This tutorial provides an overview of the various settings you can adjust for your project workspace. The settings menu is divided into sections. Each section allows you to modify a specific aspect of your workspace , such as its appearance, general settings, rubrics, structural auxiliaries, and access checks. The following chapters describe the individual sections in detail.
Accessing the workspace settings: Only the creator and moderator(s) of a project workspaces can configure its settings. CommSy gives moderators various options for adjusting their workspaces 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 workspace moderators only. Other users cannot see the corresponding button in the menu bar.|
The “General” menu allows you to adjust some important settings immediately after creating your workspace. This includes the workspace title, language, membership in community workspaces, and workspace description. You can also set the access check and workspace 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”).
- “Always”: If you choose “Always” (set by default), you will receive an email whenever a user requests to enter your workspace. Clicking the link in the email will approve their request.
- “Code”: 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 workspace independently.
- “Deactivate”: If you choose “Deactivate,” anyone will be able to access the workspace 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 workspaceworkspace.
|Tip: Turn the “User” rubric off to prevent the feed on the homepage from listing new workspace users, for example. You must save the workspace settings (bottom of the page) after changing them.|
The persons section is always displayed if you are the moderator of a workspace. In all other cases, as a moderator, you get the same view as all other workspace participants.
It is important that you save the workspace settings (at the very bottom) after you have changed them.
Workspace Identifier: You can connect a course on STiNE to an CommSy room, so that all participants of the STiNE course are automatically added to your CommSy workspace. This function will only work if the student is registered on CommSy and has logged in once before.
You can link the course to the CommSy Workspace on STiNE by copying the lecture identification number from STiNE (STiNE-LV-ID) and pasting it into the “Workspace identifier” field.
The lecture identification number can be found on STiNE next to the course offering details and starts with a 3 followed by 12 numbers.
First step: Copy the STiNE-LV-ID
Second step: Paste the STiNE-LV-ID to the workspace identifier
If the STiNE-LV-ID has already been used by another person for an CommSy room, the same STiNE-LV-ID cannot be used for another CommSy room. If your STiNE-LV ID is no longer available, please email our team.
|Tip: Our FAQs on the topic of "room identification" could also help you:|
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.
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.
In the “Additional” menu you will find a whole range of options that further optimize your room or enable interesting functions.
Structural auxiliaries: Here you can set whether and how the structuring auxiliaries “Associations”, “Hashtags” and “Categories” should be displayed in the sections of your room. You can find more detailed information on the structuring aids in the “Structuring workspace content” tutorial. You can also define the extent to which room participants are allowed to edit the calendar here.
Tasks: Here you can define for the task rubric whether additional statuses should be defined in addition to the three processing statuses “not processed”, “in process” and “completed” and then add them as required.
RSS feed: Enabling this option will allow participants to subscribe to the activities in this room via RSS. By default, this option is turned off.
Template: You can make your room available as a template, which is especially useful for you as a teacher if you repeatedly lead seminars with almost unchanged materials. You don't have to upload these materials for each seminar, instead you can make the old room available as a template at this point by ticking it and select the template when creating a new room. Under “Target group” you can also specify here for whom the template should be usable in the future: For all CommSy users, all members of this room or only for you and possibly other room moderators*. If you enter a description, e.g. with information about the content, this will be displayed later when you select the template.
|Tip: For more details and useful tips on this topic, see the tutorial “Reusing content”.|
Archive workspace: When you archive a room, it remains accessible and with all content, but it can no longer be changed, so no new content can be added. For example, if a seminar for which you had created the project workspace belongs to a past semester and you do not expect (or want) any further changes to the content, you can archive the room at this point.
In this menu there are various settings for the display and design of the workspace.
Configure events: You can select different views as default for the “Calendar” section. The list view shows the calendar as a chronologically sorted list of entries. This selection is very clear if you only enter a few appointments in the calendar that are spread over several months. The month and week view show the conventional calendar sheet view.
Configure color theme: Select a color scheme for the room here. Connected to this is the theme image (see below), but you can change it. Associated with each color scheme are different accent colors that are used, for example, for the beams in the workspace.
Workspace image: As default, the preset image of the current theme is always used. However, you can also upload your own image here for the entry page of the workspace. For optimal display, the image should have an aspect ratio of about 5:1 and be at least 1300px wide.
Workspace logo: At this point you can add a logo for your workspace, which will be displayed above the workspace image on the home page of your workspace. Images with a transparent background are particularly suitable as workspace logos. In this menu there are various settings for the display and design of the workspace.
This menu allows you to adjust the settings of three useful room extensions:
Personal workspaces: The CommSy tool “personal workspaces” creates a separate area that is only accessible for room moderation and a single student. The room moderator can set individual tasks here and then correct them after completion – only visible to the respective students. The room moderator of a workspace can enter any person room of the project room; the students, however, can only enter their own personal workspace.
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. 5). 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. 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.
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.
You can also ‘remove invitations’ in case you accidentally sent an invitation to the wrong person.
All members of Universität Hamburg can use their uni username to log in. You do not need to send them separate invitations.
The red button for locking or deleting your workspace is the last of the 7 options listed in the settings menu. You can either lock or delete your workspace (Fig.7)
- Lock workspace: You can lock your workspace, so that nobody including you has access to this workspace. You can un-lock your workspace later on if necessary.
- Delete workspace: Keep in mind that deletion is permanent. All workspace data will be irretrievably lost. Confirm the process if you wish to delete your workspace.