Frequently Asked Questions

Find help with issues members have encountered. Please, help us improve the FAQ by letting us know if anything needs clarification. Contact us at

Quick Jumps to FAQ Categories

Answers to many questions encountered when first joining the Commons, including how to manage your profile, how to change your avatar, and how to configure email notifications.

Learn how to start and administer a group, how to manage privacy, and how to use Docs to collaborate on projects.

Learn how to find and upload document and resource files to the Commons. Learn about privacy settings for documents and resources, identifying parent group and parent documents.


Questions about the Commons Profiles and Accounts

I forgot my password, how can I reset it?

The Faculty Commons uses your Texas State NetID and password for log-in. If you have forgotten this password, please go to the TX State Online Toolkit and follow the instructions. Alternatively, contact ITAC by phone at 512-245-4822 or by email at for assistance with resetting your password.

How can I edit my profile information?

Go to the top navigation bar and click [Your Name]. You will be taken to the Edit Profile screen where you can update your display name, college, role, title, academic interests, websites, and additional profile fields. Be sure to click [Save Changes] at the bottom of the screen when you are finished.

How do I load a picture of myself to appear on my profile and other areas?

After logging into the Commons, go to the top navigation bar and select Your Name» Edit My Profile to navigate to your profile page. Click [Change Avatar] to upload a new image.

How do I change my display profile name?

After logging into the Commons, go to the top navigation bar and select: Your Name » Edit My Profile. To change your display name, edit the “Name” field. To change your name, you will be required to fill in all fields labeled “required”. Click [Save Changes] at the bottom of the screen when you are finished.

How do I invite colleagues to join the Commons?

Members of the Commons can invite Texas State colleagues (faculty and staff only) with Texas State NetId to become members and join specific groups. You can send invites to non-members from your profile page by clicking [Send Invites] in the left column of the profile page. You can ask people to join the Commons in general or invite them to join one of your groups. Graduate students can also be added by request of faculty or staff. Please email to have a graduate student added to Faculty Commons.

What are mentions and how are they used?

The @mention system allows members to link others to items in Faculty Commons, such as Forums conversations, Announcements, and Comments. When a member is mentioned, they will receive a notification of the mention via email. If you are trying to reach out to a specific group member, simply put the @ symbol in front of their username and it will send a notification to their email address and show up in their @mention activity stream.

What are “friends”?

Think of “friending” in Faculty Commons as academic social networking—it enables us to contact one another, and share resources and knowledge. By accepting a member’s friend request, you become part of his or her network. To accept a friend request, either follow the link in the notification e-mail. Alternatively, once you’ve logged in, hover your mouse over [“Your Name”] in the top right corner of the top navigation bar. Click on [Friends] to view pending requests. You will be directed to a web page that allows you to accept or reject the friend request. If you want to friend a member, visit their profile page and click [Add Friend]. A request will be sent to the member.

Where can I see my “notifications”?

Find out if you have a new messages, friend requests, or invitations to join a group by mousing over your name in the top navigation bar. The number of new notifications will appear in parenthesis next to the appropriate category. Click the category to access and respond to the notifications.

How do I send a message?

There are two places from which to send messages to your friends:

– Option 1: Hover your mouse over your name, then hover over [Messages] and click [Compose].

– Option 2: Select [Your Name], select [Messages] on the left side of your profile page, then click [Compose].

When composing a message, start typing the recipient’s first name in the [Send To] field. A list of your friends will appear based on the entered text. Each time a recipient has been selected, an new extra [Send To] field will appear to allow you to add multiple recipients.

To send a message to someone outside your network navigate to the member’s profile page. Below their profile photo click on [Private Message] complete and send your message.

How can I toggle my email notification settings?

Faculty Commons will send email messages to notify you of various activities regarding your Commons account, such as another member inviting you to a group or sending you a friendship request. To edit your email notification settings, click [Your Name] in the top right corner of the screen, then click [Notification Settings] below your profile picture. A list of Commons activities will display. Choose either “Yes” or “No” to receive an email notification for the activity, and click [Save Changes] to save your settings.

How do I delete my account?

To delete your account, go to the top navigation bar and select: My Commons » My Settings > Delete Account, then follow the directions. Deleting your account will delete all of the content you have created. It will be completely irrecoverable. If you prefer to transfer your content to another user before you delete your account, please contact Faculty Commons Support at

Questions about Groups

How can groups use the Commons?

The commons is an evolving online academic community that belongs to the members of Texas State. By participating in groups, forums and sharing resources, you are actually adding to the community knowledge base and helping to shape the culture of the community. Each member has the ability to join, create and use groups based on their individual needs. Find further information on groups in Navigating the Faculty Commons, and Faculty Commons Recommended Use Guide.

How do I create and maintain a group?

