Archive | Group Administrator Help

How to manage your Group

Expanding Group Functionality

Linking social media profiles to groups

Social and you know it? If you’re an admin, you can link your group to your non-Commons social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Flickr, YouTube and Delicious! You’ll find these option in your group Manage tabs under Social Media Accounts:

SM

Cross-posting of forum topics

Have big news you just have to share with everyone? Your forum topics can be visible (or not!) to any or all groups you belong to. All groups that you’re a member of will appear listed beneath your new post. Check one or more of these group checkboxes to crosspost your new forum topic to these groups. Your group members will receive a single notification of each newly-created forum topic.

XPost

 

“My Groups” and “My Sites” Admin Bar Menus

Are you a member of more groups that you can count? Even with your socks off? You can  scroll though the My Groups and My Sites admin bar beneath your avatar in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. For even simpler access to the Sites you love enough to Follow, just click the stable Followed Sites link at the top. The Create a Site link remains sup there as well, because we know many of you have new sites you’re just around the corner from adding! My Groups also shows any Pending Invites awaiting you, so that you can add newbies at will

 

Group forum search

Are you a member of a group that has plenty of forum activity? Excavating through all the threads can be tiresome, so use the Search Boxes instead. On the right-hand side of the page, just above the topic list, you find a writable field for your searching pleasure.

FS

 

 

Changing Your Group’s Privacy Settings

As the screenshot on the right shows, groups on the Commons have three levels of privacy. As the needs of a group evolves, the admin(s) may want to adjust who can see a group’s content.  There are a few things to remember when choosing to open up a group to the public.

Once the switch is made, docs, files, and forum threads will be visible to everyone. Look over group content for files or threads that may not be appropriate for public consumption and either edit or delete accordingly.  Conversely, announcements posted by admins before the group became public will no longer by accessible to group members. Old announcements aren’t permanently deleted and will reappear if the group becomes private again.

If the group has a group site enabled, changing the group from private to public will not automatically change the site’s privacy settings.  You can have a public group with a private group site, or a private group with a public group site.  Find out more about group sites here.  To update the settings of your group site, please visit the “Group Blog” setting of the Admin panel.  Learn more about Groups on the Commons.

Events Calendar

cal_5374200948_539b10fb1c_m Events Calendar is a site-wide plugin that supports individual, group, and global calendars. Designed to publicize events to the friends you’ve developed on the Commons and to the groups you belong to (and which you choose to notify), the plugin delivers email notifications about events with vital information, including:

  • Event title
  • A rich description, that allows for links, images, etc.
  • Start and end times
  • Venue (including a map)
  • Whether or not this is a recurring event
  • Commons groups who have been invited

The information is also conveniently aggregated with other Commons events and displayed on individual, group, and global calendars. You can browse through your individual calendar, or look through your groups’ calendars to find events, and click to see details.

  • As an individual, you can check out your personal calendar to see all events targeted for the groups to which you belong, and the events that have been entered by your friends.
  • As a group member, you can access your group’s calendar to find events specifically targeted to your group.
  • As a member of the Commons, you can (soon) access the global calendar and see what events are happening in public groups.

my events

Accessing Your Individual Calendar

There are several ways to access your individual calendar once you are logged into the Commons.

  • Hover over your avatar in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Here you will see a new option called “My Events” (pictured at the right).
  • You can also visit your “Commons Profile.” Here you will see a new tab called “My Events.”

When you click on “My Events>>Calendar” you will see events entered by you, your friends, or by members of groups to which you belong. The calendar grid provides a convenient way to plan your schedule.

my cal

If you click on the “Upcoming Events” tab you’ll see a more condensed view, displayed as a list. No matter which view you choose, you can click on each event for its metadata.

upcoming

The “Manage” tab is useful when you have events that are in draft, and that you have not yet published.

Accessing Group Calendars

omekaGroup calendars can be accessed from a new tab in the group menu called “Events” (see image on the right). Group calendars are different from individual calendars in that they display events to which they are specifically targeted.

