Students on the Open Study Program: Whom can I contact for support?
Students and guest students in the Open Study Program (OSP) can contact the administrators of the Open Study Program at the Center for Continuing Education (ZfW) at the University of Hamburg (support e-mail address: kse.zfw"AT"lists.uni-hamburg.de or by phone +49 40 42838-9777) with any questions regarding the e-platforms of the UHH, including AGORA. The AGORA team and the OSP program are specialised in user-specific concerns, so that you as a student can experience a much more relevant support from the colleagues. Further information and contact details for personal counselling sessions can be found on the OSP website at www.zfw.uni-hamburg.de/kontaktstudium.html.
I have been experiencing problems since the last CommSy update. What do I do?
Upgrades to new CommSy versions are announced on the homepage of the portal. When a new version of CommSy has been installed, it can cause problems at first. These problems are usually easily fixed. Simply delete your cache and the CommSy cookies in your browser settings.
For further instructions, refer to your browsers website. The most common browsers are:
|Firefox:||Delete cookies||Clear Cache||(external links to the Mozilla support website)|
|Google Chrome:||Delete cookies||Clear Cache||(external links to the Google support website)|
|Internet Explorer:||Delete cookies||Clear Cache||(external links to the Microsoft support website)|
|Safari:||Delete cookies||Clear Cache||(external links to the Apple support website)|
For how long will my room data remain on AGORA?
Project workspaces that have been created remain available indefinitely, as long as they are used regularly. If the workspace is not opened for a year, it will be archived and you, as the workspace moderator, will be informed by e-mail. Only after a further year of non-usage will a workspace be deleted. You will receive an e-mail 30 days before the automatic deletion and will be informed on how to cancel the deletion.
USERNAME AND LOGIN
How do I get access to the AGORA platform as a non-UHH member?
Why can't I log in?
Have you selected the correct login source? If you are using your B identifier (user ID or “STiNE account”) for the login, leave the login source set to “UHH user ID”. If you are still using an old AGORA-ID, you must change the source to “Local ID” before each login.
Is your password longer than 20 characters? Your password must not be longer than 20 characters in order for you to successfully log in to AGORA. Visit the user administration, there you can view your password and change it if necessary. If you can no longer log in to the user administration with your ID, this is probably because your User ID is blocked. The RRZ does this automatically after your studies end or your employment contract expires. You can find more information on this page of the RRZ (link in German).
Have you emptied the cache and deleted cookies in your browser? If you cannot log in despite entering the correct account, password and source, we recommend that you clear your browser cache and delete the AGORA cookie. If this does not work, please update your browser to the latest version and restart the browser. If this does not work either, try logging on to AGORA in another browser.
Is it still not possible to log in? Check your email inbox, including the spam folder, for system emails that may have been overlooked; you can find more information about these in this FAQ.
The above points did not help you? If you still cannot log in, please contact the eLearning office. Please state your name, your User ID and, if available, also send us the error message displayed or the system mail you received. However, please never give us your password!
Forgot your username – and now?
If you can't remember your username, please click on “Login” on the AGORA home page. You will be redirected directly to the UHH login page (Shibboleth). Use the “Forgot your username?” button below the login field. After clicking the button, enter your e-mail address. Your identifiers registered under this e-mail address will then be sent to you by e-mail.
|Note: This option is only displayed if you have clicked on the “Lokale Kennung” source. If you are a member of the University of Hamburg and log in with your STiNE-username, please use the user administration to change the password.|
Which usernames do I have on the CommSy platform?
If you can't remember your username, please click on “Login” on the AGORA home page. You will be redirected directly to the UHH login page (Shibboleth). Use the “Forgot your username?” button below the login field. After clicking the button, enter your e-mail address. Your identifiers registered under this e-mail address will then be sent to you by e-mail.
|Tip: If you have multiple usernames, we recommend that you combine them to avoid confusion. To find out how, read: “Can I combine two usernames into one?”|
How can I delete my username?
Log in with the username you want to delete. Now select the “Account” menu on the CommSy bar in the top right corner by clicking your profile picture/initials. You have two options: “Lock account” and “Delete account.”
- Lock account: Your entries remain as they are, unless you delete them manually before canceling your membership. The portal moderators can reverse the cancellation of your membership.
- Delete account: Your account and all entries will be deleted. This process is irreversible! Confirm the process to delete your account permanently.
Can I combine two usernames into one?
- Log in with the username you wish to keep. If you are a member of Universität Hamburg, we recommend that you keep your university username.
- Click your profile picture or initials in the CommSy bar on the top right to navigate to the “Account” menu.
- On the left side, you will find the menu “Combine accounts”.
- Enter the login data of the username you wish to give up: the authentication source, username, and password. This username will be combined with the username you are currently using.
- Once you have completed the form, click “Connect”. The project workspace that you joined with your old username will now be listed together with the project workspace that you joined with your current username.
|Tip: If you did not join any workspaces with one of your accounts and do not have any material in your personal workspace, you can simply delete the username. For details, refer to the question: “How can I delete my username?”|
I received an email telling me that my username is about to be deleted. Why?
