Getting Started

There are two ways to get started creating a group. In each case, you need to be logged on to the Commons.

  • On the Commons home page, click on the “Groups” tab and click the “Create a Group” button.

  • Hover over your avatar in the upper right hand corner, select “My Groups” from the drop down. Then select “Create A Group.” See the process below:

The Commons Creation Portal

All requests to create groups, sites and connected Group and Site are funneled through the Commons Content Creation Portal. Here you can easily see what each one does and select the option that is most appropriate. In this case, we want to create a group, so click on the button circled below:

Creation Portal

Once you click the Create a Group button, you should see the following screen:

The Details Tab

Group Name: This is the name of the group. This can always be changed, but please note that if changed, the URL of your group will not chnage. The group URL will be formatted using the group name – https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/{original-group-name}

Group Description: The description will appear on the group front page. It can always be changed. It should be a succinct statement of purpose. If your group is public, it will be what users read and decide if they want to become a member.

Metadata: In order to better understand the purpose of the group, the Commons collects some basic data about it.

  • Is it for a certain campus or campuses?
  • What is the primary purpose? Choices are: Teaching, Committee, Conference, Department/Program/Center, Personal, Publication, Project, Portfolio, Working Group, Community of Interest, or Other
  • Is it for teaching? If so, the Commons will add it to the “Courses” tab. We’d like to know:
    • What Disciplinary Cluster does in fall under? Choices are: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Professional, Other, Not Applicable
    • What Semester? (spring, fall, winter, summer)
    • What Year?

Click on the Create Group And Continue button and you will be taken to the Setting tab.


Settings Tab

Group Privacy: You need to decide if your group should be public, private, or hidden. Click here to understand the implications.

Group Invitations: You need to decide who can invite members.

Email Subscription Defaults: When members join the group, what email notification setting should be the default? (This setting can be changed by the new member. See more about this here: Understanding Email Notifications)

Click on the Next Step button circled above to go to the Photo tab

Photo Tab

On this tab you can add a photo that will be displayed on the front page of your group. You will have an opportunity to crop the image to better fit the space. This is not required.

Click on the Finish button, circled above, and you should see the Congratulations screen:

You have now created your group and you have a choice of two buttons: Invite Others to Join this Group or Go  to Group.

Please note that you have successfully followed the steps to create your group, but that there are a number of custom settings that you should be aware of.  As an admin of the group, these can be accessed by clicking on Manage, circled below.

Manage A Group

For more information, see Manage A Group.