A growing number of departments and committees find the Commons a great platform to manage business, distribute files, discuss issues and plan initiatives. Group “built-in” tools include:
- forums – where members can start new topics, or participate in discussion threads;
- docs – where members can collaborate on a private wiki;
- file uploads – where members can add to file repositories that everyone can access;
- group announcements – where admins and moderators post timely announcements for the whole group to read
Groups may want to break down into smaller working groups, to interact, share resources, conduct administrative duties, and communicate with members in private. Everyone can be notified via email (depending on personal email notification settings), and the Commons provides a convenient “Reply by Email” functionality – you don’t need to log in to the Commons – you can reply from the comfort of your inbox.
Departments or committees may also want to link their group to a WordPress site and make it either public or private – this provides another way to handle various tasks, announce policies, and solicit opinions.
- Campus “Commons” sites. An 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.”
- 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.