Created by Micheal Heffernan over 3 years ago
We want there to be a Group out there for everyone, so here's how to find, join, create and even convert an existing Group into a better one.
Discovering and Joining a GroupWe'd all like to feel like we belong. With so many Public Groups to choose from, there's now something for everyone. That's because whenever a Group is made public it means that other users can easily find it and, if they think it might be of interest, they can request to join it. To find a Group you like, simply click on the "Discover Groups" button on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
Doing so will bring up a list of Public Groups that you can browse through and join. You will be able to read each Group's description as well as see how many members and resources it has. If you're interested in becoming part of the Group, simply click on the "Request to Join" button. After that, it's up to the Group Creator or Administrator to approve your request. Once you're in, don't be shy - introduce yourself, make comments, ask questions and share your thoughts and ideas. The more interaction the Group has, the better it will be.
Creating a GroupIf you cannot find the Group you're looking for, the best thing to do is to simply create one of your own! it's easy to do and you'll be ready to send invites in minutes. To get started, select "Create Group" on your dashboard. After this, you'll be asked to give your Group a title, icon and description. These are especially important if you want to make it clear to other users what the purpose of your Group is and who it's aimed at.
When you create a group you also have the option to select it's level of visibility to other users. The best way of building your own active community of learners is by making your Group open to the public. As it's your Group, it will be up to you to approve the requests to join that you get from other users.However, you'll also be able to make your Group private. This is particularly suitable for setting up class or study Groups. For further info on what each privacy setting has to offer, simply hover over the icons (as displayed in the image below) when you're logged in.
Searching for GroupsYou can put a topic such as a subject or exam level in the Search bar at the top of the page to find Public Groups you can request to join.
Converting an existing GroupWhile having the ability to join or create your very own Public Group is a new feature for GoConqr users, we won't leave anyone behind. If you've created Groups in the past, you'll now have the option of making your creations discoverable by other users. To convert your Group from a Private to a Public Group, click on Group Settings and select the level of visibility you'd like you're Group to have.
A Short Note on Private and Public GroupsWhen a Group is private, only the Administrator/Administrators of that Group can invite new users to join. However, when a Group is public, all of the members have the power to invite others to join.
GoConqr Groups allow users to join discussions, ask questions and share their learning resources and ideas with one another.
This Note will take you through some of the basic functions you can expect to see once you've joined or created a Group.
Once in a Group, you will see 4 tabs on the top-right of your screen. These are designed to make navigating your Group as easy as possible. The tabs are as follows: Activity Shows you all that’s happened in your Group – new discussions, comments, and pinned resources. To streamline the Activity feed, you can opt to filter it by Discussions, Active Discussions and Resources (for more, see the page "Some General Tips").
Resources View all the resources that are currently present in your Group. If you’re an Admin, you can create new Topics under which to organise the Group’s resources. Analytics Check the stats on Group activity – member numbers; join dates; number of discussions and resources, etc. Members Gives you a complete list of the users in your Group. By clicking on a user’s username, you can view their profile, resources, and other Groups they have joined.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding Groups, then please send a request to join the GoConqr Users’ Group and post your queries and comments there. We’ll reply as soon as we can and do all we can to make your Groups experience one that is enjoyable and rewarding.
Creating lets you take control. When you create a Group, you are taking ownership over how you study and leading the way for others to follow.
Groups Creators and AdministratorsIn essence, the quality and effectiveness of a Group depends largely on the enthusiasm and energy of the Group Creator, as it is this person who will help orchestrate the interactions between the users and ensure that they each get as much value from the group as possible.This means playing an active part in a Group's activities by starting discussions, sharing good resources and encouraging group members to participate and contribute their own thoughts, questions and resources.
A place to call your ownIf you were to imagine an ideal Group, what would it look like? Would it have a huge community, or a small tight-knit group? Would it be a place to share all kinds of interesting things, or would it have a dedicated focus on one key area? Putting together a Group of you own means that you decide these things and more. Meet new peopleThey say a stranger is just a friend you haven't yet met. If so, then Group Creators are well-placed to make lots of new friends who share similar interests and goals. Once your Group is made Public, you'll have the opportunity receive requests to join so you can begin to expand your very own community.Expand your horizons, enrich your learningThe true beauty of online learning is that it removes physical barriers. That means Group Creators will be in a position to bring together learners from around the world who can offer their own unique perspectives and points of view on areas of study or difficult problems. In other words, you can use diversity to overcome adversity.Share knowledge, receive knowledgeProbably the most obvious advantage of starting your own Group is that it gives you a place to share what you know with others - your study resources, thoughts and ideas. You can also expect to receive those of others in return. Thus, every day offers a new opportunity for everyone in your Group to share that bit more and learn that bit more.