Usernames on AGORA that have been inactive for a long time are automatically blocked and deleted after some time. This deprovisioning measure is intended to protect your data and conserve server capacity. Affected users will receive a corresponding notice by email 30 days before the impending deletion. Immediately before the deletion, a further notice will be sent by e-mail.
|Note: User IDs are blocked after 540 days of inactivity and deleted after a further six months. You will receive warning emails for these automatic system processes: 30 days before the deadline expires and immediately before the blocking or deletion is carried out. (Status: January 2023)|
If you still wish to use the username, simply log in to AGORA within the specified period. This will reactivate your password and prevent it from being automatically deleted. If you do not remember your password, please click look at this FAQ.
|Note: Have you received the email even though you are currently active in CommSy? This means that you are using a different username than the one that is scheduled for deletion. Only usernames that have been inactive for a very long time are deleted automatically. If you have any questions about your existing usernames, contact agora"AT"uni-hamburg.de.|
I received an invitation to the AGORA platform – what do I need to do?
You can be invited to the platform by the workspace moderator of an AGORA workspace. You will be sent an invitation email containing a link to the registration form. There, please enter your data and agree to the user agreement in order to be able to use AGORA. This will register you on the AGORA platform. To enter a specific workspace, please search for it in the list of all workspaces. You may need an access code, which you can obtain from your lecturers.
|Tip: In the tutorial “First Steps” you will find an initial overview of the functions of the learning platform as well as a detailed explanation of how to search for and participate in workspaces.|
Do I have to enter “Benutzerkennung der UHH” or “Lokale Kennung” when logging in?
There are two different types of Usernames:
1. As a member of UHH – faculty and students (OSP, ERASMUS, full- and part-time students) – you should have a “Benutzerkennung” (also known as STiNE ID). You can check this in the user administration on this page of the RRZ and change your password if necessary. With this account you have full access to the platforms and can also create your own project rooms.
2. If you are not a member of UHH, you can be invited to the platform and create a so-called local ID (“lokale Kennung”). You can find more information about it in this FAQ.
The name of your local ID may be the same as your STiNE-ID – there is a certain risk of confusion here. If you are unsure which accounts are registered under your e-mail address, you can find help in this FAQ.
|Tip: If you have created multiple accounts, you can easily combine them under your user ID. You can find instructions on how to do this in this FAQ.|
How do I set up a username?
|Tip: Staff and students of the University of Hamburg can simply log in to AGORA with their username (“B-username” or “STiNE-ID”). Please only use this account to log in, unless you are still using your old CommSy account.|
The authentication source is preset to “Username of UHH” so that you can log in directly with your so-called B-username. If you are still using an old AGORA username that has not been set up using the B-username, please change the source to “local username”.
If you are not a staff member or student at the University of Hamburg, you can get invited by the moderators of a workspace to create a username. Please contact your project partners so that they can invite you. In all other cases, please contact the portal moderation at agora"AT"uni-hamburg.de.
PASSWORD AND PERSONAL DETAILS
How can I edit my personal data?
When you are logged in, you can see your profile picture in the CommSy bar on the top right of every page. If you have not set a picture, your initials will be displayed instead.
Hover your mouse over this picture to open a Drop Down Menu. Choose “Account” from this menu to open your account settings. On the left side, you will find several menus: “Personal data,” “Combine accounts,” “Newsletter,” “Privacy,” “Additional functions,” and “Delete account.” After each change in any of these menus, click the button labeled “Save” to confirm your new details.
Click “workspace profile” to access the profile settings. This page allows you to change the information shown to other members of the active workspace.
How can I subscribe to the CommSy newsletter and what does it contain?
Every page has the gray CommSy bar on top. You can use it to open your account settings by clicking the link with your name. On the “Newsletter” tab, you can choose how often you want to receive the CommSy newsletter: every week, every day, or never. Please click “Save” to confirm your selection.
The newsletter contains information about all changes that have taken place in your workspaces since your last visit. This includes new members, new material, new discussion entries, new announcements, dates, tasks, etc.
How can I change my password?
If you are a member of Universität Hamburg and using your uni username (B-username or “STiNE-ID”), change your password in the RZZ user account administration portal.
|Note: It can take up to 24 hours for the user account administration to forward your password change to CommSy.|
Are you using a CommSy username (local ID)? In this case, change your password directly on CommSy.
If you are logged in to CommSy, the CommSy bar will be displayed on top of every page. You can see your profile picture or initials on the right side of this bar. To change your password, click your picture or initials and select “Account”. Now, enter your current password and the new password you wish to use in the future. Confirm your new password by entering it once more in the field below. To the right of the field, you can see how secure your new password is.
Confirm your changes by clicking the button labeled “Save”.
Next time you log in, use your new password.
Forgot your password – what now?
