Archive | Group Member Help

How to get the most out belonging to a 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

 

 

Repy by Email

If you wanted to respond to a group topic, you can simply click Reply in your email client; Reply By Email takes care of the rest!

A Few “Reply By Email” Notes

  • When you receive a Commons email notification, you’ll notice the phrase “— Reply ABOVE THIS LINE to add a comment —“ (circled in red, above). Anything you type above this line will be part of the message posted to the forum, while everything below this line will be ignored But it is vital that the line itself be present in the reply. Reply By Email uses this info to route your reply back to the Commons. (Depending on your email client, when you hit reply, you might see additional address information added. Don’t worry – this will not be part of your response.)
  • You must reply using the same email address at which you received the notification – Reply By Email uses this as a way of matching you up with your Commons username. (Not an issue for most people, but it may affect those who have set up their email client with multiple email addresses.)
  • You can use Reply by Email to reply to discussion threads on group forums, to personal messages and @mentions, and to group announcements.
  • You cannot use Reply by Email to reply to notification “digests,” Docs notifications (new docs, edited docs, new comments), group file uploads, group invites, or friendship requests.

The Reply by Email plugin was developed for the Commons, and made available to the entire BuddyPress community. See here for technical details.

How to Read and Comment on a Social Paper

Authors of Social Papers choose how visible they want their paper to be. For more information about that, read this. For instruction on how to create your own Social Paper and other related topics click here.

If the paper has been set to “Public,” anyone with access to the internet can read it. All public papers will appear on the Social Paper Directory, and on your “My Papers” tab (https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/members/{memberName}/papers/

If it’s private, the author must invite you to be a reader, which will generate a notification – either through email with a URL or as Private Message sent to you through the Commons. Once you know where the paper is, you can follow it by clicking on the “Follow” button. Alerts regarding changes to the paper will be emailed to you, just like other Notifications on the Commons. If you cannot find the paper, ask the author if you’ve been added to the reader group.

Adding Comments to a Paper

The site is an active Writing Desktop. You’ll be able to comment right away. If you’re signed in to the Commons, your comments will appear without moderation; comments sent from outside require author approval.

Commenting can be done in two ways –for the paper as a whole or by paragraph . You cannot post a comment in direct relation to a word or sentence.

Commenting on the Paper as a Whole

If you want to reply to the paper as a whole, you can post a comment at the bottom, beneath “Responses”:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 9.21.09 PMThat’s probably something you’ve seen before.

Commenting on a Paragraph

Commenting at the paragraph level is more interactive.  As you scroll down from paragraph to paragraph, you will see either a plus sign or a number appear in a bubble to your right. Like this:

plus bubble

or:

Number bubbleThe plus sign indicates that no one has yet commented; numbers tell you how many comments have already been posted. When you click on the bubble, the paragraph will be highlighted and you will see a place to post your comment:

Who Can Post Comments

On Public Papers if you are already logged in, you can simply post your comment. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to do so. If you change your mind about adding your comment, simply press the “Cancel” hyperlink to leave the comment space. Once you press “Post Comment”, you cannot edit it.

Once you post, you’ll get a green pop up box saying “Thank you!

Comments from logged-in Commons members are posted immediately,  so there’s no need for you to check in with the author. If you are not logged in, your comment will be moderated by the author.

Private Papers can only be commented on by logged-in members with whom the author has shared the paper.

Replying to Existing Comments

In addition to commenting on the paragraph, you can reply to an already-existing comment:

Replying yo a commentNote that replying to an already-existing comment is only possible if the previous commenter was logged in.

Orphaned Comments

After you have left your comments, the original author may publish a new draft which omits one or more paragraphs. If this happens,  the comments from the original paragraph will appear where that paragraph was previously located. This is not easy to see in the text, but as you scroll you may notice a number bubble that will allow you to see the comments left there:

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 8.51.08 PM

 

If you have any feedback about this exciting new feature, please email the Community team: support@cunycommons.zendesk.com . Happy commenting!


Social Paper Codex Pages

  1. Social Paper
  2. How to Create a Social Paper
  3. How to Share and Follow Social Papers
  4. How to Comment on Social Papers (current page)

Social Paper

Social Paper lets members share in-progress writing projects, and receive feedback.  Granular permission settings let members of the Commons determine who they want to expose their work to.  Paragraph by paragraph commenting makes Social Paper an ideal tool for modern academic writing.

