running but just out of the box.

Looking to get started right away.

This really sounds like you’re asking for a Course/Learning Management System, not a discussion platform. Have you looked at other open source software like Moodle or Open edX?


I’ve been using Discourse to teach my online classes (masters and PhD students in education and instructional design) for a year now and have just started working with another professor interested in doing the same. I’ve solved a few of those problems and have written a couple basic plugins.

We should talk.

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I’ve used them both. Moodle is fine if you want a good-enough Learning Management System, it’s a fine solution (I used and managed it for 8 years and just had my students install it themselves and build courses). edX is a huge mess, and unless you’re going to run courses with tens of thousands of students and have a programmer to develop content, it has little to recommend it (it could have gotten better in the past couple years since I last used it at Stanford).

The advantage of using Discourse is that it’s really good at discussion. Moodle and edX have forums added as almost an afterthought. Having civilized discussion be the central part of learning rather than an add-on improves how people interact and share and contribute to each other’s learning. I’ve run 5 courses across 3 semesters now and am really excited about how it’s worked.

Here’s my syllabus for this semester’s course; I’ve also set up categories to discuss how to use Discourse to support teaching and learning.


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