Groups provide a space in Populi for different segments of your school's community—clubs, teams, committees, you name it—to communicate, share files, and create events with other members of that group.
- To start a group, you need to have the Staff or Faculty role. You can also permit students to start public groups (see below) in Account > Settings > Security, either with Staff approval or without. (By default, students can create private groups. If you'd rather that they not do so, please contact Populi customer support and we'll flip a switch on our end.)
- All you need to join and participate in a group is an active Populi user account.
- You can let anyone join a group or you can restrict the group to particular user roles.
- There are three levels at which a person may participate in a group.
- Group administrators are in charge of the group's settings, and can otherwise oversee all aspects of a group. The person who creates the group is the administrator, but this can be changed after others join the group.
- Moderators, depending on the settings, can invite members and oversee group activities. Moderators are appointed by the group's administrator.
- Members can participate in the shared activities of the group, and may have other abilities depending on the group's settings.
- Groups include a bulletin board, discussions, chat, files, and calendar.
Setting up a new group
Here's how to create a new group.
- Go to Home > Groups.
- Click Create a Group.
- Give the group a name (required) and a description (optional).
- Choose how to restrict group membership:
- Open to anyone: Any user can join this group just by going to the dashboard and clicking Join. (For this to work as expected, make sure you set the Public setting to Yes.)
- Open to select roles: Any user with the role(s) you select can go to the group dashboard and click Join. Anyone without the role can join with an invitation.
- Invitation only: Users can join only if invited.
- Choose which people in the group can invite new members: Any member, Admins and moderators, or Admins only.
- Select whether to make the group Public. Public groups and their membership are visible to any user at your school; private groups are hidden from everyone except members and invitees.
- When you're done, click Save.
After creating the group, you'll see it in both All Groups and My Groups. As the group's administrator, you can now start inviting members (see below), posting bulletins and discussions, uploading files, and adding calendar events (covered in this article.
Inviting members to your group
After creating the group, you can start inviting members. A few things to remember:
- You can only invite active Populi users to the group.
- Group administrators can always invite new members. Depending on the group's settings, moderators and members may also be able to invite members. The invitation process works the same for each kind of person.
- If someone has a user role specified in the group's settings, she won't need an invitation: she can just go to the group dashboard and join there.
Here's how to invite members:
- Go to the group's Members view.
- Click Invite People.
- Type names and select from the results to add people to the invite list.
- Repeat the above step until your invitee list is complete.
- Check to email invitations to each invitee.
- When you're done, click Save.
You can also let people request invitations to invitation-only groups:
- When setting up the group, set Membership to Invitation only.
- When people go to the group dasboard, they can click Request Invitation.
- Depending on the group's Invitations setting, the group administrator, moderator, or member can go to the Group's members view and see the list of requests.
- Click and select Send invitation.
Once invited, these people will now be able to join the group:
- If you emailed invitations, they'll receive an invitation with a link to the group Dashboard view.
- When an invitee logs in to Populi, he'll see an Alert on his Home > Dashboard view about the invitation. He can also navigate to the group's Dashboard and join there (or ignore the invitation).
Managing group members
Here are the ways a group administrator can manage individual members. Click and select one of the options:
- Make/Remove Admin: Any admin can give any other member administrator privileges; likewise, any admin can remove that privilege from any other admin.
- Make/Remove Moderator: Any admin can give any other member moderator privileges; likewise, any admin can remove that privilege from a moderator.
- Remove: After removing a person, he can re-join the group according to the membership settings.
- Ban: After banning a person, he cannot re-join the group until you lift the ban.
Any group member can leave the group by clicking in the upper right corner of the screen.
In the group Settings view, administrators can control how different aspects of the group will work.
- In the upper right corner of the screen, click to:
- Mark official: Staff members at your school can mark a group official.
- Delete group: Any account admin, Academic Admin, or the group's administrator can delete the group altogether.
- To change a particular setting, click its name, make your changes, and click Save.
- The Change Log shows changes to membership and the group's settings.
Have a look at this article to learn how to use and moderate a group.
Approving a student-created group
If you've allowed students to create groups after getting staff approval (which you do in Account > Security, here's how you'll provide that approval in Populi:
- Go to Home > Groups > All Groups.
- Next to Show, select Pending from the drop-down.
- Choose the group you'd like to review for approval from the list.
- On the group's dashboard, click Pending Approval and choose whether to Approve or Deny the group.