Click [Topic Groups] in the main navigation bar, then click the [Create a Group] next to the Group Directory. This will bring up the group creation page. We suggest reading the section on Groups in the Faculty Commons Recommended Use Guide before committing to creating and maintaining your own group.

What are the differences in permissions for the various group roles, i.e. Admins, Moderators, Members?

Administrators can do the following things that moderators cannot do:

  1. Change group settings, turn group forums on or off, change group status from public to private, etc
  2. Post Announcements
  3. Send group invites
  4. Change group photo
  5. Manage group members: ie kick/ban members, promote/demote members
  6. Delete the group

Group moderators can do the following things that normal members cannot do:

  1. Edit the Group Details, including the name of the group and group description
  2. Edit, close, and delete forum topics/posts
  3. Edit/delete group documents
  4. Post Announcements

Group Members can:

  1. post to forums
  2. access and upload documents

What’s the difference between public, private, and hidden groups?

All content in public groups (member listing, forum posts, activity stream posts) is available to be viewed by anyone, even viewers who aren’t logged into the site. Public groups are listed in the Groups Directory, and any member of the community can join the group without seeking approval from the group Admin.

All content in private groups is hidden from the public and is viewable only by members of that group. Private groups are listed in the Groups Directory, but members of the community must request membership to the group and have that request approved before being able to view group content.

All content in hidden groups is hidden from the public and is viewable only by members of that group. Hidden groups are not listed in the Groups Directory. New members must be invited to join by existing group members.

I joined a hidden group and now I can see it and all its members. Can everyone else?

No. Hidden groups are only visible to the members of that group. When users create or become members of hidden groups, they will see them in the group listing on the homepage, but it will be visible only to members of the group, not to the general public or to members of the Commons who aren’t in the group.

Can I view a hidden group without being a member?

No. Again, hidden groups are only visible to current group members. Hidden groups aren’t listed in the groups directory, however, those with access to the group URL can view the group name and description. Group content and member information can only be access by members of a hidden group.

How can groups share files?

When viewing a group’s page, click [Docs] below the profile image on the left. Click [Create New Doc] on the right side of the page. A text editor will be provided for you to create a new document. You can also attach files to the document, set permissions, create tags, and establish a document hierarchy. Please see the section on Documents in the Faculty Commons Recommended Use Guide for more information on how to successfully organize group files.

Why am I not receiving Group updates via email?

First, please check your notification settings to make sure that you have set your preferences correctly. Second, please check your email account’s spam filter or spam folder, as we have received several reports of group activity stream posts being caught by spam filters. Faculty Commons emails are sent from the address “,” so you may need to add that address to your contacts or to your spam filter’s safe-senders list.

How can I leave a group?

To unsubscribe from a group, click [Topic Groups], then click [Leave Group] to the right of the appropriate group.

How can I change my group email notifications?

When you join a group, you automatically receive a weekly summary email for all group activity. If you’d like to change your notification settings for a group, please go to the home page of the group and click [Email Options] below the profile image on the left. The available settings are:

  • No Email
  • Weekly Summary Email
  • Daily Digest Email
  • New Topics Email
  • All Email

Click [Save Settings] to save your changes.

How do I reply to email notifications?

There are two ways to reply to email notifications. You can (1) click on the link supplied in the notification, log into the Commons, and reply; OR (2) you can Reply By Email, from the comfort of your inbox. You can use Reply by Email to reply to discussion threads on group forums, to personal messages and @mentions, and to group announcements.

To reply to email notifications:

  1. Click the link in the notification email.
  2. Log into Faculty Commons.
  3. Click the message’s subject
  4. Compose your message in the box provided, and click [Send Reply] when you are finished.

Questions about Docs

How do I find and view resource files and documents?

Documents can be located in three different places:

  • View documents you created or edited in the drop-down under your name in the top navigation bar
  • View all shared documents in the main navigation bar under [Docs]
  • View documents shared within a group on the group left navigation panel

Documents can be searched for by keyword, attachments, or tags. Easily filter doc lists to find your own personal and group files. Locating documents from within a group will return only resources associated to that group.

How do I create and share my own documents and resources?

You can create documents and resources from the Docs page, the Docs section of a group, or from the drop-down under your name in the top navigation bar. Click [Create Document] and use the Document Editor to fill in the fields, or you may upload a file from your computer.

You can associate your document with a particular group by choosing from a pull down menu. This ensures that your resource will automatically be listed in that group’s document section. This is also where you can set privacy (access) options, assign keywords, and select a parent document. Click save to upload the document.

What are the privacy options for docs and resources?

Privacy options can be set under the Access section when you Create Document or edit an existing document. Set specific permissions for who can read, edit, comment and view the history of the document. When uploading or creating a document from within a group, the file will automatically take on the privacy settings of that Group, so be sure to check the Access section and modify based on your preferences.


For support, please email
Faculty Commons support is available
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.