Project room settings

This tutorial provides an overview of the various settings you can adjust for your project room. The settings menu is divided into sections. Each section allows you to modify a specific aspect of your room, such as its appearance, general settings, rubrics, structural auxiliaries, and access checks. You can also add extensions (such as the Wiki) or change the terms and conditions of your room here.

The following chapters describe the individual sections in detail.

 

Fig. 1: Settings

Accessing the room settings

Only the creator and moderator(s) of a project room can configure its settings. CommSy gives moderators various options for adjusting their rooms to their own needs and those of the group. You can find the “Settings” button next to the wrench symbol in the rubric bar (highlighted in Fig. 1).

Note: The “Settings” page is available to room moderators only. Other users cannot see the corresponding button in the menu bar.

  

Delete

The red button for deleting your room is the last of the 7 options listed in the settings menu. Keep in mind that deletion is permanent. All room data will be irretrievably lost. Confirm the process if you wish to delete your room.

Fig. 2: Settings and “Delete”

1. General

The “General” menu allows you to adjust some important settings immediately after creating your room. This includes the room title, language, membership in community rooms, and room description. You can also set the access check and room rubrics here. The following section will explain these options.

 

Access check

Specify whether you wish to check all membership requests manually (“Always"), give all users access automatically (“Deactivate”), or set a membership code (“Code”).

If you choose “Always” (set by default), you will receive an email whenever a user requests to enter your room. Clicking the link in the email will approve their request.

The option “Code” is recommended for courses with many participants. If you choose this option, you will be asked to enter a code of your choice in the text field. Share this code with your students at the beginning of a course so that they can access your room independently.

If you choose “Deactivate,” anyone will be able to access the room without a membership check or code. This setting is not recommended. Only use it in exceptional cases.

Tip: Setting a membership code is especially useful for courses with many participants. With the “Always” option, you have to approve all prospective members manually.

Rubric selection

This menu also contains the rubric settings. You can change the order of the rubrics by using drag and drop to rearrange them.

Each rubric has a dropdown menu. “Show” means that the rubric will be displayed in the rubric bar and on the homepage. “Hide” means that entries in this rubric will not be displayed on the homepage. “Off” means that the rubric will not be available in the CommSy room.

Tip: Turn the “User” rubric off to prevent the feed on the homepage from listing new room users, for example. You must save the room settings (bottom of the page) after changing them.

2. Moderation

The “Moderation” menu allows you to adjust various settings. You can set a notice to be displayed on the homepage, change the user notices for each rubric, and edit the standard email texts that are sent out from the room (for example, when a new member has been approved).

 

Notice on homepage / notice board

You can choose a material entry, a task, a date, or an announcement to be displayed as a prominent banner on the homepage. Simply enter the content ID of the entry in the corresponding field. To view the content ID of an entry, click the arrow symbol (labeled “more ...”) on the top of the entry to the right of the title. The content ID will be displayed on the left side.

 

User notice

You can add user notices to each rubric of your room. They will be displayed in the column on the right side of the screen. Select a rubric and enter your text. You can use this function to tell your room members about the purpose of each rubric, for instance. Once you save your settings (bottom of the page), your individual notice text will be displayed in the column on the right side of the rubric.

Fig. 2: A user notice in the “Materials” rubric.

 

Email configuration

This setting allows you to customize the texts of emails that are sent out via the room (for example, when a new member has been approved). You can use the dropdown menu to change individual parts of the standard texts, such as the greeting or form of address. The % signs and numbers in these texts are placeholders for usernames and other variables. Do not remove them.

3. Additional

The “Additional” menu contains a whole range of options for optimizing your room and adding interesting functions.

Structural auxiliaries

Use this setting to activate or deactivate the structural auxiliaries “tags” and “categories” in your room rubrics. The tutorial “Structuring room contents” contains further information about these structural auxiliaries.
In the same section, you can specify to what extent room members can edit the calendar.

 

Tasks

By default, tasks in the “Tasks” rubric have 1 of 3 different progress statuses: “pending,” “in progress,” or “done.” You can use this section of the additional configuration settings to define additional statuses to add to your tasks.

 

RSS feed

If you activate this option, members of your room will be able to subscribe to room updates via RSS. The option is deactivated by default.

 

Template

The “Template” setting allows you to save your room as a template. This is especially useful if you teach seminars that use the same or very similar materials every time. Instead of uploading these materials again and again for each seminar, check the box to make the existing room available as a template and use it when you open a new room. The dropdown menu labeled “Target group” allows you to specify who can use your template: all CommSy users, all members of the current room, or only you (and any other room moderators). If you add a description of your template, others will be able to see it when selecting a template.

 

Tip: More details and useful tips about this topic are available in the tutorial entitled “Reusing content.” 

 

Archive room

Archived rooms remain accessible. Users can still view their content, but they can no longer edit or add anything. If you created a project room for a seminar in a previous semester and do not anticipate (or want) its members to change the content any further, you can archive the room.

 

Terms and conditions

You can set your own terms and conditions for your room. Prospective members will have to accept them before they can use the room. Set the status to “Yes” and enter text to use this function.

4. Appearance

This menu allows you to change the layout and design of your room.

Configure events

You can choose different pre-set views for the “Dates” rubric. If you select the list view, your dates will be displayed as a list in chronological order. This is a very handy option if you only have a few dates in your calendar that are spread across several months. The week view and month view use a regular calendar layout.

 

Configure color theme

Choose a color theme for your room. All color themes come with their own room image (see below), but you are free to set a custom image instead. Every color theme has its own highlight colors. These are used for the menu bars inside the room, for example.

 

Room image

By default, CommSy uses the preset image of your current color theme. Alternatively, you can upload a custom image for the homepage of your room. To ensure that your image is displayed properly, it should have an aspect ratio of approximately 5:1 and a width of 1300 pixels or more.

5. Extensions

This menu allows you to adjust the settings of two useful room extensions:

Assessments

If you check the box to activate the assessment function, users will be able to give a star rating to others’ entries (e.g., contributions to a discussion). They can rate entries with up to 5 stars to mark their quality, for example.

 

This function can be useful if you teach a seminar, for example, and your students regularly have to write short contributions about specific topics. The star rating can provide them with useful feedback.

 

Workflow settings

Workflow support is an additional setting for the “Materials” rubric. You can find it in the list of material entries and on the top right of each individual material entry.

To change the status of a material entry, open it and edit the “Workflow” section (Fig. 3). Select a status and save your changes.

If the “Resubmission” function has been activated in the settings, you can set a resubmission date. In addition, you can have a notification sent to the creator or all modifiers (and additional recipients) once the date has passed. The “Validity date” setting offers the same options.

Finally, you can adjust the “Reader view” setting (Fig. 3). If you activate it for your room, it will also be displayed in the “Workflow” section of each material entry. This setting allows room members to mark individual entries (homework assignments, for example) as “read.” Select “Users” unless you specifically want to know the reader status of group members. We recommend that you check “Reader view only for moderators.” Otherwise, all room members will be able to see who has read which entry.

Fig. 3: Workflow section of a material entry (status and reader view)

6. Invitations

This menu allows you, the room moderator, to send invitations to people who do not have access to the platform yet. Enter the email address of the person you wish to invite and click “Send invitation.” The recipient will receive a one-time activation code and instructions to join the portal.

Fig. 5: Invitations

Note: All members of Universität Hamburg can use their uni username to log in. You do not need to send them separate invitations.