Navigating to Social Paper

There are three ways to navigate to a Social Paper. After you log into your Commons account, you can either:

howtogettopapers

  1. Use the CUNY Academic Commons drop-down menu on the top left and click on Papers;
  2. Select the Papers tab from the tabs across the site; or
  3. Use your Profile drop-down menu on the top right and hover over My Papers.

For more detailed instructions on how to use Social Paper as an author or a reader, see the following pages:

  1. How to Create a Social Paper
  2. How to Share and Follow Social Papers
  3. How to Comment on Social Papers

Social Paper is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities and the City University of New York Advance Grant Program.

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

 

 

 

You Just Joined a Group on the Commons – Now What?

There are hundreds of groups on the Commons, and you’ll probably want to join a bunch.  For public groups,  when you click the join button, membership is immediate. For private groups, you’ll need to ask to join, and the admins of the group will need to approve your membership.  There are also hidden groups on the Commons, and to join these, you’ll need to receive and accept an invitation.

So What Next?

If you are new to the Commons, you might wonder about groups and their purposes.  Some are very very casual, and have sporadic activity.  Other “working” groups are very active, and many members share information and collaborate on projects.  Here are some examples of how groups are used on the Commons:

  • Common interests. For example, the CUNY Open Education Resources (OER) is a public group with a public blog that provides “… a space for CUNY librarians and teaching faculty interested in free and open textbooks and other open education resources…”
  • Department or program administration. For example, The College of Staten Island English Department has a private group with a private blog that facilitates communication between faculty, students, and staff members.
  • Committees.  Groups on the Commons provide fantastic ways to share files, minutes, organize meetings, discuss plans, and collaborate on projects.
  • Conduct graduate classes. Group forums are a great place to bounce around ideas, discuss issues, and post class announcements.  Private group blogs can be used to publish syllabi and post writing assignments and course reflections.  Class members can work collaboratively on projects using Docs feature.  Check out the Digital Praxis Seminar for an example.
  • Projects.   ePortfolios @SPS – a private working group and group blog for the “Connect to Learning at SPS” project)
  • Campus “Commons” sites.  A great example of this is The Lehman Teaching & Learning Commons – “a space for Lehman’s faculty, staff, and graduate students to join in conversations and activities about their Lehman experience.”
  • Conferences/events/seminars.  Plan, organize and advertise upcoming group events.

Group Tools

group optionsThere is a lot more to groups than the group forum.   Here is a quick review of all the tools that are avaialbe to group members:

  • On your group’s Home page, below its summary statement and avatar is the group activity stream, a rich log with links to everything that’s happened in the group – new members, new forum topics, replies to discussion threads, announcements, etc. Browse the group’s Activity Stream to stay current with your groups news. (If your group subscribes to any external RSS feeds, that content will appear here as well.)
  • The Announcements page lists all the announcements posted by the group’s admins and moderators.
  • If your group has a group blog, you can access it via the Blog tab.  Read and post to the Group Blog.  (This option will not appear if your group does not have a blog.)  For more info, see Groups and Groups Blogs.
  • The Files page lets you upload and share files.  Members can upload files to the group site, and make them available to everyone.  By default, group members are notified when a file is uploaded, but you can choose “Silent Upload” and not disturb your colleagues if you are making some small changes to a file or if it is not ready to be reviewed by the whole group.  For more info, see Working with Group Files.
  • Read and contribute to the forum.  As a member, you can start new topics and comment on existing threads.  By default, you are notified by email when other members post to the forum, and you can either reply by email to the thread, or click on the link embedded in the email, and log into the Commons to reply.  These two options make it extremely easy to participate in a discussion.
  • Collaborate with other members using Docs.  You can think of Docs as your group’s private wiki.  It has granular privacy settings which allow subgroups to work together and collaborate confidentially, and keeps a record of changes.  Docs can be tagged and grouped hierarchically.  (Docs can be enabled or disabled by your group admin – if you want this functionality and don’t see it, ask your group admin to enable it.)
  • Find out who is in your group by clicking the Members tab.
  • Send Invites to your colleagues to join your group.    (Invited members need to be members of the Commons.)
  • Configure your email notifications with Email Options page.  tab provides access to your notification settings.  For more see Managing Privacy on the Commons.

Additional Resources

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