A repository for group files, editable Docs, external links, and forum attachments, the group library centralizes member resources and allows them to be organized into folders and easily discovered by keyword searches or filtered by type and folder. Library items can be sorted by name, creator, and creation date.
A convenient “Collapse All/Expand All” feature provides a streamlined view of library items or a full view of items and available descriptions.
Items are added to the library through a common interface that simplifies categorization. An icon is attached to each item to identify its file type (e.g. PDF, Microsoft doc, JPG, Google Drive, Dropbox, or simply an external URL).
Group files and forum attachments are static and need to be downloaded; editable Docs and external links are dynamic and accessible by clicking their library URL.
Library file types:
Editable Docs are collaborative documents that can be created and edited by all group members. Think of them like a group wiki.
Your group very likely has static files that need to be shared. They might be PDFs, Microsoft documents, scanned forms, pictures, text files, etc.
Place your file in a folder to easily organize minutes, syllabi, forms, or assignments. All members of a group have the ability to add files and folder. Only members who upload a file and group admins can delete a specific file. If you want to update a file, you should first delete it, and then add it back again, or create a new version with an appropriate file name change.
Group members can share on-line resources by adding external links to the group library. Each external link has a name, an optional description, and a URL. Like other items in the library, they can optionally be organized in folders. No notifications are generated when an external link is created. External links cannot be updated. If you made a mistake, delete the link and re-create.
External links are especially useful when members share URLs to third party platforms such as:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
The Discussion Forum is perhaps the most popular feature of a Commons group. Members can discuss a wide range of topics and create long forum threads. Forum attachments can be created at the beginning of a topic, and at each subsequent comment. These files can be many different types – they are uploaded to the group site when a member goes to “Attachments” and clicks on “Browse” and selects a file on an external drive.
Forum attachments are automatically added to the group library. They do not have a description, but they have a context – the discussion topic where they added. When you click on “Expand All” in the library item list, you will see a hyperlink to the topic context.
Library Management – Folders
The group library can optionally be organized into folders. Mimicking computer file systems, items not assigned to a folder are found in “root” directory, and you can easily move them to whatever folder you choose. You can have as many folders as you want, but only one root exists per library. Unlike computer file systems, there is no sub folder functionality – that is, you cannot create a folder within another folder.
You can easily switch between folders from the main library page. Your folder names will appear at the top of the page, along with the number of files the folder contains:
You can also edit folders by clicking the edit “Manage Folders” hyperlink, highlighted above
Here you can add a new Folder, rename a folder, delete a folder and its files, or delete the folder but not its files. If you choose the last option, the orphaned files will revert back to the root directory.