This account setting controls how group forum discussion are displayed. Please note that all discussion topics in all your groups will change if you change this setting. The default is Threaded. This option ensures that discussion comments are displayed according to relevance – if someone comments on another person’s comment, it will appear below that comment, not at the end of the discussion topic.

The options for Thread Display Mode are:

  • Threaded
  • Linear Oldest First
  • Linear Newest First

If you pick Linear Oldest or Linear Newest, the options for number of posts per page are:

  • Show 5 Posts per page
  • Show 10 Posts per page
  • Show 20 Posts per page
  • Show 30 Posts per page
  • Show 40 Posts per page


thread setting for forums

When you first register an account on the Commons, you are assigned a default profile photo (or if you are a user, your WordPress avatar).  You will probably want to change this photo to something more personal – a headshot, a photo of your dog or cat, a landscape that speaks to you, or whatever you find might represent your presence on the Commons. This profile photo will be public, so if you are not sure what to use, you might want to leave it as the default.

To change your profile photo, you will need to have an image on your device that can be uploaded. Click or drop the image file as shown below:

The image you choose will probably exceed the size of Commons profile photos. In this event, you will be asked to crop it. Pick the most important part of the image and click “crop.” Remember, you can always go back to your original default image. You can also repeat the process as many times as you want.

You may want to control which part of your Commons Profile you want to display. The Commons provides three different options: public (everyone can see), logged in Commons members, and Commons friends. Most items of your profile have this visibility option.



When you are logged in, your Commons Profile Tab can be accessed via the “My Profile” option when you hover over your profile photo in the upper right hand corner. The tab displays information very similar to the information you see if you clicked on Commons members’ hyperlinks – it shows recent their activity, the sites and groups they belong to, their friends, events, and papers.

This Commons Profile Tab is an easy way to access all your current work (and your friends’ work) on the Commons.

my profile


From this Commons Profile Tab you may access the following sub tabs:

  • Activity – View your recent activity. This displays everything you’ve done on the Commons. Everything displayed here will have relevance to you, in reverse chronological activity
  • Sites – View and access the sites that you belong to. This makes it easier to access content that you recently worked on:sites
  • Groups – View and access the groups you belong to:
  • Friends – View and communicate with the friends you have made on the Commons:
  • Events – View any of your upcoming events:events
  • Papers – View your papers, if you have created any (the option to create new papers is no longer available):papers

If you no longer want to be a member of the Commons, you can delete your account. Please use the function carefully. Besides removing all your profile data, pressing this button will delete all the sites and groups you have created, all the posts and pages you have created, and all the comments you have added to forums or sites. Remember there is no going back after using this option.

delete acct

The Notifications Tab can be accessed by hovering over your profile photo in the upper right hand corner and clicking on “Notifications.”

notifications all

If you have any notifications that require you to take action, click on “Action Center.” Typically, you will receive invitations to join a group or site, or a friend request.

notifications action center

Members of the Commons can send messages back and forth via the Messages Tab. The Messages Tab can be accessed by hovering over your profile photo in the upper right hand corner and clicking on “Messages.” By default, you are taken to your Inbox:

Messages inbox

You can also view the messages you have sent  by going to the “Sent” sub tab.

Messages sent

The Commons Events Calendar supports individual, group, and global calendars. Designed to publicize events created by the friends you’ve developed on the Commons or to the groups you belong to (and which you choose to notify), Events Calendar provides a convenient way to see all CUNY events or filter events that are pertinent to you.

An event can the following you to see want is going on delivers email notifications about events with vital information, including:

  • Event title
  • A rich description, that allows for links, images, etc.
  • Start and end times
  • Venue (including a map)
  • Whether or not this is a recurring event
  • Commons groups who have been invited

The information is also conveniently aggregated with other Commons events and displayed on individual, group, and global calendars. You can browse through your individual calendar, or look through your groups’ calendars to find events, and click to see details.

  • As an individual, you can check out your personal calendar to see all events targeted for the groups to which you belong, and the events that have been entered by your friends.
  • As a group member, you can access your group’s calendar to find events specifically targeted to your group.
  • As a member of the Commons, you can (soon) access the global calendar and see what events are happening in public groups.

my events

Accessing Your Individual Calendar

There are several ways to access your individual calendar once you are logged into the Commons.

  • Hover over your avatar in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Here you will see a new option called “My Events” (pictured at the right).
  • You can also visit your “Commons Profile.” Here you will see a new tab called “My Events.”

When you click on “My Events>>Calendar” you will see events entered by you, your friends, or by members of groups to which you belong. The calendar grid provides a convenient way to plan your schedule.

my cal

If you click on the “Upcoming Events” tab you’ll see a more condensed view, displayed as a list. No matter which view you choose, you can click on each event for its metadata.


