I’m taking a fabulous ecourse, eAssessment in Moodle at LearnNowBC http://www.learnnowbc.ca/educators/MoodleMeets/default.aspx, one of many courses offered.
For instance, I’ve learned how to set up groups (one group for each student) so that I can set up a forum that can be completely private for each student – that way when I want to have an extended private conversation with each student about their work, then I can. Without using groups this way, every student has a separate thread, but the conversations could be potentially read by any other student, which can make students uncomfortable. The forum is set up with separate groups, and only viewable by group members (see illustration).
A tip of the hat to moderator David LeBlanc who has shared so generously of his knowledge and experience.