If you click on “ New Event” from inside your group, the event you enter will be automatically added to your group new groupcalendar.  But don’t stop there.  You can add other groups that you think will be interested in the event you are publicizing.   You can add public, private and hidden groups, provided you belong to them.  And as stated before, the members of these groups will be notified by email, and events will display on their individual and group calendars.

Understanding Privacy

  • Your personal calendar is discrete from everyone else’s and is private to you.
  • Events you enter from your personal calendar are visible to your friends on the Commons. They will be notified by email upon publication.
  • When creating an individual event, you can target the groups you belong to.
  • If the only group your choose is private or hidden, only those members will be notified.
  • If you post from a private or hidden group, no trace of the event will display except on the calendars of those belonging to those private or hidden groups.
  • If you include a public group, those members will be notified, and the event will be added to the group.
  • All “Public” group events will be viewable on the global calendar, but notification emails will not be sent to everyone on the Commons.

Adding Events to your Google, MS Outlook, or similar third party calendars

If you use “Google Calendar,” or MS Outlook, or a similar API, you can automatically add events from your Commons calendars.  Click on the event to add them by clicking the “Download iCal file” hyperlink (highlighted below).  They will be added to your third party calendar.

ical

Site-Wide Calendar

The Commons site-wide calendar is a great way to see what’s happening all over CUNY.  It shows events added to public groups, but will not display events only associated to private or hidden groups. You can access from the Commons home page, on the “Events” tab or at https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/events/

 

Invitations to the Commons, to Groups, and to Group Sites

When you invite colleagues or students to join the Commons, there are a number of options that can save you a bunch of time. Listed below are the basic scenarios, and how you can combine what you want to do into one process.

Inviting Someone to Join the Commons
This is the basic scenario – you want to invite a CUNY colleague to join the Commons. Any member of the Commons can send a customized email invitation, and the recipient can simply click on a hyperlink to begin the registration process.

Hover over your avatar in the top right corner of your browser screen, and scroll down to the “Send Invites” option.

send-invites

When you click on Send Invites, you’ll see a screen like below. Fill in your colleague’s email addresses, one per line, in the box highlighted in red. You can customize the subject line and the text of the invitation.

invite2

 

Inviting Someone to Join the Commons and Your Group(s)
If you want to invite someone to join the Commons, and to join one or more of your groups, follow the same procedure as above, but in the optional section 4, click on one of the checkboxes of the groups you’d like the new member to consider joining. When he or she completes the registration process, an invitation to the group(s) will be waiting for acceptance.

This is particularly effective if you are using the Commons to teach a graduate class. Make sure you create your class group first, and then, when you send out invitations to class members, check your class group’s box. Then your students will receive an invitation to join the Commons, and once they registered, will automatically receive a request to join the class group.

Inviting Someone to Join the Commons, Your Group, and Your Group Site
The final scenario pertains if you have a group site. If you already have a group site, go to “Send Invites” on the left to search for members to invite:

invite-to-group-site

The invitees will be sent an email with a confirmation link. The invitee will initially join as a Member. If you’d like to remove, ban or promote individual members, go to Manage (on the left) and select the Members tab in the middle. Next to each name are four options:

member-changes

Members are free to leave the Group by navigating to the group Site, then clicking Leave Group:

leave

 

Please let us know if you have any difficulties or questions about this process at the Commons help desk – support@cunycommons.zendesk.com

 

 

 

How to Adjust Discussion Settings

Adjusting WordPress’ Comments Feature

On your dashboard, under Settings>>Discussion you will find the following adjustments for comments:

discussion

Please note that changes to these settings will apply to all future pages and posts.  Content that was written previously will retain original discussion settings.  If you want to turn on or off discussion for these, you will need to do it on the post or page level.  See below.post discussion

Turning Off Comments on Individual Posts and Pages

If you only want to turn off comments for one post or page, you can set commenting off on the page/post level.If you don’t see these options, your screen options may need to be adjusted.  Click on the “Screen Options” button in the upper right hand corner.  Learn more about Screen Options.

Spam

Sadly, if you turn on discussion, you’ll likely get some spam.  Make sure to activate the plugin called Akismet to strains out almost everything.  We have a free license.  Read How to Detect and Avoid Spam.

Creative Commons License

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