Faculty Commons Recommended Use Guide

Groups

Faculty Commons is a great place for faculty to collaborate and share resources. Groups and subgroups are used to ensure that documents, conversations, and collaborations are easy to find, contribute to, and to promote community around common interests. Learn more about Group functionality by reading Navigating the Commons, Faculty Commons User Guide and the commons FAQ page.

Click on [Groups], in the main navigation bar, to reveal the list of Groups, which can be visited by clicking a group title. Each group may contain subgroups for a more specific organization of subject interest. Each group and sub-group has its own Forum, Announcement area, and Docs area. A group administrator and/or a moderator should be available to help facilitate discussions and answer questions. If you see a group or subgroup that you would like to help moderate, please contact an administrator of that group. The group administrators and moderators appear in the top right corner of each group page.

You can use “Search Groups…” field on the top right of the Groups Directory page to find specific groups. A sub-tab splits groups into “All Groups,” and “My Groups” (groups to which you are a member).

Don’t see the group you are looking for? Any member of Faculty Commons may create, administer, and moderate their own groups. In an effort to remain organized, please search and review the Groups that already exist. If a similar group has already been established, it might be a good idea to join that group, as opposed to duplicating a group.

Creating a Group means that you have agreed to administer and moderate all areas of your group. Successful groups require successful communication and facilitation. There should be resources, documents and information available, as well as timely responses and answers to discussion forum inquiries.

Reminder: Faculty Commons Groups should be academic in nature, with a focus on teaching, learning, research and scholarly activities.

Documents

There are many different options and settings for the documents and resources you contribute to Faculty Commons. We suggest reading the section on Docs in Navigating the Commons, Getting Started, and the commons FAQ page for a more in-depth explanation of Docs and its use. Click [Docs] in the maroon navigation bar to enter the Docs Directory.

Title and Content

Both the Title and the Content fields are used by the Faculty Commons search function to return keyword search results. Help ensure that your document doesn’t get lost in a list of similarly titled resources by being specific and unique. It may be helpful to execute a search and see what other documents have been titled so you can make sure your resource is distinct. If uploading a resource, include what type of resource you are uploading, such as “video” or “document.”

When uploading a document, use the Content field to write a description of the resource you are uploading. Try to include information such as the author, publication date, etc., to ensure that other users can find your specific resource. A well-written description helps other users understand the nature of your docuemnt without having to download and open it.

When uploading a resource for attaching to a doc, it is good practice to make sure the file name represents the content of the resource. Doing so will make it easier for users to find the file after downloading.

Associated Group

Associating your document with a specific group makes it available in the Docs list on that Group page, giving users another way to easily access the file.

Docs Access

Customize the privacy of the document by setting who may read, edit, comment on, or view the comments and history of the document. Please be aware that the setting “Anyone” means that anyone who accesses Faculty Commons, regardless of whether or not they are logged in, may view that document.

Tags

As with a document’s title and description, tag words (or phrases) should accurately describe the content you are uploading. For example, when uploading a PowerPoint about using Turnitin at Texas State, “Turnitin” would be a suitable tag, whereas “Texas State” would not. This is because the resource may be useful to faculty looking for information on using Turnitin, while “Texas State” is too broad a category to be helpful.

Tags are a good way to organize and optimize documents for search results. The tag words are searchable, and when used descriptively can help users find your resources.

Parent

Use the Parent option to associate documents that are related to each other or are part of a series. A drop-down menu allows you to choose a parent document from a list of available resource files. For example, I am uploading a file about bananas. In the Parent field, I choose a document named “Fruits” to be the parent of my banana file. This automatically provides a link to my bananas file at the bottom of the Fruits document. This makes it easier for people interested in the topic of fruit to find other related document files and helps to provide a file hierarchy.

Policies of Faculty Commons

The Texas State Faculty Commons practices a “Be Kind” policy of Digital Citizenship, and follows the University Honor Code of conscientiousness, respectfulness, and honesty.

All FERPA and Copyright laws apply in the Commons as well. By using the Commons you are agreeing to the Faculty Commons Terms of Use.

 

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