Faculty Commons User Guide

Logging In

From the home page (http://facultycommons.txstate.edu), log in using the Texas State NetID login button to the right of the featured image slider. There is also a log in button in the upper left corner. Once logged in you will be on the Texas State Faculty Commons home page as a member of the Commons.

User Profile Settings

Place your mouse over your name in the upper right corner of the top navigation bar and select “Edit My Profile.”
When you log in for the first time, your name, department, role, title, and avatar (profile photo) will automatically default to the information and photo linked to your Texas State email account. If you have not provided an email photo, a default icon will be used for your avatar. You can change your avatar in the left navigation panel of your profile page.

Let other members know more about you by filling in:

  • Academic Interests  Square brackets turn interests into links that aggregate like-minded members. Example: [alternative testing]; [rubrics] Clicking a link in this field will return a list of all other members who have listed the same interest, including you.
  • Website  Add a URL to direct members to your personal website.
  • Blog  Add a URL to direct members to your blog.
    Click [Save] when finished.

Under each field on your profile is an explanation of the privacy settings. To change the settings click the “Change” at the end of each explanation. There are some profile fields that cannot be changed and do not have the change button.

Add/Change Avatar

Your avatar is the thumbnail image users see next to your posts and on your profile page.
To change your photo, click the Change Avatar button under the profile photo, and follow the instructions on the page.

My Profile Right Navigation Overview

Access different areas of your profile using the navigation bar on the right. Beneath your profile photo are quick links to edit your profile, change your avatar and your general notification settings. Take a look at notification settings to make sure you are receiving the emails that you want.

Activity

The [Activity] tab shows your activity in the commons, and can be sorted using the left hand navigation or the “Show” pull-down box in the upper right. The difference between the Activity button in the top nav and this activity button on your profile page is that one returns a list of all activity in the commons, your profile button will display only the activity that is relevant to you.

Click [Favorite] next to an activity to add it to your Favorites list. This will help you to easily find the activity again. Click [Delete] to remove an activity from the list.

[Personal] returns a list of all of your own personal activity within the commons, such as edits, comments, docs, etc.
[Mentions] returns a list of every instance another member has mentioned you within the commons.
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 specific group members, 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.
[Favorites] returns all of the commons activities, posts, etc. where you have clicked the favorite button, giving you an aggregated list of all your favorites.
[Friends] returns a list of the activity by members you have accepted as friends.
[Groups] returns activity associated with your group memberships.

Profile

This is just another tab for you to view and edit your profile page.

Sites

Returns a list of the various group blogs in which you are involved. Click the [View Site] button to the right of the blog name to go directly to the blog.

Notifications

This button will return a list of all of your notifications. Notifications include any messages that occur within the system such as friend requests, mentions, group invites, etc.

Messages

This tab is for direct communication with other members of the commons. Similar to email, you can look in your Inbox for incoming messages and see what messages you have Sent to other users.

Friends

This tab shows members who has accepted your friendship requests or those you have accepted. You can also view friend requests or cancel friendships in this menu.

Groups

This tab returns a list of all groups in which you are a member. You can change your email notification settings or discontinue your group membership by clicking [Leave Group]. [Invitations] returns a list of group invites. Accept or deny invitations by clicking on the appropriate response.

Forums

This tab returns a list of group discussion forum activity. Easily find forum Topics Started by you, forum Replies Created by you, your discussion forum Favorites and all of your discussion forum Subscriptions in the expanded menu.

Send Invites

Invite Texas State colleagues to the commons. Just follow the instructions on the page and click [Send Invite]. Click [Sent Invites] to review invitations you have sent.

Docs

This tab allows you to see a list of docs started and edited by you.

Settings

This is another place to modify commons settings or delete your account.

Groups

Groups provide a way to create communities around common interests. Each group comes with its own set of tools for sharing docs and resources and communicating.

Group Membership

To see a list of all groups, click [Groups] in the main navigation bar. You will be taken to the Groups Directory Page.

To join a public group click [Join Group]. To join a private group click [Request Membership]. Clicking [Request Membership] sends a message to the administrators requesting access. You can also leave a group you are already a member of on this page by clicking the [Leave Group] button to the right of the group name. You may also change your email notification settings for each group on this page.

Create Your Own Group

Click [Create a Group] on the Groups Directory page.

By creating a group, you become the administrator of that group, and are responsible for the moderation and upkeep. We remind you that the University offers the Faculty Commons services in support of academic community collaboration, the sharing of resources and discussions focused around teaching, learning, research and scholarly/creative activities.

