by Rusty Meyners.
The question was asked to the Strategic Open Sources SIG of TCEA mailing list:
"How can I set up a discussion between a teacher and her students, but limit the students to only see their own comments? The teacher doesn’t want the students copying responses from each other."
This was my response:
We had not quite addressed this when you first asked it but it happens that I have a Social Studies and an English teacher pilot testing netbooks this week. Both are using Moodle-Google Apps integration with heavy reliance on the GAPPS side. The Social Studies teacher is doing something close to what you are asking in Google Docs.
After some collaborative work in both classrooms using that aspect of Google Docs Sharing, the Social Studies teacher asked how a student could "submit" work they completed independently. This was worked out by the following steps (the first two might be optional):
1. The teacher shared a "View Only" "template" with each student in the class.
2. Each student then opened the template and performed a "Save as Copy" to work with. The students could delete the original if desired.
3. Each student then shared their working copy "View Only" with the teacher who was able to review them in progress and grade them when the time came. If the teacher wants to make annotations (maybe in a different font color) it would need to be shared "For Collaboration" (Google Docs provides a Revision History – kind of like a wiki – to keep track of who contributed what in a collaboration).
With this approach, the student did not need to "submit" the work, because the teacher had continuous access to it from the time the student shared it with him. Though it would not be necessary to share it back until completed, I suggested that be the first thing they did, so as to avoid claims that "the cloud ate it".
The teacher had thought to next use a Moodle Forum for the students to work in pairs on a project that would involve a running dialog but has now decided that the share/collaborate/revision history features in Google Docs will suit him better. They plan to create documents that are shared three ways between the teacher and each pair of students.
Possibly you will see an application to your needs in this info; though it does assume access to Google Docs, with Moodle integration being almost a requisite but not absolutely so. Frankly, Ken’s [Moodle] Blog suggestion may be the most beautifully simple approach if you don’t need a revision history.