The “Manage” tab is useful when you have events that are in draft, and that you have not yet published.

Accessing Group Calendars

omekaGroup calendars can be accessed from a new tab in the group menu called “Events” (see image on the right). Group calendars are different from individual calendars in that they display events to which they are specifically targeted.

If you click on “ New Event” from inside your group, the event you enter will be automatically added to your group new groupcalendar.  But don’t stop there.  You can add other groups that you think will be interested in the event you are publicizing.   You can add public, private and hidden groups, provided you belong to them.  And as stated before, the members of these groups will be notified by email, and events will display on their individual and group calendars.

Understanding Privacy

  • Your personal calendar is discrete from everyone else’s and is private to you.
  • Events you enter from your personal calendar are visible to your friends on the Commons. They will be notified by email upon publication.
  • When creating an individual event, you can target the groups you belong to.
  • If the only group your choose is private or hidden, only those members will be notified.
  • If you post from a private or hidden group, no trace of the event will display except on the calendars of those belonging to those private or hidden groups.
  • If you include a public group, those members will be notified, and the event will be added to the group.
  • All “Public” group events will be viewable on the global calendar, but notification emails will not be sent to everyone on the Commons.

Adding Events to Your Commons Personal or Group Calendar via the iCalendar API

The Commons Events Calendar is compatible with other iCalendar APIs. This means that you can either:

  • bring specific events into your group’s calendar via an “ics” file,
  • subscribe to another compatible calendar and add all its current and future events.

If using a group calendar only group admins can add events via this interface.

Adding To Your Personal Calendar

In your Commons Portfolio, click on Events:

Click on “Manage.”

Adding To Your Group Calendar

This option is only available to admins of the group. Click on the Events tab on the group sidebar.

Then click on “Manage.”

Managing Your Calendar

From this point, interface for personal calendars and group calendars is the same. You have the option to either import a specific event from a downloaded “.ics”file or to subscribe to a calendar “feed.” See below:


Adding Events to your personal iCal, Google, MS Outlook, or similar third party iCalendar APIs

If you use Apple iCal, Google Calendar, MS Outlook, or a similar iCalendar API, you can automatically add an individual event from your Commons calendars.  Click on the event to add it by clicking the “Download iCal file” hyperlink (highlighted below).  It will be added to your third party calendar.

Alternatively, if you would like to synchronize your third party calendar with your Commons calendar or your group’s Commons calendar, you can “Subscribe.” Scroll down to the bottom of the calendar and find the Subscribe section, pictured below:

This example is from an individual member who belongs to both public and private groups. If it was a group calendar, only one link would be available.

It is important to note that if you click on the subscribe hyperlink, you will only get the events that are currently in the calendar.

Depending on your needs, it might be better to synchronize your third-party calendar.

Synchronizing Your Third Party Calendar

Instead of clicking on the hyperlink, hover over the link and copy the URL and then paste it in the appropriate place in your third-party’s calendar. Each API is different.

Apple iCal

  1. Open Calendar API
  2. click on File>>New Calendar Subscription
  3. paste in URL
  4. Adjust settings as needed

Google Calendar

  1.  Open Google Calendar
  2. Click on Other calendars
  3. Click on From URL and paste in the URL

Please Note that Google Calendar sometimes takes up to 24 hours to refresh



Site-Wide Calendar

The Commons site-wide calendar is a great way to see what’s happening all over CUNY.  It shows events added to public groups, but will not display events only associated to private or hidden groups. You can access from the Commons home page, on the “Events” tab or at


The CUNY Academic Commons is an open space where the CUNY community can find like-minded colleagues, build personal or professional websites, teach, learn, and collaborate in open classrooms. The Commons has over thirty thousand members, and each member can join or create sites, groups, or a group + site on the Commons Creation Portal. Members of the Commons are typically CUNY professors, grad students, undergrad students, alums, and staff. Many professors use the Commons as a platform for teaching and ask their students to join their site or group. Professors and students may publish research on the Commons.

The Commons was built by CUNY, for CUNY. It uses open source software which it shares to other institutions world-wide.

There is tremendous activity on the Commons. Before a member logs in, the Commons home page describes what you do on the Commons. It then surfaces the latest news as well as the number of members, groups, sites, and courses on the site. Notice that you can either register to become a new member here, or simply login to your account.

Here is a screenshot of the top half of the home page before logging in:


The Building Blocks of the Commons are Sites, Groups, and Members. Each has an underlying tool set designed to connect members, to create content, to teach and learn, to collaborate and publish research, or post assignments. Members have incremental control over their privacy and email notifications.

The bottom half of the home page is dynamic. We feature two new and exciting sites and groups and list the last four active public sites and groups. We also show the most recently active members.

Here is a screenshot of the bottom half of the home page:

The Commons home page changes dramatically when you login. It becomes your personalized home page.