FAQ – Groups

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How do I create a Group?

After you’ve logged in to the Commons, click on the Groups tab; then, select the Create a Group button next to the group directory. Enter a group name and group description. Then, click Create Group and Continue. This will lead you to steps where you can choose whether to enable discussion boards; select whether your group will be public, private, or hidden; determine the member roles in your group; create a group avatar; and invite members to join your group.

Creating a group is covered in more detail in this guide.

How can I change my group e-mail notifications?

When you join a group, you automatically receive e-mail notifications for all group activity. If you’d like to change your notification settings for one of your groups, please go to the home page of that group and look for E-mail Options in the left navigation panel. On the next page, select your preferred option:  No E-mail, Weekly Summary E-mail, Daily Digest E-mail, New Topics E-mail, All E-mail. Then, select Save Settings.

These are covered in more detail in this guide.

How do I reply to e-mail notifications?

To reply to an e-mail notification, click on the link supplied in the notification, log in to the Commons (if you’re not already logged in), and reply.

Why do unwanted characters appear in my post, comment, or page?

If you copy text from Microsoft Word or from an e-mail and paste it into Humanities Commons, you may sometimes see unwanted characters. There are a few things you can do to ensure that only your text (and none of the strange characters) appears in your post:

If you are posting to a space that gives you the choice between composing in Visual or Text modes, select the Text editor. After pasting in the content you would like to add, you can switch back to Visual mode to modify the formatting.

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If you do not see the Visual and Text tabs, you will need to convert the document to plain text before pasting it into the Commons. To do this, first save your original document. Then click File > Save As. Choose a new name for your file to differentiate it from the original. This step is very important. It prevents you from losing your original, formatted work. Once you have selected a new file name, change the selected file type from Word Document to Plain Text (.txt) using the Format field. Open the new text file and copy and paste your work from there.

How do I upload files to a group?

When you join a group, you can post content on the Commons by contributing to the discussion board, creating a new doc, or uploading a file. If you want to upload a file, go to Files in the left-hand menu of your group’s home page. You will see a list of files that have been shared by other colleagues. After clicking Upload a New Document, you can upload your file, give your document a display name, and offer a description. Click Save when you’re finished.

Please note that file size is limited to 2 megabytes, so you may want to use a compression tool (such as Small PDF) if your file exceeds the limit.

Can I edit my comments?

Once posted, comments cannot be changed. Comments provide a useful record of ongoing conversation on a blog post, forum topic, or other element of Humanities Commons. We understand that you might wish to revisit a comment to fix a typo or make other revisions, but the platform aims to encourage transparency and to emphasize that online discussions and publications are always evolving. We suggest that instead of revising comments you add a new comment noting the change you wish to make.

How can I join a group?

There are three types of groups on the Commons: public groups, private groups, and hidden groups.

Public groups will appear in the directory of groups, and anyone can join by clicking Join Group on the group’s page. All content in public groups is visible, even to people who aren’t logged in to the site.

Private groups will also appear in the directory of groups, but membership may be restricted in different ways. To request to join a private group, click Request Membership on the group’s page. If the request is approved, you’ll be able to view the group’s content.

Hidden groups won’t appear in the directory of groups, and their content is viewable only by their members. New members must be invited to join by existing group members.

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