The marquee feature of this spring’s release is our new invitation system. We have centralized the process of inviting colleagues or students to the Commons and to specific groups and sites. Invitations can be initiated from various places on the Commons:
- by hovering over your avatar in the top right corner and clicking on “Send Invites” from the drop down
- by clicking on your avatar, selecting “Commons Profile” tab, and clicking on “Send Invites”
- by clicking on “Add User” on your WordPress site
- by clicking on “Send Invites” on your group’s sidebar (you need to be a member of the group)
No matter where you begin the invitation process, you will be taken to the same interface that allows you to add multiple people via email or user name. If a person is not a member of the Commons, s/he will be invited to first join the Commons, and then join the various groups and sites you specify. Invitations will arrive by email, and you can easily monitor the status of each via our Invitation Management tool. Invitees need to click on the link supplied in the email to join.
We feel this will be an enormous help for professors who are using the Commons for classes. Simply compile a list of your students’ CUNY email addresses, paste it into a text box and pick the group and site you want them to join. Our invitation system does the rest!
Commons 1.13 also includes a number of other useful enhancements:
- Support for group site comments – when you get an email notification “Member xyz has written a new post on the your group site,” you can reply to the email and it’ll generate a comment on the post.
- Email to Groups – as you may or may not know, groups have an email address and members of a group can email to the group and that email becomes a forum topic. We have added better visibility for this process in the form of a popup that explains the process.
- Group New Topic email address – as mentioned above, groups have email addresses. Group admins can now edit the group’s email address. We’ve named this field “Group New Topic Email Address” so that its functionality is clear.
- Improved accessibility – we continue to make accessibility changes on our main Commons pages. This release has focused on color contrast enhancements.
- Improved tools for Custom CSS: – we are replacing our old custom CSS plugin with a new, more modern plugins that allows for syntax highlighting, and no more errors for modern CSS properties. Like the old one, it will be automatically activate on all sites.
- Mapped Domains – if you have a mapped domain on the Commons, all admin work will now take place on the Commons to ensure SSL security.
- Group site activity – improved consistency for group site activity to ensure that if either the group or the site is private, activity will be private.
- Group Forum – forum attachments are now grouped together in a folder called “Forum Attachments” within “Files.” This clarifies where files originate.
- “Follow Me Online” – you now have the option to include your Google Scholar account on your profile.
- Group Events – Email notifications for new group events now contain more information about the event, including date and location.