If you cannot remember your password, please click on “Login” on the AGORA home page. You will be redirected directly to the UHH login page (Shibboleth). Use the “Forgot your password?” button below the password entry field. You will then receive an email at the address stored in your account. Follow the instructions to reset your password.
|Note: This option is only displayed if you have clicked on the “Lokale Kennung” source. If you use your user ID as a UHH member to log in, please change your password in the user administration. It can take up to 24 hours until the change is accepted for the AGORA-Portal.|
By the way, there is also such a button for the IDs, should you ever forget yours. There you will be asked for the e-mail address under which your identification is stored in AGORA.
How can I view my personal data on AGORA?
After that, select “privacy” from the rubric bar. Below you will find the option to view your personal data as a PDF. Then you can download it.
How can I find and join an exiting project workspace?
On the right-hand side of the CommSy homepage, you will find the field “List of all workspaces”. It contains a search box that allows you to enter one of more terms from the name of the workspace you are looking for. You can also enter the name of the teacher or workspace moderator, which is useful for general events such as introductions.
Now, click “Search”. A list of results will be displayed underneath the search box, under the title “workspace overview”. Click the name of the workspace you want to join. Underneath the workspace title, you can see the description of the workspace and a door symbol. If you are not a member of the workspace, the door will be closed. Click the link “Apply for membership” underneath the door.
If the workspace moderator has not set any entry restrictions, you will be taken to the workspace right away. In most cases, however, access to workspaces is restricted. Moderators can choose from two options, one of which you are now encountering:
Option 1—Provision of a reason for membership: A text box will open. Please briefly explain the reason for participation. After submitting your application, you need to wait for the workspace moderator to admit you manually. You will be notified by email as soon as you can enter the workspace. If you are not admitted within a reasonable period of time, contact the workspace moderator. To do this, click the link “Contact via email” underneath “Contact persons” to the right of the door symbol.
Option 2—Provision of a membership code: You will be asked to enter a membership code. This code is available from the workspace moderator or the person who told you about the workspace. After entering the correct membership code and clicking “Become a member,” you will be taken to the workspace.
|Note: The eLearning office and the DLL advice team do not have membership codes for any workspaces. If you need a membership code, you must contact the workspace moderator.|
How can I cancel my membership in a workspace?
To cancel your membership in a workspace, first enter the workspace you wish to leave. In the section bar on the left side of the screen you have the possibility to edit your “workspace profile” at the bottom. Now, click “workspace profile.” The menu items in the rubric bar on the left side change. A wastebasket symbol appears on the bottom. If you are using the full-screen version of the portal, it is labeled “Cancel membership.” Once you click this button, you have two options:
Option 1—“Lock workspace membership”: If you want to cancel your membership but leave your entries visible with your name attached, choose the first option: “Lock workspace membership.” To do this, type “LOCK” into the text box and click “Confirm.”
Option 2—“Delete workspace membership”: If you want your existing entries to be anonymized when you leave the workspace, select “Delete workspace membership.” To do this, type “DELETE” into the text box and click “Confirm.”
|Note: If you do not want your entries to be retained in any form, you need to delete them manually before ending your workspace membership. We recommend that you leave your entries in the workspace. This will make it easier for others to understand a discussion, for instance.|
How do I open a group workspace?
Every member of a workspace can open a group workspace within it, provided that the corresponding rubric has been activated. Before you open a group workspace, you need to create a new group. In the project workspace, click “Groups” in the rubric bar on the left. Now, click “New entry” in the “Choose action” menu on the top right. An editor window appears. In the text box, overwrite the words “Enter title” by typing in the name of your new group. You can choose this name freely. Select whether others can edit the workspace or not. Click “Save changes.” If you want, you can enter a description for your group. To do this, click the “Edit” symbol in the “Description” section.
To open a group workspace for your new group, click the “Edit” icon in the “Group workspace” section. Check the box labeled “Activate group workspace.” Now, click “Save.” Your group workspace will be created. You can enter the group workspace by clicking the arrow symbol in the “Group workspace” section.
You have opened a workspace within a workspace. It functions exactly like a project or main workspace. You can set the same entry restrictions, for instance.
|Tip: The group workspace function is especially useful in situations where some members of the main workspace want to share information they do not want the other members to see. This could be the materials and information required for a presentation group.|
How can I upload materials?
Create a new material entry by selecting the “Materials” rubric within your workspace. Now, click “Choose action” on the top right and then, click “New entry.” You can now enter the title of your new material entry. Save the title before you continue editing your entry. At the right edge of the page, you will find a button labeled “Edit” next to each section of the entry (e.g., “Description”). To add files, edit the “Files” section. You can either drag and drop the files or use the file selection dialog. Do not forget to click “Save.” This will store and publish your files.
You can also add files to an existing material entry in this way.
|Tip: Do you have lots of classes during the course of a semester and many texts to upload? Structure your materials by adding sections to your material entry. These can be sub-folders, chapters, or seminar sessions. This will give you a clear overview of your materials.|
How do I join a group workspace?
- First, become a member of the group. To do this, click “Groups” in the rubric bar on the left-hand side of the project workspace. Select the group you wish to join. In the action menu in the top right, click “Join.”