  1. Type a group name and description in the appropriate fields and then click the [Create Group and Continue] button at the bottom of the page.
  2. Choose Privacy Options, Group Invitations, and Email Subscription defaults under the Settings tab. All the options are explained on the page. Make your selections and then click the [Next Step] button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Privacy Options Explained
    • Public sites are viewable to anyone browsing the web. There are additional controls within a group to control access to documents and forums.
    • Private site names are visible to anyone browsing the web, but content is not visible. Members who are logged into the site can request access to private groups.
    • Hidden groups are not visible to anyone browsing the web or logged into the system, unless they are already a member of the hidden group.
    • Use of this system is subject to Terms of Use.
  4. If you wish, you may choose to add a Forum. A discussion forum allows members to communicate in a structured, bulletin-board style. Click [Yes] to have a forum or leave the box unchecked, and then click the Next Step button at the bottom of the page.
  5. Docs allows members to share docs specifically within your group.
    1. Select the Enable Docs for this Group to provide a resources area where members can upload, share and collaborate on files. If you do not want a Docs area for your group, leave the box unselected.
    2. Before leaving the Docs tab, you will be asked to assign a minimum default role for all new members: Group member, Group moderator, or Group Admin. These roles can always be reassigned later for each individual member.
      • Group Admin can do the following things that moderators cannot do:
        • Change group settings, turn group forums on or off, change group status from public to private, etc
        • Post Announcements
        • Change group photo
        • Manage group members: ie kick/ban members, promote/demote members
        • Delete the group
      • Group moderator can do the following things that normal members cannot do:
        • Edit the Group Details, including the name of the group and group description
        • Edit, close, and delete forum topics/posts
        • Edit/delete group documents
        • Post Announcements
      • Group Members can:
        • post to forums
        • access and upload documents
    3. Click the Next Step button when your are ready.
  6. Image
    1. Upload a group image. Follow the instructions on the screen and click Upload image. If you do not upload a group image, the system will automatically fill in a default image.
    2. Click the Next Step button when you are finished.
  7. Invites
    1. Invite individuals who are already members of the Commons by either clicking the check box next to their name in the directory or search for them in the search field. When you are ready click “Finish”.
    2. You can also use the Group URL, copy and paste it into an email to invite faculty or staff who have not already joined the Commons.
    3. Change your group settings any time by clicking [Manage] on the left navigation panel of the group page.
  8. Delete
    1. To delete a group, click [Manage] on the left navigation panel of the group page, and click [Delete]. Follow the instructions and warnings on the screen.

Docs

Docs provides a way for you to search, find, create and share files with other members. Docs can be documents, presentations, video files, etc.

  1. Docs Directory

    1. Click [Docs] in the main navigation bar to go to the Docs Directory.
    2. Sort through docs using the following options:
      • [All Docs]
        • Returns a list of all accessible resource files.
      • [Started By Me]
        • Returns a list of all documents you have created or uploaded.
      • [Edited By Me]
        • Returns a list of all documents you have edited from within the commons.
      • [My Groups]
        • Returns a list of all documents associated to your group memberships.
  2. Refine the list of resources by using the following tabs
    1. [Attachments], [Title], [Author], [Created], [Last Edited], [Group], and [Tags]
  3. Search the Docs Directory
    1. Click [Search] to type in a keyword search.
    2. The Commons searches the title, description, author and keywords to return the search list.
    3. You may also click [Tag] to do a click-able tag search.
    4. Use the same sorting methods as above to filter your search.
  4. Uploading Resources to the Docs Directory
    1. Click [Create a New Doc] on the Docs Directory.
    2. Type in a TITLE for your doc.
    3. Type a brief description in CONTENT.
      • The commons uses both the title and the content field to return keyword searches. An appropriate title and accurate description will help other users find your docs.
    4. Click [Add Files] under ATTACHMENTS and follow the instructions on the screen to upload a file.
      1. Your uploaded resource will appear as a link in the ATTACHMENTS.
      2. Repeat this process if you have other related files you want to add to this doc.
    5. In the Associated Group section you may designate a Group to associate with this document by choosing a group from the pull down menu.
      • This provides a link in the Docs area of that Group, allowing members to easily find group-related resources.
    6. Set editing and privacy settings for this document in the Access section.
      1. Choose who can access and read your document file.
      2. Choose who can edit your document file from within the commons.
      3. Choose who can read user comments about this document.
      4. Choose who can write comments on your document.
      5. Choose who can view the history of the document.
        • The History is a listing of upload/creation dates, edit dates and editors.
    7. Provide word tags in the Tag field that describe your document.
    8. Parent
      • Setting a parent document helps to connect all of the resources you would like to associate with each other.
      • For instance, you might want to associate your power point about “apples” to your “fruit basket” text document.
      • Simply select the “Fruit Basket” document in the pull-down menu, and a link to your “apples” power point will appear at the bottom of your “Fruit Basket” document.
      • Assigning parent documents helps keep the commons organized and its resources easily accessible.
    9. Click [Save] when you are finished.
  5. Creating a New Document
    1. Click [Create New Doc] on the Docs Directory page.
    2. Fill in the TITLE of the document you are creating.
    3. Use CONTENT to generate your resource by typing in your content.
      • Use the text editor to format your document.
    4. Attach files to the document by clicking [Add Files] ATTACHMENTS.
    5. Follow steps 5-9 in the Uploading Resources to the Docs Directory to complete the process.
  6. Click [Save] when you are ready.

 

 

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