Groups

Groups help people to focus on an activity or a subject matter. Groups are used for collaboration, communication, sharing resources, scheduling, and capturing group knowledge. Sports teams, school clubs, parent volunteers, and school departments, all use groups to achieve their goals. Groups include a conversation area, a knowledge base, a calendar, and a library.

  1. Moderators
  2. Pinned Items
  3. Knowledge Base (the title can be changed later)
  4. Group Feed
  5. Active Panel
  6. Group Calendar
  7. Library

The Group’s Knowledge Base automatically defaults to be called Knowledge. However, you can change this at any point. Click Knowledge.

Then click Edit.

Here, you can change the title. In this example, the Knowledge Base in the Staff Room group is being changed to say ‘Staff Information’.

The Group’s Active Panel is visible above the Calendar on the right side of the screen.

This panel displays information about when members last entered the Group. Those tagged with “now” are currently engaging with content in the Group. Group members will be tagged with the number of minutes, hours, or days since they last entered the Group.

The panel is organized by the time of last entry, with the most active members listed first. Users active in the last 15 minutes are coloured green, users active between 15 and 60 minutes ago are coloured in orange, and all others are grey.

Clicking Active will pop out the panel, where group moderators and members, if enabled by the moderator, can view the Active list. The Active list shows when any individual has accessed the Group.

To view a list of the members, click View All Members link.

If a person is member of a group, the group is listed in their My Groups panel. Members see the unread count red bubbles and events from the group’s calendar are included in the home screen calendar.

In addition to the groups in the My Groups panel, addition groups can be found by clicking Find More. The list includes open groups that people can join if they choose and closed groups that require an invitation from the moderator to join. Staff, students, and parents may see a different set of groups.

Closed groups have a lock in the lower right corner.

People can pop into an open group through the Groups list, or can join the group by clicking Join from within the group.

When logged in with a web browser, groups can be rearranged by clicking and dragging the icon to a new location within the My Groups panel.

Creating groups

Only teachers and school administrators can create groups. Students and parents cannot create groups.

To create a group:

  1. From the home screen, click My Groups.
  2. Click Create.
  3. The Create Group form appears. Choose a name and click Create Group. The group is added to the My Groups panel.

All group settings can be changed through the group’s Setup form at any time by opening the group and clicking Setup.

Adding and removing members

To invite people to the group, enter the group and click Invite. Type the names of the invitees.

The invitees see the group on the home screen in their My Groups panel and can choose to accept or decline joining the group.

Note: If the group requires a large number of invitees, school administrators have the ability to add large numbers of people to a group, very quickly.

Click on the View All Members link to view members who have not accepted the invitation.

To remove people from the group, click the View All Members link and click Remove button below the name of the member that needs to be removed.

 

Automatic Membership in Groups

Moderators can quickly add teachers to groups. Sometimes, teachers will have the option to accept or reject the request, otherwise, the student is added automatically. Teachers may have noticed the first time they logged into Edsby, they were already a member of a few groups. That’s because teachers are automatically added to major school groups at the beginning of the year.

If a teacher is invited to a group, they have to respond to the request to become a member.

Students who are automatically added to a group do not have to take any action. The group will simply appear in their My Groups panel.

Note: Individuals automatically enrolled in groups will only be unsubscribed if they no longer meet the criteria for the automated membership. If they click the Unsubscribe button from within a group, the group will temporarily be removed from their My Groups panel. However, the group will be added to their My Groups panel again the next day.

Group Setup examples

The following is a set of examples of recommended Group Setup forms for common situations.

School Groups

The following examples can be used for groups such as:

  • School Talk
  • Parent Volunteer Opportunities
  • Community Volunteer Opportunities
  • Parent Counsel

For example, the Parent Volunteer Opportunities group can be seen by staff, parents, and students. Anyone can ask questions about volunteer opportunities. Younger students, who love having their parent on a field trip, can tell parents about new posts.