- If this group has a group workspace, you will see an arrow symbol a little further down on the page. Click it to join. If the moderator has not set access restrictions, you will be able to join immediately. In most cases, however, you will have to provide a membership code or a reason for membership—just like you probably did for the main workspace. (For more details, see: “How can I find and join an existing project workspace?”)
- Once you have joined a group, you can enter the group workspace at any time. The functions of a group workspace are identical to those of the main workspace. Use the breadcrumb navigation on top of the page to return to the project workspace. If you want to leave the group and the workspace permanently, use the action menu on the top right of the group entry. You can find it within the project workspace.
Why was I assigned to a workspace?
With the CommSy update to version 10.0.12, a new function was introduced that enables a link between STiNE and AGORA-CommSy. So if you find yourself in a workspace for which you have not registered yourself, you have probably been registered there by your lecturer. Thus, you do not have to register to the workspace yourself.
I was automatically registered in a workspace – how can I cancel the membership?
You are automatically registered for an AGORA workspace as soon as you are admitted to a course on STiNE. If you no longer want to take part in the course, you can manually cancel the membership from the AGORA workspace.
You can find out how this works in our FAQ “How can I cancel my membership in a workspace?”.
How can I link an AGORA room to a STiNE event?
All information about linking an AGORA room with a STiNE event can be found in the tutorial “workspace identifier”.
Attention: If the STiNE-LV-ID has already been used by another person for an AGORA room, the same STiNE-LV-ID cannot be used for another AGORA room. If your STiNE-LV-ID is no longer available, please contact our team: <span class="">agora</span><span class="a">@</span><span class="d">uni-hamburg.de</span>(agora"AT"uni-hamburg.de).
Why are not all students in my project workspace after STiNE-AGORA pairing?
However, a prerequisite for this is that the students must have registered on AGORA beforehand. If your course is a first semester course, please inform the students to register on AGORA.
CREATING AND MANAGING ENTRIES
How can I delete an uploaded document again?
To delete a document you have uploaded, click the title of the entry you wish to edit. A window pops up. The “Files” section in this window lists all of the files that have been uploaded for this entry. Move your cursor to the right of “Files,” and an edit button will become visible. Click it. In the list of attachments, simply uncheck the files you want to delete. Save the entry.
How do I create, edit, and delete entries?
When you enter your workspace, you will see an overview of the project workspace. To add an entry, navigate to the corresponding rubric (e.g.,“Materials”) in the rubric bar on the left. Click “Choose action” in the top right and select “New entry.”
Once you have saved the title of your new entry, you can edit it. This includes adding a description or files. Various additional functions and entries are possible, depending on the rubric in which your new entry is located. If you are adding a new entry under “Materials,” for example, you can enter bibliographical information.
To edit an entry, simply click its rubric (e.g., “Materials”) and select the entry. Move your cursor to the right of the title, description, etc. An edit icon will appear. Do not forget to save your changes when you are done editing.
To delete an entry, click the entry and navigate to “Choose action” > “Delete.” A pop-up window will ask you to confirm that you want to delete the selected entry. You can only delete entries that you have created yourself. Only workspace moderators can delete entries created by others.
|Tip: If you want to delete a file that is attached to an entry, you can do so in the edit mode. You do not need to delete the entire entry. See: “How can I delete an uploaded document again?”|
How can I insert images and other media into an entry directly?
Open the entry and the edit menu of the description by clicking the “Edit” button on the right. In the second row of the editor on top of the page, you will see the symbol “Add image” on the right. Choose an image that has already been added or select a file from your computer. Important: Now, click “Upload.” The URL will be completed automatically. You can also resize the image during this step. After you click “Ok,” you will see the embedded image. You can drag it anywhere in the text.
|Tip: For detailed instructions on inserting media, refer to our “Inserting media” tutorial.|
How can I group workspace entries thematically?
Option 1—“Linked entries”: If you have thematically related entries, it makes sense to cross-reference them against each other. Each entry will contain a list of all linked referenced entries, which you can access directly.
To link entries with each other, select one of them, navigate to “Linked entries” and open the editor view. You can search for entries or view recently edited entries. Check the entries you wish to link with the entry that is currently open. Confirm your selection by clicking “Save” at the end of the list.
To see the linked entries, expand the “Linked entries” menu by clicking the arrow on the right-hand side.
|Tip: You can use this method to link a document to the date on which it will be used or to a discussion about the document. It is also useful to link tasks to the dates on which they will be discussed or to documents that are useful for completing the respective task.|
Option 2—“Hashtags”: To group multiple entries that share a topic, you can also add hashtags to them. This will make the workspace much more orderly. It also allows users to see all entries that have similarities in form or content.
To tag an entry, navigate to the “Structure” section in the entry itself (second tab, “Hashtags”). Check or uncheck existing hashtags to select or deselect them or add new hashtags. Save your changes.