The health of a Group depends on member participation. Here is some info for recruiting help as well as dealing with potential hazards.
Making other users administrators in a GroupNaturally, as a Group creator you cannot always be there to oversee what's happening in your Group. However, there is always the option of making a trusted Group member an Administrator and thereby giving him/her certain powers and privileges such as discussion and comment moderation, accepting users' requests to join the Group, and dealing with reported content (more on this later).To make another user an Administrator requires just a few small steps. First, go to the relevant Group and select the Members tab.
Next, select the Group member/s you would like to make an Admin and click on the cog icon beneath their info.
You will now be given the option to either remove the user from your Group or to make him/her an Administrator. Once you've made the user an Admin they will be notified in their Alerts and will be able to begin helping you maintain your Group right away.
Dealing with inappropriate contentTreating others with respect should be just as important in an online environment as it is in an offline one. Abusive or offensive language, behaviour or content may be expected, but it is not to be tolerated. For this reason Group creators and Admins are given the power to deal with any content they deem inappropriate.Though all users are given the option of reporting content in a Group as being inappropriate or spam (via the "report" button) , it is only the Group Creators and Admins who have the authority to act on these reports.If a user chooses to report content, the Creator/Admin will receive a notification in the alerts section of their dashboard.
Clicking on this will bring you to the content that has been reported, and the users involved. Here you will also see the "Take Action" button.
Clicking on this will bring up a range of actions that the Group Creator/Admin can take.
When deciding on a course of action, please bear in mind that users may report content for lots of different reasons - not all of them may be valid. It is up to you to review the content and deal with it (and potentially the user) as you see appropriate. A good policy to follow in this respect in to aim to always be firm but fair.Once you've made a decision on a course to take, select the relevant option and click "confirm" to apply the chosen action.
Helping to create a thriving, interesting and helpful group is the goal for Group Creator, so here are some tips to help you get there.
Get people talkingYou cannot have a community without communication. Getting users to interact with one another and feel comfortable doing so is an important part of creating a Group that other users will want to join. As a Group Creator and Administrator you can do this by taking the lead and starting discussions. Try asking questions: what would users like to see in the group? What are their areas of weakness or strength in a subject? You can also try creating polls to learn more about the people in your Group, or post resources you think they might find useful. And if others leave comments or start discussions of their own, you can get involved to show them their interaction is both welcome and important. Sharing is caringCollaborative learning is all about sharing - whether it's thoughts and ideas, or study tips and resources. Any GoConqr Group should be a place where users can ask others for advice or help and expect to receive a helpful and supportive reply. Some users may enter a discussion with a resource they've made, while others may offer some words of wisdom. Others yet might chime in with questions of their own. All are welcome. The more users you have sharing in a group, the better that group will be for it.Keep it cleanAny place there is a large group of people, there is bound to be a small amount of mis-behaving. It happens, but it's nothing to worry about. If you're a Group Admin, you'll have the power to remove comments or edit discussions that you deem inappropriate. To help do this, you can filter your discussion feed by activity so that you can keep an eye on the most recent comments and created discussions.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to moderating Group activities is this: If it's not suitable for a real classroom, then it's not suitable for a virtual one either. That means no offensive language, abusive or disruptive behaviour, inappropriate content, or Group spamming. Simple as that!Be patientGetting an active community of learners up and running takes time, so don't feel disheartened if your group isn't flooded with users who are eager to introduce themselves and start chatting right away. Just keep creating the discussions and posting the resources that you would like to see in a great group. The amount of users joining might start out as a trickle, but it will end in a stream. You're not alone Remember, we'll always be there if you are having any difficulties or encounter any points of contention in your Group. If you do run into any issues as a Group Creator, simply start a new discussion in the GoConqr Users' Group and we'll offer support and help in any way we can.