Two modern forum alternatives for Moodle: @Prulu and @Piazza

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There is a wave of new services that help faculty and professors to curate student created questions, and in the days of the MOOC where there may be 1000s of students in a course online these are providing a solid alternative to standard Moodle discussion forums.  The goal of services like these is to allow students to help each other and to limit the number of times the same question is asked in a course; the end result (if curated properly) is a succinct list of FAQs, an engaged community of question answerers and a way for curious students to learn more as quickly as possible through the knowledge of the community.

WIRIS

You may have heard of a service called OpenStudy or a open source solution called OSQA that do this as an independent site/service.  There are others though that can be integrated via Moodle’s core LTI functionality (External Tools).  Two up and coming services are called Prulu and Piazza which are similar with just a few important distinctions: Prulu anonymizes data after students unenroll and allows faculty to share questions across multiple classrooms, Piazza keeps student names and pictures (if the student has forgone anonymity) after they leave the course.  Both provide ways to curate responses, vote answers and questions “up” and to organize a growing knowledge base.

The services are both currently free to individual faculty and very easy to use and integrate.

Here are a few screenshots of Prulu as I was able to verify in testing.  If you’re interested in trying it out yourself or adding it as a feature to your Moodle connect with team [at] prulu.com for more information.  Piazza’s LTI information is available at https://piazza.com/lti.

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