When you navigate to a rubric or the homepage of your workspace, a list of hashtags will be displayed on the right side. You can use it to access individual entries and, if available, other entries carrying the same hashtag.
Tip: You can use the hashtags to see, for example, a list of all homework, presentation dates, documents by a specific author, articles, discussions about a specific topic, material entries linked to discussions, etc., as long as these entries carry the same tag.
Have a look at our tutorial “Structuring workspace content” for more information about structuring your workspace.
How can I copy an entry to another workspace?
The marked entries are now available under “Marked entries” in your CommSy bar on the top of each page. Navigate to the workspace and rubric to which you wish to add the marked entries. Open the menu “Marked entries.” Now, select “Paste to...” and the entry, then click “Execute action” again.
|Tip: Do not forget to remove the entries from “Marked entries” afterwards. To do this, choose the action “Remove from ‘Marked entries’.” If you do not do this, the list can easily get long and confusing.|
How can I set up a recurring date?
If you want to create an appointment that repeats regularly, it is recommended to create a series appointment, so that you do not have to enter each appointment individually. When you create a new appointment (see “How do I create, edit and delete entries?”), first enter all the required data of the first appointment in the series, as you would for a single appointment. “Start” and “End” do not refer to the dates of the first and the last appointment, but to the start and end of the very first appointment of the series! The necessary information for the automatic repetition of the appointment will be entered later (see below).
Example: Starting Monday, 1 April 2018, the ABC seminar will be taking place every Monday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in room 1234. For this series, enter “ABC seminar” as a title, enter “01.04.2018” and “12:00” as the beginning and “01.04.2018” and “13:00” as the end.
|Tip: If some events of the series are held in different locations, use the “Place” box to specify the location where most of them will take place. You can point out any changes to the location in the text box underneath “Description.”|
Below these input fields you will find the drop-down menu “Serial appointment”. Here you can select the interval at which the appointment is to be repeated. Weekly, monthly or yearly repetitions are available, whereby you can select the frequency and the weekday (e.g. every third Monday). The selection “every 1st week” means that the appointment will be repeated every week.
You can also enter text in the “Description" area as usual, if necessary, and upload documents under “Files".
How do I change the color of an appointment entry?
If you want to assign a certain color to an appointment, you have to click on the edit icon next to the description “Calendars” in the right column under “Restrict list”. Now you can first give the specific color a title and then select the desired color. Save the process by clicking on “Create new calendar”.
How can I enable or disable the creation of group workspaces in my project workspace?
Enter the workspace in which you want to activate or deactivate the group workspace function. Click the tool symbol on the right side of the tab bar called “Settings.” Underneath the first heading, “General” you will see the option “Rubric selection”. You can now choose between “show,” “hide” and “off.”
- “Show” means that the selected workspace rubric is shown in the navigation menu on the home page
- “Hide” means that entries from the selected workspace rubric are included in the “Latest entries in this workspace” section on the home page
- “Off” means that the selected workspace rubric is not available in this CommSy workspace.
Click “Save” at the end of the page.
Why can't I upload any files larger than 500 MB?
The RZZ team set the maximum file size to 500 MB to make sure students can work with these on their multiple devices. Since AGORA has no built-in streaming service, one must download video and sound files completely in order to play them.
|Tip: You can upload larger video files to Lecture2Go and integrate these in material entries.|
|Tip: There is no capacity limit for the totality of materials uploaded in a workspace.|
Can I prevent my materials from being saved or printed?
If you upload something to CommSy and make it available to others, the members of the room can download it. You may be able to protect your files in the program with which the document was created (see below). Even so, if another user screenshots the pages of the document, s/he will be able to save an image of your file.
Download: You may be able to apply storage protection to your file outside of CommSy. Please have a look at the options available in the program with which you created your file.
Print: To prevent others from printing your document, you need to apply protection to the document yourself. If and how this is possible depends on your program. To protect a PDF, you can do the following:
Open the document in Adobe Acrobat. In the menu bar, click “Files” > “Tools.” A new window will open. Open the “Protection” tab. Now, select “Encrypt” and choose an encryption method, for example: “Encrypt with password.” Navigate to the “Password Security Settings” and specify a password. Check the box labeled “Restrict editing and printing of the document. A password will be required in order to change these permission settings.” Enter a password and ensure that you have selected “None” from the dropdown menu “Printing allowed.” Click OK. Save the file. When you upload the file to CommSy, other users will not be able to print it without knowing the password.
How do I create a link to a specific section within an entry?
Navigate to the workspace in which the content is stored. Open the entry. Navigate to the section or entry you want to link. You will be directed to the desired section automatically. Now, copy the URL from the address bar of your browser. When you share this link with others, they will be directed to the section you have chosen. Another possible way to link to a specific section or entry is described in the tutorial “Inserting links”.
|Note: Only workspace members can read entries or sections thereof. If they are not logged in, they will be asked to enter their login details first. Afterward, they will be directed to the linked entry.|
How do I put a gender asterisk as in Professor*innen?
