Valerie Rake

Observer Role Permissions - Discussions

Discussion created by Valerie Rake on Sep 8, 2017
Latest reply on Jan 19, 2018 by Valerie Rake

We use the Observer role to allow a particular group of mentors/tutors to monitor the course activities of students for whom they are responsible.  These students have signed a FERPA waiver allowing this kind of course activity monitoring. 


We are struggling with the permissions around discussions.  The tutors would like to see the discussion posts that "their" students have created; they have no need to see the posts of other people in the class.  We have instructors who are concerned about Observers being able see the discussion posts of people who are not part of the group who have signed waivers.  Both parties have strong arguments and agree that limiting Observers’ view of Discussion to the posts of observed students would meet the need.


The current permission set gives us 3 options: moderate, post, and view.  It is not possible to let Observers see only the posts of the students they are observing.  I’m entirely willing to write up a feature request about this, but that idea appears to have been brought up before and placed in Cold Storage with only 14 votes. (


Any suggestions for a resolution to this problem?


The director for the tutoring group would be OK if there were some way for the tutors to just verify that their students had participated, even if they couldn’t see the actual posts.  I’m about to embark on an exploration of ways this could be managed (for graded discussions, presumably the tutor can see that a grade was posted; for modules where discussion participation is a prerequisite for later content, the tutor can presumably deduce that participation has happened based on available content, etc.)  Has anyone already done this research?  Any suggestions for how the tutors could verify participation without actually viewing the discussions?