Discussion topic author visibility workarounds and import overwrite issues
Hi all, I am mostly just wanting to confirm expected functionality of discussions and different import / course copy tools for confirming best processes when building for faculty (and perhaps putting in future feature requests).
As an instructional/learning designer I often build courses or parts of courses for faculty/teaching staff. I need to be able to create a lot of discussion forums (particularly where discussions may be used as online activities), but not be listed as the author (to avoid students contacting me). By a lot I mean multiple discussions per module x 12 modules, so 30+ in a course wouldn't be unheard of.
As far as I'm aware, the current workaround is to copy in content/discussions from elsewhere (e.g. existing subject, commons, Canvas cartridge import) but this brings in a few issues with import overwrite functionality. If I don't know how many discussions I will need because it emerges while building, the best option would be to continually re-import the same smaller set of discussions and rename them as I go, especially as I may have different types of activity examples templated to draw from. However Commons seems to be the only one of those 3 options that allows re-importing rather than overwriting existing imported/copied content. But I have heard stories from others that re-importing from Commons with things like assignments or quizzes can result in overwrite behaviour.
Is this what others have found? If so, is my best bet to keep importing from Commons, or are there other/better ways to be doing this? Is there anything specific to editing that is needed to force duplication rather than overwrite?
Just for reference here's what I've tried across my instance. Currently from my investigation it seems the following occurs:
- creating a new discussion will result with your name being added to the discussion as author.
- If someone edits that discussion it should take whoever's name is the recent editor - EDIT: Incorrect, it seems to keep original author and add a 'this topic was edited by... [new author]' at base of instructions before the thread/posts
- copying/importing a discussion results in no author listed - is consistent across subject copy, commons import, and canvas package file import.
- editing a discussion copied/imported from somewhere else will be OK and not show a name. However duplicating it is not OK and will result in author name being listed.
- re-importing existing discussions only works for commons files. In this instance, you can rename your commons discussions, then import the commons ones again so as to create more discussions as you need. Does not seem to work for subject copy or file import, these files are instead overwritten, even if you have edited the name and content of the discussion before re-uploading/re-copying.