Background: The asterisk character is used as a control symbol in the editor and is therefore not displayed in the entry view. For example, “Professor\*innen” in the editor view will instead appear in the entry view as “Professorinnen” in the final text, i.e. unwanted bolding will not appear.
How can I grant access to entries for specific people on AGORA?
Entries that are stored in “My stack” can be shared with other users of the platform. Within the editing area of the entry you find the field “External viewer”, where you can enter the username of the person (usually the uni username of UHH) who should have access to the entry. This entry will then appear on your own dashboard in the lower right corner under “External access to my entries” as well as for the other person in the same area under “External access to other entries”.
|Tip: Use this feature for uncomplicated exchange of files between fellow students or colleagues.|
How do I open a new project workspace?
Log in to CommSy. Go to the dashboard and navigate to the “workspaces” category and click “Create new workspace”. You will be taken to a page containing a form. Enter a title and adjust the “Language” setting to choose whether you want a German or English interface for your workspace. All other information is optional. It is intended for better user orientation. We recommend that you complete the fields labeled “Semester” and “Description.”
|Tip: The “Template” field is a special feature. Select it to open a workspace that already has some content. In addition to the standard template, you can select templates from the ABK.|
Click the “Save” button at the end of the page. Your new project workspace will be set up and opened immediately. You are the moderator of this workspace. You can start to work with it right away by posting content, approving members, changing the workspace settings, etc.
|Tip: For further information see the tutorial “Create a new project workspace”.|
How do I delete a project workspace?
To delete a project workspace, navigate to the workspace you want to delete. Click on the tool icon on the left side of the dark gray rubric bar to access the workspace settings.
Under the bottom tab “Settings” you will find the red framed button “Delete”. Enter the word “DELETE” in the free text field and confirm by clicking on the “Delete” button.
|Note: Your entire workspace including all data and entries will be deleted. This process is irreversible! Deleted workspaces cannot be reconstructed. When you delete a workspace, you usually also delete other users' entries.|
|Attention: A deleted workspace cannot be reconstructed. When you delete a workspace, you usually delete other people's posts as well.|
How do I set up a membership code for my workspace?
Enter the workspace for which you want to set up a membership code. Click the tool symbol on the bottom left of the dark gray rubric bar. You will be taken to the “workspace settings” page. Navigate to the first tab, “General.” Under the first heading, “Basic settings,” you will see the option for “Participants.” The default setting is “Always.”
If you do not want to respond to every single membership application, choose the third option: “Code”. In the text box, enter a code of your choice.
Confirm your changes by clicking the “Save” button on the bottom left.
If any users have applied for membership before you changed the approval setting to “Code,” you will still need to approve them manually. See: “How do I change the status of workspace members?”
|Tip: Link your STiNE event with your AGORA workspace! To do so see the tutorial “workspace identifier”.|
How do I make sure that only certain people can join my workspace?
By default, you—the owner of the workspace—need to approve each new member of your workspace manually. (Click the button labeled “Create new workspace” on the right side of the CommSy platform to create a new project workspace.) Anyone who clicks the door symbol to enter your workspace will have to submit a membership application. Their application will be forwarded to your email address. Whether or not to approve the applicant is up to you. To approve them, use the link in the email.
If you do not want to approve every new member manually, you can set up a membership code instead. This code works like a password: Anyone who knows it can enter your workspace. To set it up, see: “How do I set up a membership code for my workspace?”
How do I change the status of workspace members (e.g., to a moderator)?
Enter the workspace for which you want to change a user's status. Navigate to the “User” tab and select the desired status in the “Manage users” action menu. Once you have selected the desired action, check the box next to the name of the user whose status you want to change. You can select several users at the same time. Confirm your changes with the “Execute action” button. To appoint another user a workspace moderator, select “Change status: moderator.” If you select “Change status: contact person,” the name of the user will be listed as a contact on the entry page of the workspace (the one with the door).
|Tip: You can also use the “User” tab in the workspace settings to delete, lock, and approve room members or email multiple members at the same time.|
How do I change the title of my workspace?
Navigate to the first tab, “General.” Under the first heading, “Basic settings,” you will see the field for your workspace's “Title.”
Enter a new title for your workspace. Click the “Save” button at the end of the page to confirm.
How can I archive a workspace? What does this mean?
Enter the workspace you want to archive. Click the tool symbol on the bottom left of the dark gray rubric bar. You will be taken to a page with the workspace settings. Navigate to the “Additional” tab. Under the fifth heading, “Archive workspace,” you will see the “Archived” option. To archive your project workspace, check this option and confirm your changes by clicking the “Save” button on the bottom of the page.
You can see your archived workspaces in your room overview. Simply change the search from “Used workspaces” to “Archived workspaces.”
|Tip: Members can still enter the archived workspace and access its content. They cannot add new entries or edit/delete existing entries. No new members can apply.|
How do I reopen an archived workspace?
First, follow the steps for archiving a room. See: “How can I archive a workspace?”
You can see your archived workspaces in your workspace overview. Simply change the search from “Used workspaces” to “Archived workspaces.”