The Parent Volunteer Opportunities group could also be set up to enable only the moderators to make posts, but anyone could reply to a post.

Staff Groups

Sometimes it is a good thing for parents and students to be aware of all the work and activity that happens at school, however, we don’t want to overwhelm parents and students with a list of groups they can’t join. For staff groups, set the Show to field to All Staff.

Groups provide departments or committees with a great way to collaborate. In this example, only staff can see the name of the group and any staff member can enter and join the group.

Follow this example if the group only needs to be seen by the group creator and people invited to join the group. If a small and dedicated group of people want to create content in a group before sharing them with all staff, start with this setting and then switch the Show To field to All Staff and the Membership field to Open.

When working with a group of people to create content, follow this example to enable everyone in the group to have the same set of permissions as the moderator.

Student groups

Groups can give students a safe place to practice being digital citizens. Groups such as student volunteer opportunities or clubs that are always open to new members can be set up like this:

Follow this example to set up a group whose name can be seen by students, but only members can enter the group and contribute.

People who are not in a group can click on the group name to view moderator names, the number of posts and the description.

To create a group that can only be seen by the creator and members, set the Show To field to No-one (Private)

To create a group where students can only read content and reply to a moderator’s post, follow this example.

Create Group and Setup form

Name Choose a name for the group.
Type Regular Group, Club, & Team have the same functionality.

A Professional Learning Community includes a Planner like that found in a class.

A Badge groups awards and tracks certification and badges.

A List group can include students without the student knowing they belong to a group.

Changing the group type to Archive will remove it from the home screen of moderators and members.

A Study Group is setup by Edsby and automatically enrolls students and teachers in a group if they are teaching or taking the same course.

A Professional Development Group enables people to take a professional development training. Moderators are content creators and facilitators. Members are participants. Contains a Course Builder.

Learning Object Repository enables people to share files.

 

Picture Use the standard group icon or choose the group’s icon by clicking Browse and locating a jpg or png file from the computer. Drag and drop is also supported. The image file will automatically scale to the dimensions of the group icon.
About this group Add a brief description about the focus of the group.
Moderators Type in the names of additional Moderators. Moderators automatically see the group in the My Groups panel.
Show to Choose which type of users can see the group name when they click on the Find More link in the Groups panel. See the Examples section for typical setups.
Permissions The Permission section is collapsed initially; click the blue arrow to expand the section.
Invite People Controls who can invite other people to this group.
Make Posts Controls who can post Notes, reply to Notes, and create Polls.
Reply to Posts Control who can reply to Notes or participate in a Poll.
Edit Knowledge Base Controls who can create, edit, and delete Knowledge Base entries.
Edit Calendar Controls who can create, edit, and delete Calendar Events.
View Members Control who can see the Members panel.
Academic Info Groups can be included in Report Cards. The Subject and Grade field are used to ensure the Group receives the correct report card template.
Enable Attendance Organizations that use the Edsby Attendance system for classes can also take attendance for groups. When enabled, an attendance link will appear within the group if the group has a student as a member.

 

Taking Group Attendance

If enabled in the Group Setup form, an Attendance link will appear within the Group.

From here, the Group Moderator can either create a Planned Absence for the Group or create an Extra Attendance Sheet.

In this example, Beth Archer is one of the moderators of the Festival Choir Group and needs to create a Planned Absence for their upcoming performance. She will fill out the form and submit to the attendance office.

As well, she would like to create an Extra Attendance Sheet so she can take attendance on the bus. She will fill out the form accordingly.

By default, attendance taken from within a Group will not be included in the Group’s attendance totals. However, if the Group Moderator would like to keep track of group absences, they can select this box for each Extra Attendance Sheet created.

When checked and if a member is absent, the Group’s attendance totals will be updated.

Note: Group Absences are not included in the student’s overall Attendance summary – just within the Group’s attendance totals.