Discussion prompts module

after playing a video there will be a popup discussion question ovelray, that will intrigue the user to get engaged with the question and move to the discussion forum after the unit ends

looks similar to you idea of auto-advance to the next unit (assuming you have a discussion unit after the video)

not quite @cotoha, it’s a different feature in my opinion.

  1. auto-advance - continuously drives you to move to next module (doesn’t matter which)
  2. Discussion prompts - Coursera are implementing such a feature as an overlay on top of a video when it’s finished. It then takes out of the course flow and into the forum.

hope I made sense

aha, then we might consider using that video-overlay xblock - i’ve done the example: https://demo.opencraft.hosting/courses/course-v1:TestX+TST-OTHER+now/courseware/2370e696937442bd82af01a0619f3b59/2fed25c9edb043788b4a3e7aea733ef3/ (the prompt should appear at 2:15, use honor@example.com/edx)

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Edit: snip - just realized that this is exactly what you just suggested @cotoha : ) Keeping the reference to the other thread though:

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@cotoha looks like it’s already a solved problem hah? :slight_smile: thanks!
2 things that I wonder how problematic will they be:

a. In video quiz - the UX of this is highly confusing when you look at this inside the LMS. my intuition was to hit next and then I was forwarded to the next unit
b. discussion prompt - Is there a way to have the learner submit his post on top of the overlay itself, and only then be taken to the forum. this will be much more engaging!

thanks again!

P.S - first two implementations (“in video quiz” and “Shelly’s XBlock”) did not pop up a prompt for me

We had a similar problem to this that we came up with a different solution for, so thought i’d share here. It may be that i’ve got the wrong end of the stick though!

The main thing for us was that the Open edX infrastructure lends itself to each component doing one thing well. We felt that directing students to the discussions within the video risked people missing the discussion (there’s a surprising amount of people who just read transcripts when at work etc.) and diluted the purpose of the component from pure video to video+discussion. Mixed materials within one page works a lot better pedagogically than “here’s a video, next unit, here’s another video” that you get a lot on edX, and the neatest way to do it is with the components being specialised to what they’re trying to present.

I ended up mocking this up in Photoshop, but we never looked at implementing it as it’d require the inline discussions actually being an xblock instead of a silly component that breaks if you look at it funny:

The idea was to contextualise the discussions within the discussion component (this example was pulled from the research skills section of our geology course). The inline discussion is one of the features our academics are the most excited about, engagement with online forums (especially when linked out) has typically been extremely low. Despite the fact the UX of the inline discussions is flawed right now, having them in-flow has made students who would otherwise never post get involved and contribute, which has a bit of a snowball effect on the learning community.

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@MHaton I like this approach a lot, too.

What is missing functionally in Open edX today, that prevent you from using the inline block this way? Ie, what would be missing from simply adding an HTML block above the inline discussion component?

Here is how it looks with the UI of the current stable version (Ficus):

Another possible approach for this, which would be slightly more work, but would upgrade the capabilities of the discussion elements considerably, would be to integrate with discourse (the forum that runs the current discussions). It also supports inline discussions, which could be made their own XBlock (one inline, one with all the threads).

You get a lot of functionalities for free out of that comparatively small amount of integration work - including btw the thread/forum header functionality that you are describing here, which discourse supports. Forums are complex enough to be the focused scope of major projects; if the edX inline discussion blocks are already having such an impact, I’m curious what it would give.

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@antoviaque: The main reason for me is primarily the author experience. We’re using the platform for direct academic authoring, because we have some really enthusiastic, non-tech savvy authors who want to create courses the way they want them to look, without someone like me coming in and meddling.

Right now to get the pretty template in, they have to engage with the HTML and CSS, which turns a lot of them off. It’s easy enough to get a lot of them used to it, but there are the inevitable mistakes, and it’s causes some quite bad practice that can get awkward to fix.

Additionally, some discussion prompts are extremely short. The one in the picture works, but if the prompt is simply “Discuss the impact of [thing] with your peers below”, multiple components can look a bit odd. It’s not a huge impact on students, but having [text/video] line [discussion prompt] line [discussion] line [next bit of content] looks more cluttered the less there is in each component, and can cause some confusion about what’s associated with what amongst some of the more… easily confused students. They grow to associate the line with being “this is the end of this task”, and it appearing in the middle of the discussion and its prompt can throw that off a bit. Not a huge issue, but one that exists.

The main reason we dropped this idea as more than just a template stuck in an HTML component was because the gains are relatively limited for the amount of work it’d be to touch anything to do with discussions, in all honesty. We’ve been considering whether to replace the discussions with Disqus or Discourse, or just hope that the user experience of discussions is improved as the platform develops (as we’ve had a lot of issues with it outside of the MOOC context it was designed for… i’m doubtful it will, we’re still using it wrong).

The main thing blocking us is it’s a fair bit of work to completely rip out and fully replace discussions, and we’d get crucified by the university for fundamentally changing how discussions work (i.e. with a switch out to another type of discussion) halfway through a course with paying students on it. Which is pretty much all the time. More a process issue than a technical one really. It’s a shame because like you say, swapping out the discussions would potentially give even more of a benefit to the level of social engagement.

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