Enter the workspace you want to reopen. Click the tool symbol on the bottom left of the dark gray rubric bar. You will be taken to the workspace settings page. Navigate to the “Additional” tab. Under the fifth heading, “Archive workspace,” you will see the “Archived” option. To reopen your project workspace, uncheck this option and confirm your changes by clicking the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
Notice: If nobody enters a CommSy workspace for a long time, the workspace will be deleted automatically. This measure ensures greater data protection and a lighter load on the servers. Moderators receive a notification email 30 days before their workspace is scheduled to be deleted. They receive another notification immediately before the deletion.
If you no longer need the affected workspace, you do not need to do anything. After the 30-day period, it will be deleted automatically.
If you want to continue using the project workspace, log in to CommSy within this period and enter the workspace. This will prevent its deletion.
How does the automatic archiving process work?
AGORA workspaces that have not been entered for 365 days are archived automatically. Members can still enter the archived workspace and access its content. They cannot add new entries or edit/delete existing entries. No new members can apply.
The workspace moderators will receive an email informing about the archiving process. To adjourn it, simply enter the workspace in question. Then again, after 365 days of inactivity, the archiving process restarts. Of course you get an email in advance.
|Tip: You can at any time reopen an archived project workspace by following these steps.|
How can I turn off email notifications regarding new user registrations?
If you opened a CommSy workspace for a course with a large number of participants and do not want to receive an email each time a student joins the workspace, you can disable the notification. Proceed as follows:
- Enter the workspace. Click the “Workspace profile” tab.
- Click “Notifications” to choose form the email notification settings.
- To disable the “E-mail at registration”, uncheck the box next to it.
- Click “save” to save this setting.
|Note: This setting only affects the workspace you have entered.|
Which statuses can I assign members of my workspace?
|Tip: For further information on these options, please see in this tutorial.|
How does the automatic deleting process work?
AGORA workspaces that have not been entered for 365 days after their archiving are deleted automatically. Thus, all contents, e.g. discussions, materials and calendar dates, will be deleted permanently.
The workspace moderators will receive an email informing about the deleting process. To adjourn it, simply enter the workspace in question. Then again, after 365 days of inactivity, the deleting process restarts. Of course you get an email in advance.
|Tip: You can at any time reopen an archived project workspace by following these steps.|
How can I approve participants to a project workspace?
Participants in request can be found in your workspace in the “Users” rubric.
Above the list you will see a red highlighted indication if and how many people are currently in application. Follow the link “Show usernames” to see only those people who are still waiting for approval. After clicking on the link, you will see individual person entries each with the green “Activate” (or red “Reject”) button on the right.
You can also unlock several participants at once by selecting “Approve or unlock account(s)” in the “Manage users” action menu at the top right, marking several/all IDs with a check mark and then clicking the gray “Perform action” button.
You will then need to confirm the status change again, including whether users should be notified by email (we recommend “Yes”).
|Tip: You can find step-by-step instructions with illustrations in the tutorial “Create a new project workspace”.|
I want to set up my workspace completely, but certain entries should only be visible later. How do I do that?
Open the menu for creating a new contribution by selecting the “New entry” option in the action menu in the corresponding rubric (Announcements, Dates, Materials, Discussions). Provide all the necessary information, write the text and title, and upload all the files that belong to this post. Now go to the “Deactivated” field at the top. Check the box here and enter the date and time in the empty fields when the post and the associated files should become accessible to the users of the workspace. Now click on “Save”.
The title of your contribution and its activation date can be viewed by the users, but the content can neither be read nor downloaded until the selected activation time. You can find more information about this here: “Access rights & events”.
Why was I informed by e-mail about the upcoming deletion of a workspace?
Workspaces on AGORA that have not been entered for a very long time are automatically deleted after some time. This measure serves to ensure data protection and conserves server capacity. Workspace moderators receive a corresponding notice to the e-mail address stored in the system 30 days before the upcoming deletion. Immediately before the deletion, a further notice is sent by e-mail.
If you no longer need the workspace in question, you do not need to do anything further. After the deadline, the room will be deleted automatically.
If you still want to use the workspace, please log in to AGORA within the specified period and enter the project workspace. This way you will prevent the automatic deletion.
How can I prevent my project workspace from unwanted changes?
With this trick, the users of the workspace can still view and download content, but do not have the rights to upload or modify content.
To make this setting, see the “Manage users” tutorial.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS AND FUNCTIONS
I cannot enter a workspace even though I have provided the correct membership code. Why?
You can only enter a project workspace while you are logged in with your username. If your login was successful, you will see your profile picture or initials in the top right corner on the CommSy bar.
If you cannot enter the workspace even though you are logged in, your membership code might be incorrect. In this case, email the workspace moderator and ask for the membership code.
|Tip: If the room cannot be found directly or if the participation code does not work, check that you entered the correct room name in the search field. In some cases there are several rooms that have the same or similar names because the lecturers are repeating a lecture or seminar in another semester.|
|Note: To protect data privacy, the eLearning office and the DLL advice team do not have membership codes for any workspaces. If you need a membership code, email the workspace moderator directly or ask them personally during your next meeting.|
How can I find a particular document that someone has made available for download on CommSy?
