Forum ratings

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Forum ratings.

Forum ratings allow users to evaluate posts in a forum.

Forum ratings use Scales to standardize the reporting of performance. A forum rating can be included as part of a student's grade. For example, a teacher might use a custom rating scale in a forum and allow students to rate forum posts.

Forum ratings must be allowed and the potential rater must have role permission. Teachers by default have this ability. The teacher role is also able to give permission to a student role in a specific forum to be able to assign a rating to a post. Forum settings and Enabling student ratings has more information.


How to use

Teacher view of a previously rated student post
When rating is allowed, the qualified user will see "Rate this post" and a pull down menu after an entry (not their own). The menu displays a scale that the forum creator selected in the Forum grade settings. The user can rate more than one post at a time. When finished they should click the "submit my ratings" button at the bottom of the page.

AJAX forum rating

Moodle1.9

In Moodle 1.9.4 onwards, forum rating can be made more user-friendly with the use of AJAX. If AJAX forum rating is enabled, users can rate forum posts almost instantly without needing to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Send in my latest ratings" button.

To enable AJAX forum rating, login as an administrator and check the forum_ajaxrating checkbox in the Forum settings (via Administration > Modules > Activities). AJAX also needs to be enabled in Administration > Appearance > AJAX and Javascript and in user profiles.

Separate and connected knowing

Individual posts can be rated using a scale based on the theory of separate and connected knowing. This theory may help you to look at human interactions in a new way. It describes two different ways that we can evaluate and learn about the things we see and hear. Although each of us may use these two methods in different amounts at different times, it may be useful to imagine two people as examples, one who is a mostly separate knower (Jim) and the other a mostly connected knower (Mary).

  • Jim likes to remain as 'objective' as possible without including his feelings and emotions. When in a discussion with other people who may have different ideas, he likes to defend his own ideas, using logic to find holes in his opponent's ideas. He is critical of new ideas unless they are proven facts from reputable sources such as textbooks, respected teachers or his own direct experience. Jim is a very separate knower.
  • Mary is more sensitive to other people. She is skilled at empathy and tends to listen and ask questions until she feels she can connect and "understand things from their point of view". She learns by trying to share the experiences that led to the knowledge she finds in other people. When talking to others, she avoids confrontation and will often try to help the other person if she can see a way to do so, using logical suggestions. Mary is a very connected knower.

Did you notice in these examples that the separate knower is male and the connected knower is female? Some studies have shown that statistically this tends to be the case, however individual people can be anywhere in the spectrum between these two extremes. For a collaborative and effective group of learners it may be best if everyone were able to use BOTH ways of knowing. In a particular situation like an online forum, a single post by a person may exhibit either of these characteristics, or even both. Someone who is generally very connected may post a very separate-sounding message, and vice versa. The purpose of rating each post using this scale is to:

  1. Help you think about these issues when reading other posts
  2. Provide feedback to each author on how they are being seen by others

In case you're interested, here are some references to papers by the authors who originally developed these ideas:

  • Belenky, M.F., Clinchy, B.M., Goldberger, N.R., & Tarule, J.M. (1986). Women's ways of knowing: the development of self, voice, and mind. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Clinchy, B.M. (1989a). The development of thoughtfulness in college women: Integrating reason and care. American Behavioural Scientist, 32(6), 647-657.
  • Clinchy, B.M. (1989b). On critical thinking & connected knowing. Liberal education, 75(5), 14-19.
  • Clinchy, B.M. (1996). Connected and separate knowing; Toward a marriage of two minds. In N.R. Goldberger, Tarule, J.M., Clinchy, B.M. &
  • Belenky, M.F. (Eds.), Knowledge, Difference, and Power; Essays inspired by “Women’s Ways of Knowing” (pp. 205-247). New York, NY: Basic Books.
  • Galotti, K. M., Clinchy, B. M., Ainsworth, K., Lavin, B., & Mansfield, A. F. (1999). A New Way of Assessing Ways of Knowing: The Attitudes Towards Thinking and Learning Survey (ATTLS). Sex Roles, 40(9/10), 745-766.
  • Galotti, K. M., Reimer, R. L., & Drebus, D. W. (2001). Ways of knowing as learning styles: Learning MAGIC with a partner. Sex Roles, 44(7/8), 419-436.

See also