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Feature #14878

Bulk delete forum replies

Added by Laurie Hurson about 1 month ago. Updated about 1 month ago.

Status:
New
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
2021-10-19
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

Hi All,

I met with the City Collegee OER team last week and they had a question about bulk deleting forum replies (but not topics).

They re-use the same OER Fellowship group each semester to facilitate their OER faculty development program. Because they have built out the assignments as forum topics and are linking to these assignment forum topics from the site they like the reuse the group (keeping the URL and prompts the same) and removing/adding users for each new fellow group/semester.

Site:https://citycollegeoer.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

Group:https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/ccny-oer-workshop/

I do not believe cloning will not work here because they would like to keep the URL the same.

Is there a way to build delete replies to forum posts so they can keep their group and forum topics the same semester to semester but clear out responses to the assignments.

It seems strange to me that they would want to delete faculty work each semester so I will circle back and ask about this tactic but knowing if there is a bulk delete replies feature would be helpful either way. And/or I am open to hearing about other ideas for the keeping the group URL the same while allowing reuse of forum topics.

Thanks!

History

#1 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 month ago

  • Assignee set to Raymond Hoh

Ray can confirm, but I don't think there's a way to bulk delete replies in the interface.

It'd be possible to do it in the WP Dashboard, so one possible route is that they could work with a member of the Commons team each term to do the deletion process. I don't really recommend this route because it can't be scaled, but it's a thought.

As for building a new tool, it's certainly possible, but it's not clear to me what it would look like. Bulk management tools in WP usually have the form of: see a list of items; put checkboxes next to each and let the user select items by checking their boxes (perhaps with the assistance of a 'select all' link); use a dropdown or other bulk-actions UI to select what to do with the items. But in the case of group forums, there's no natural interface where we could offer this kind of checkbox-list view. Moreover, I'm uncertain we would want it, given the nature of replies: if you selectively remove a number of items from a thread, the thread could become incoherent (replies to replies, etc). So a second kind of option would be a single item for "delete all replies from this topic". This avoids a lot of the UI complication, and so is simpler to design and build. But it's a very specific tool that I'm not sure will be useful to others.

Ray, do you have thoughts? Matt, do you want to chime in about whether we are open to building custom tools like this, which will save a significant amount of time for a very specific use case, but be almost useless for anyone else?

#2 Updated by Raymond Hoh about 1 month ago

Boone is correct on all points.

In my opinion, there isn't much utility in offering a "delete all forum replies in this thread" button. I do see some utility in offering a bulk-delete replies option due to spam, but that would probably be the only reason why you'd want to use this option.

If the City College OER group will use this option multiple times a year, we could probably build a WP-CLI script and run it whenever they ask. Or we could add an option under a group's "Manage > Forum" page, but only for this specific group as I do not see other groups using this option.

A secondary approach would be to allow group admins and moderators to view the "Replies" page in the WP admin dashboard and ensuring they can bulk-delete replies that they should have access to there. This feels more inline with what we would expect from users with the editor role in the WP admin dashboard. I'm not sure what the technical lift would be though.

#3 Updated by Matt Gold about 1 month ago

Laurie, can you please say more about this?

I do not believe cloning will not work here because they would like to keep the URL the same.

I'm not sure I understand why they don't just clone the group and use a new one each time if they are going to delete the old replies anyway.

#4 Updated by Laurie Hurson about 1 month ago

Hi All,

Thanks for your feedback on this.

Matt, their fellowship site menu (https://citycollegeoer.commons.gc.cuny.edu/) links directly into each forum topic "assignment". If they were to clone/change the group, they would have to update the site menu every semester. I asked about doing this and they said they would really prefer to use the same group each semester. I can circle back and ask again if you think this is more appropriate.

However, I do think that Ray's suggestions - either building WP-CLI script or adding an option under a group's "Manage > Forum" page for this specific group - is what they are looking for. Would one of these solutions be possible and an easy technical lift? Since this is a one-off question, I don't want you all to have to do something too complicated to accommodate this use case.

Thanks!

#5 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 month ago

However, I do think that Ray's suggestions - either building WP-CLI script or adding an option under a group's "Manage > Forum" page for this specific group - is what they are looking for. Would one of these solutions be possible and an easy technical lift? Since this is a one-off question, I don't want you all to have to do something too complicated to accommodate this use case.

It's not overly difficult to build. But if (a) they need it to be run frequently, or (b) lots of other groups start asking for similar things, then it could end up being too much overhead for our team. I leave it up to you and Matt whether it's worth it.

#6 Updated by Laurie Hurson about 1 month ago

Just an update: I have circled back to the City OER team about using a new group each semester instead of developing this bulk delete feature (both as a way to ease this process, and as a way to preserve faculty work and community building space). Waiting to hear back from them.

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