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Invitations on the Commons

As a Commons user there are a number of situations in which you may want to invite others to a site or group of which you are a member.  Step-by-step instructions for sending invitations are here, but before you go there, you should think about how the following common scenarios will affect the choices you make:

  • You are teaching a class that will use the Commons as part of the syllabus
  • You have a site (blog) on the Common and you want to expand your audience or ensure that certain colleagues have a chance to see your posts
  • You are the member of a working Group that is adding new members

While each of these situations is different, they all use the same invitation procedure which can be launched from a Group or a Site as well as other locations. Before you begin the invitation process, consider whom you will be inviting and plan accordingly. While the overall process may be the same, there some slight variations depending on the answers to the following questions.

  1. Are the invitee(s) already member(s) of The Commons or not?
  2. What role do you want the invitee(s) to play in the Group or Site?
  3. Do you wish the invitee(s) to join one or many Group(s) and/or Site(s)?
  4. Are you inviting multiple people or just one?

Are invitee(s) members of The Commons?

In order for someone to join your group or site, they must be members of The Commons. This may be the trickiest part of the invitation process. If the person you are inviting is already a member of The Commons, you can invite them to a Group or Site by selecting their name from a list of Commons Members. If they are not already members of The Commons, you can invite them to The Commons and to your Group or Site simultaneously by using their email address (must be a CUNY email address, though there are exceptions which will be discussed later). If you are inviting multiple people you can combine the two above methods. It is certainly possible that you do not know whether the person you are inviting is a member of The Commons or not. In that case, you have two options. You may search for them on the Members List or you may assume they are not members and invite them via their email address, which will work well.

What role do you want the invitees to play?

Keep in mind that if you invite multiple people at the same time, they will all be assigned the same role.

Groups have three roles: Member, Moderator and Administrator with different privileges and capabilities. The default role is Member, which is the appropriate choice most of the time. Documentation regarding other roles is here.

Sites have five roles: Author, Subscriber, Contributor, Editor and Administrator. The default role is Author. A discussion of these different roles and how they impact a user’s functionality is located here.

Do you wish the invitee(s) to join one or many Group(s) and/or Site(s)?

Most commonly, you will be invite colleagues to only one Site or Group at a time, but you have the ability to invite a person to any Group or Site of which you are a member. It’s just a matter of checking them off the list on your screen.

Are you inviting multiple people or just one?

When using a Group or Site for your class you will typically invite the entire class to the Class Group and/or Class Site. The invitation process makes this task very easy to do. But a single colleague can be invited just as easily.