In the Sept 15 release, a new reply sidebar was added that replaced the unfolding of replies below a topic. Thumbs down from me. The flyout takes you out of the flow of the thread and suddenly you have to keep your mind in two places - the flyout and the original discussion area. Yesterday, when clicking the "# replies" link, and the hidden replies simply unfolded at the location of your click, I was happy. That made sense in terms of countering the scroll of death. Today, when that same click causes the page layout to change so dramatically, I'm not. Sub-replies are now displayed as a separate "page" within the flyout and you have to find and click the "<-- Back" link. Sure, I figured it out, but it's not better than what we had yesterday. It reminds me of Slack, and I don't like their approach either.
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We are definitely going to explore how to improve grading for Discussions. For this quarter we are focused on:
- the reply navigation (adding Expand/Collapse Threads back into the topic page instead of having to use the Thread Tray, as well as, being able to reply inline vs. in the Thread Tray)
- @mention (new feature, available now)
- being able to quote a reply (new feature, available now)
- moderation tools (new feature, in active development... first up will be the ability for students to report inappropriate or offensive replies to the teacher)
- anonymity (new feature, in discovery)