09 July 2008

Discussion locks and availability

Discussion Locking Options and Availability options can be set under the properties tab of the discussion. These are ways to control student access to discussion forums and topics:

Visibility
  • Forum is always visible - when a forum or topic is always visible, students can see it. They can read the messages inside and post new messages or reply to extant messages.
  • Hide this forum – when a forum or topic is hidden, students cannot see it. It only becomes available when you manually make it visible.
  • Forum is visible for a specific date range – when a forum is visible for a specific date range, students will only be able to view the discussion during that specific time frame. You have the option to customize a start date and an end date.
Locking Options
  • Unlock forum – when a forum or topic is visible and the students can post new messages or reply to existing messages.
  • Lock forum - when a forum or topic is visible but the students cannot post new messages or reply to existing messages.
  • Unlock forum for a specific date range – when a forum or topic is visible and the students can post new messages or reply to the discussion only during the specified time frame. After the time frame is over the forum locks itself and no students can post or reply to messages.
The availability or locked status of a forum cascades down through all of that forum's topics, so if a forum is not currently available that means none of the topics inside can be seen. The same applies to its lock status. For both forums and topics, these options are displayed on the Properties tab when the forum or topic is being created or edited. The options for locking and availability may have to be displayed:

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