Am i right in thinking that you are allowing students to 'self enrol' on courses? So everybody logs on and gets authenticaed users status, authenticated user can self enrol on a course and the default enrollment type is set to 'Student'?
if you're happy going into Roles and Permissions you could override permissions in the particular course where this forum is and prevent students from starting new discussion topics - I'm copying and pasting the next bit:
Overrides are specific permissions designed to override a role in a specific context, allowing you to "tweak" your permissions as required.
For example, if users with the role Student in your course can usually start new discussions in forums, but there is one particular forum for which you want to restrict that capability, then you can set an override that PREVENTS the capability for Students to "Start new discussions".
If you want to do it, go to assign roles in the course concerned, click on override permissions and then student and then scroll down to the forums bit.
Have you added the students via Site Admin>Users>Permissions>Assign System Roles? If this is the case you should remove them from there and only assign (or allow them to enrol via a key etc) in each individual course.
They become part of a group if they enrol on the course, providing its setup correctly?
If you gave me a login i could fix, PM me!
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