Feature #12447


Tallying Forum Participation

Added by Laurie Hurson over 4 years ago. Updated over 3 years ago.

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A professor is having students use the group forum for online discussion.

Is there a way to surface data on how many times a group member(student) posted and in which forum feed they responded? This would be similar to the reckoning plugin output but for the group forum.


group-members-export-to-csv.php (762 Bytes) group-members-export-to-csv.php Boone Gorges, 2020-09-23 11:08 AM
group-forum-csv.png (17.1 KB) group-forum-csv.png Raymond Hoh, 2020-10-28 07:04 PM

Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Feature #11941: CSV export for Reckoning dataResolvedRaymond Hoh2019-10-03

Actions #1

Updated by Boone Gorges over 4 years ago

This doesn't currently exist and would need to be built. It's not overly hard to do, but there'd need to be a place in the group interface where admins could view this data - like maybe on the Manage > Forums tab. And we'd need to make sure that we present the data in a way that's actually useful to the user. Reckoning's model (user summaries across the whole history of the site/group, with the ability to view a summary of one specific user) is one way to do it.

Matt et al, do you have thoughts about whether this is worth dev and design investment?

Actions #2

Updated by Laurie Hurson over 4 years ago

Good to know it is possible.

Since this is the first request of this type, I don't know if this is worth dev and design investment.

That said, if we are considering sunsetting bbpress due to all the recent issues, the group forum becomes the natural place to move these discussions. A tallying/review mechanism in the forum might offer an added benefit for instructors to begin using the group forum to host discussion instead of using bbpress. (Not that bbpress has a tally mechanism currently either, but having tallying in the group would be an added benefit.)

Actions #3

Updated by Boone Gorges about 4 years ago

  • Category name set to Courses
  • Target version set to Future release

Thanks, Laurie. Let's file this away for further consideration. Might be worth a look when we devote another release to teaching-featured tools.

Actions #4

Updated by Laurie Hurson about 4 years ago

Sounds good thanks Boone

Actions #5

Updated by Colin McDonald almost 4 years ago

I wanted to get this ticket percolating again as a fall release candidate with a couple of thoughts/questions. Boone, maybe you can chime in?

This perhaps isn't relevant, but just curious, if I sort by Group Activity in Members, is that just showing me the members who have posted most recently in the group? Example link:

Might there be a design shortcut and even extra utility to simply offering a CSV export of all Group activity? I envision a spreadsheet with each row representing a piece of activity (namely a forum post or a library upload) with columns like this: member name, type of activity, date, link to activity, title (either of post or upload), and description (contains either post content or upload description).

This export could only be available to admins. Then, the admin could slice it up as they want (we could offer documentation of ideas). I imagine usually they'd sort by member name and then date to see a student's output over a whole semester, and use the link for context as needed. But the spreadsheet may offer the most data versatility, built-in familiarity since it's just a spreadsheet, and also avoids the need for a web interface to present it. But maybe there are hangups on the tech side for providing such output, or elsewhere.

Actions #6

Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

CSV export is an interesting idea. It's certainly the most flexible: we can include everything, and let group admins do whatever they want. From a technical point of view, it's much easier to put data into a CSV than to build a new GUI. My main concern is that it's not extremely user-friendly - I don't have a clear sense of the general ability of users to manipulate spreadsheet data.

Actions #7

Updated by Colin McDonald almost 4 years ago

Thanks, Boone. Since we're already doing the CSV export for Reckoning in #11941, perhaps there is development and user overlap for CSV export here. We could have similar documentation, and the users interested in Reckoning CSV may also go for the Forum CSV, and be comfortable with both. Basically a Site-side and a Group-side export for evaluation purposes. Does the Reckoning export development dovetail with this ticket? If it's relatively simple to get both of these going, we could then see how the demand and usability play out once released before taking the big next step of a new GUI.

Actions #8

Updated by Boone Gorges almost 4 years ago

There might be a bit of dovetailing between the two. At the very least, we could use a shared framework for formatting the CSV columns. So, for example, there would be a 'Type' column; in a Reckoning export, the value would be either 'post' or 'comment', but in the group export, it might be 'doc' or 'link' or 'topic' or 'reply'. I don't envision saving a lot of dev time by doing both of the features at the same time, but I think there's lots to be said for shared documentation and user experience. I also agree that it's a much easier thing to build than a true "Dashboard" GUI, so it might be a good way to test the waters.

Actions #9

Updated by Colin McDonald over 3 years ago

Sounds like we're pretty close here then, on CSV export for Forum activity to go along with #11941 and its CSV export for Reckoning (i.e. Site) activity. While the exports may look different, we can standardize the practice somewhat since both will be a CSV export and interpretation process we can back up with somewhat similar documentation.

Actions #10

Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

  • Target version changed from Future release to 1.18.0

Tentatively putting into the 1.18 milestone.

Actions #11

Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

Actions #12

Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

Ray, could you please take point on this collection of issues? The first step will be to build a framework for exporting CSV files (I've attached a sample that I use as a template sometimes). Then, populate this spreadsheet with data from a specific group's forum. I think we'd want one row for each topic or reply, with columns for user login + display name, so that admins can use spreadsheet tools to tally and sort as they'd like. Then, slap a 'download' link somewhere - say, on the group's Forum admin tab (we can adjust this location later if necessary).

Actions #13

Updated by Raymond Hoh over 3 years ago

Sure, I'll take this on, Boone.

Thanks for the sample code as well! Will look into this a bit further into the milestone.

Actions #14

Updated by Raymond Hoh over 3 years ago

I've added a first pass on cdev.

Navigate to any group that you are an admin of and visit the "Forum" tab. You will see a new "Download CSV" block in the group header:

The CSV uses the following columns:

  • User display name
  • Username (user_login)
  • Type (either topic or reply)
  • Content URL (permalink to topic or reply)
  • Topic title
  • Date posted (GMT) (can switch to local timezone if desired)

As in #11941, let me know if we want to add any additional columns like the post content.

(Commit -

Actions #15

Updated by Laurie Hurson over 3 years ago

Thanks for this - it works great.

I think because there is no other way to see forum content in a summarized format (differing from sites w/ reckoning where admin can see detailed user data summary)I think it makes sense to pull user forum/reply content here.

Same point re: GMT as I made on the other reckoning data ticket - I find the use of GMT as default confusing. My forum topics and replies we made between 10-11am today and that is what I see on the Commons (cdev) but when i download the CSV all info is in GMT. Is it safe to assume most people will be using EST? Can we made the default EST?

Actions #16

Updated by Raymond Hoh over 3 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, Laurie.

I've added a Content column and have adjust the Date posted column to use whatever timezone WordPress has set, so for us, it will use America/New_York. The column will now say Date posted (America/New_York).

This is available for testing on cdev.

(Commits -,

Actions #17

Updated by Laurie Hurson over 3 years ago

Tested these updates - time column (America/New york) makes more sense and the topic and content columns are great. I think professors will love that they can tally forum participation with this CSV download. Thanks All.

Actions #18

Updated by Boone Gorges over 3 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Resolved

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