Teaching and Learning FAQ


Where Can I Find Directions On How To Use The Commons?

Your professor should explain how s/he will use the Commons for your class. Approaches can vary dramatically. Once you understand if your are expected to use a group and/or a site, you can use our Help pages and Quick Guides.

How Do I Join My Course Group Or Site?

When you register for a class, your professor will have your CUNY email and will send you an invitation to join the course group and/or site. If you haven’t received the invitation, check your spam folder. Make sure you are accessing your CUNY email address.

If this does not solve the problem, ask your professor to send another invitation, and to track it.

If you are not already a member of the Commons, you will first need to join the Commons, and then join your course site and/or group.


Click here for a downloadable Quick Guide for Joining a Group or Site

How Do I Find My Course?

Go to the “Courses” tab and use the filters to search for your course.

How Do I Create A Post?

In order to post, you must have a Commons account and be an Author on the site where you will be posting. You must be logged in to post.

Log in to the Commons and go to site where you will be posting. You can find the site by clicking “Sites” in the Main Menu and then clicking “My Sites”.

Once you are on the site, you can create posts in one of  two ways.

Option 1:  When you get to the site, locate the black admin bar at the top of the page. Click “+New”.


Option 2: In the dashboard of the site where you will be posting, visit the “Posts” area and click the “Add New” button on the top left.



There are two Editor layouts. To post in the Block Editor (below), add a title and post content (green boxes below). Make sure not to write in the “Simple CSS” area (red box) because this will not be visible to the post reader. Once your post is complete, click Publish (blue box). If you’d like to switch to the classic editor click the three dots (yellow box) and select classic editor.


In the Classic Editor, add a post title and content. If needed, select the post “category” from the Categories section of the right sidebar.


Once your have written your post, click “PUBLISH” on the right and the post will go live.

You’re done!

How Do I Make My Site Visible To My Professor?

To adjust the privacy settings on your individual or group site go, on your WordPress dashboard to Settings >> Reading.

Select one of the five visibility options.

To make your site open to everyone on the web, choose “Allow search engines to index this site.”

On the other end of privacy, especially if your site is in development, you might choose “I would like my site visible only to its Admins.”

See more about site privacy settings.



What is the difference between a page and a post?

A post is a chronological, journal style entry that has a date and time. A page is a more static type of entry and has the feel of a traditional website. If your site is a “blog” you probably will want your homepage to display your most recent posts. If your site is more of a traditional web site, you might want to assign one of your pages as your homepage.

How Do I Turn In An Assignment?

If your assignment is to create content on the Commons, the concept of “turning in” your work most probably means to make your comment or post visible to your professor and your peers. If you are commenting on a post, your comment will probably need to be approved by your professor first, and then it will be visible to everyone in your class.

Posts can be saved in Draft or Published right away. If you are done, make sure you hit “Publish.” Depending on your access level, the post will appear right away, or you will need your professor to approve it.

If your assignment is to create a site, make sure your professor can see it. See Site Privacy Settings.

I forgot my password, how can I reset it?

To reset your password, go to  https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword and enter username or email address. Click “get new password.”

You will receive an email with  a link to a page where you can reset your password.

How do I upload a photo of myself to appear on my profile and other areas?

After logging into the Commons, go to the top black navigation bar and hover over your existing (or default) photo.  Go to My Profile»Change Profile Photo.  Here you will find detailed instructions on how to upload an image. You can also create a gravatar, which will enable you to use that same image across many different types of websites.

How can I change my password?

After logging into the Commons, go to the top black navigation bar and hover over your avatar.  Go to: My Settings» General. Enter your current password and  your new password, then scroll down and select “Save Changes.”

How do I change my display profile name?

After logging into the Commons, go to the top black navigation bar and select: My Profile» Edit.  In the text box under “Full Name (required)” fill in your preferred name, then scroll down and select “Save Changes.”

Is there a limit on how many sites I can create?

No.  You can create as many Web sites on the Commons as you want.

How Do I Contact My Professor?

Ideally, your professor should have provided Contact Information, either on your Course Site or Course Group.