How-to: Using groups as learning communities

As an educator, you can create a group on the Canadian HSS Commons for your class as a learning community space. Then you can invite your students to create their own accounts and join your class's group. Of note, if you are concerned about membership settings or join policies for groups, membership requests are automatically accepted if you set them as “Open/Anyone” but you can also use the “Restrict” function to restrict access to your group. If the "Restrict" option is selected, any member request must go through the manager for approval. You can further restrict the group by setting up the “Invite Only” option, which means only the manager can invite people to join the group. 

You can also set access permissions for each group by choosing between the following options for individual group features: “Any HUB visitor,” “Registered HUB users,” “Group Member Only,” or “Disable/ Off.” (Note: the Canadian HSS Commons is based on HUBzero’s open source software, and it is referred to in the site’s settings as a “HUB.”) These options can be applied to “Announcements,” “ Blog,” “Forum,” “Collections,” “Courses,” “Projects,” “Files,” or “Activities.” By customizing your group in this way, you can make it a personalized and active space where you provide students with the appropriate level of access to the group’s information, readings, shared files, and other materials. Depending on your group’s settings, students will also have the opportunity to engage in class discussion by initiating a thread in the group Blog or Forum or by posting comments and providing feedback to their peers.

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