Eliminate blank discussion posts

0 Kudos

Occassionally, students will accidently post blank replies thereby gaining access to a restricted forum (i.e. cannot see thread until submission of their own work). Other times, students deliberately post gibbersh in order to see classmates work prior to submitting their own. The lights shine bright on them when they realize that they cannot edit the posts afterwards.

I've already made it clear in the syllabus and the directions for each assignment that they must submit their own response first. However, this is still occurring. In order to keep this practice down could a minimum word count be enabled within the forum submission process to curb this behavior?


New Member

I think a minimum word count would be a great idea and addition for discussion posts. I have several professors whose students post blank replies so they can open up a quiz. 

Status changed to: Open

Idea opened for conversation.

Community Champion

A minimum word count would be a great first step.  Requiring the minimum word count to be composed of words spelt close enough to a correct word for the spell check dictionary to have a suggestion would also correct the gibberish, although gibberish is clearly not an accident. 

Turning off the ability of students to edit their own posts is a key to making this work.  For now, without the word count, I post a grade the first time with a warning that this behavior is cheating, and refer to the academic integrity part of the syllabus: all cheating and plagiarism receives a grade of zero and is reported to the dean.  Students generally reply that is was an accident, and it does not repeat.  Preventing those accidents with a simple pop-up would be a kind and proactive warning to students.

Community Participant

I would like to eliminate blank posts too. I would recommend that the Post Reply button not be enabled until students have typed something or attached a file.