If you are currently in a specific project workspace or on your own dashboard, use the search field in the CommSy bar (top right). Enter a search term that describes the content you are looking for. The search function applies across workspaces. It also searches other workspaces. Of course, you will only see results from workspaces in which are a member. If you do not find the results you were hoping for with the search term, you might not be a member of the right workspaces (yet). In this case, ask the person who has made the material available for the workspace name and the membership code (if any).
On the CommSy homepage, navigate to the field labeled “Search for workspace.” Enter the workspace title and click “Search.” The system will show you a list of rooms containing the search term. If you are not a member of the right workspace yet, apply for membership.
I have entered a workspace, but it is completely empty. What happened?
If you encounter a workspace with no entries and no members, it is possible that you have accidentally opened a new project workspace instead of entering an existing one.
In this case, delete the unintentional workspace again. Only active workspaces should remain in the system. See also: “How do I delete a project workspace?”
Now, look for the workspace you wanted to join and enter it. You can use the workspace search on the CommSy homepage.
All of my workspaces have disappeared. What do I do?
Option 1—You have logged in to the system with a uni username for the first time instead of using your existing local CommSy username. In this case, please remain logged in and combine your two usernames. Your workspaces will be imported. See: “Can I combine two usernames into one?”
Option 2—Perhaps you have two identical usernames with two different sources: one uni username as a source and a separate, local CommSy username. It is possible that you have accidentally set up a second local CommSy username with your uni username at some point in the past. If you log in to the system with the “wrong” username, you will be unable to access your workspaces. Either delete the unused username or log in with your active username and combine the two.
I cannot find my personal workspace nay more. What can I do?
The “Dashboard” is a new, central function of CommSy 9. It is a type of personal workspace containing an overview of all new entries and dates in the workspaces of which you are a member. You can reach your dashboard by clicking the tile symbol on the right side of the CommSy bar on top, to the left of your profile picture.
How do I message another user?
Communication with other AGORA users takes place via the project workspaces. Within a project workspace, you can get in touch with any other member of the workspace–or even several members at the same time.
Option 1 - Mail to project workspace members: To do this, click on the “People” section in the corresponding workspace. You will then see a list of all the people who have joined this workspace. Select the “Send e-mail” function in the action menu. The names of the people will now appear grayed out. Select the person(s) to whom you want to send a message and confirm with “Execute action”. If you would like to send a mail to all workspace members, you can have the system automatically select all names in the list by clicking on “Select all entries” in the upper left corner. Confirm with “Execute action”.
Option 2 - Mail to group workspace members: If you want to send an e-mail to a specific group in the workspace, click on “Groups” in the rubric bar and enter the desired group workspace. Then follow the instructions described in option 1.
|Note: AGORA sends such e-mails to the e-mail address that has been stored in the respective workspace profile. Therefore, make sure that an e-mail address is entered at your location that is regularly accessed by you.|
I cannot upload materials. What is the problem?
- Did you click the “Save” button after uploading your file (either by browsing your files or by moving it to the upload field via drag and drop)? The system does not upload your files until you click “Save.”
- If you have CommSy open in multiple tabs, close all but the tab in which you are carrying out the upload. Restart the upload.
If these measures do not solve the problem, try uploading the file from another browser or PC. This will show you whether the problem is with the CommSy system or your computer or browser. If there is a problem with the system, use the support form to contact your CommSy team. Specify which version of your browser and operating system you are using.
Why can't I send mails via AGORA?
If you have received a confirmation from the system that the mail has been sent, but it does not reach the recipients, the problem is probably on the recipients' side. Follow the instructions in this FAQ.
|Tip: If you send a copy of the mail to your own mail address, you can make sure that the mail was sent.|
How do I reply to mails sent via AGORA?
If you receive an e-mail sent via AGORA, the sender is a noreply address. Nevertheless, you can reply to the sender via the reply function of your mail program. The noreply address will then be replaced with the address stored in the workspace profile.
|Note: If the address is not replaced, it is hidden in the sender's workspace settings. This option can be found in the account settings.|
|Tip: If you use Surfmail, you will see a column above the received emails, where you will also find the “Reply” option. Clicking on it will open a new window in your browser, where you can reply to the selected mail.|
Why do mails sent via AGORA not reach me?
Option 1: The mail has arrived in the Spam/Trash folder. Depending on the provider and mail settings, there may be several folders into which mails (mis)recognized as spam are delivered. Because the mail is sent from a noreply address from AGORA, spam filters react especially sensitive.
Option 2: There is a wrong mail address in the account or room profile. Either there is a typo or an outdated/not regularly checked address. You can edit this in your profile settings.
Option 3: The mailbox is full, so the mail could not be delivered.
Option 4: The mail provider was offline. This occurs especially often with smaller providers or privately hosted servers.