Each group you create in Edsby can be shared with any combination of users, including staff, parents, and students. Groups may be visible within Edsby, allowing interested users to find your group and opt-in to participate. Alternately, groups can be hidden, so only those you invite know they are available.
In this article review the settings and methods for controlling membership, including:
- Membership setup options
- Setting group visibility
- Setting automated membership
- Inviting users to your group
Membership setup options
Accessing the setup form
The Setup form for your group is presented when you are creating a new group, and can be edited at any time by group Moderators.
- In the middle of your Edsby home screen you will see the My Groups panel, containing all the groups where you are a moderator or member.
- To access the setup form for a group where you are moderator, click on a group to open it:
- From the group page, in the upper right corner, click Setup. Note that this option is only presented for group moderators.
- The Setup form will open, allowing you to edit settings:
Before we look at different membership scenarios, here are the most common fields used when configuring membership settings for a group:
- Moderator: Moderators have special privileges in a group, much as Teachers in an Edsby class have special privileges in their classes. You can add moderators for a group by clicking in the Add Moderator field and typing a name; Edsby will present matching names from the directory.
- Show to: The "Show to" setting determines whether your group is visible in the Edsby directory to everyone, to users with a particular role (such as Teacher or Administrators), or not shown in the directory at all. Note that setting a group as visible to users does not, by itself, mean those users can enter the group and see posts there without permission.
- Membership: The membership determines whether your group is "open" allowing users who can see your group in the directory to enter the group, read posts, and participate; or if the group will be "closed" requiring users to request access and be approved before they can enter the group to read and participate.
Setting group visibility
Visible to everyone
In this example, we will take a look at an Edsby group called Italy Travel Journal. Suppose that this group is created so students traveling abroad can post updates and send pictures from their trip that can be viewed by all staff, students, or parents.
This group can be set up in such a way that it will be visible to everyone - so that everyone who wants to find this group can do so. As an administrator, you can also have an option for the membership to either be open or to require a request from individuals joining in.
- Show to: The Show to menu will be used to designate which Edsby roles will be permitted to see that a group named Italy Travel Journal exists in the system.
- In this situation, we want all Edsby users to see that the Italy Travel Journal exists. After clicking the Show To menu, we'd select "Everyone" from the list of roles:
- Membership: Most often, a group that is intended for everybody will have membership set to "Open", allowing users to enter the Group without first requesting permission. If desired, membership could be closed, in which case interested users can request access, which would need to be granted by the moderator(s) of the group before those users can enter.
Visible by role
Suppose instead that you would like your group to be visible only by particular roles, for example guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators. In this case, Show To can be used to select "Guidance Staff" and "Teachers & Administrators" as the only roles that can see the Italy Travel Journal group:
In many cases, groups are created that are intended for a very specific audience. In this example, we will consider a group called All Staff. The All Staff group is intended to connect all school staff, and nobody other then school staff should ever have access to the group.
In this case the group can be set up so it will not be visible to anyone in the directory, and thus nobody can join it other than users invited or specified by the moderator.
- Show to: In this example, we'll select "No-one (Private)" from the list of roles, to prevent the group name from appearing to any user in Edsby:
- Membership: Given that the group is visible to no-one, it makes sense to set membership to closed:
Setting Automated Membership
In the case of a group such as All Staff, you may want to automatically include every employee as a member of the group. Setting automated membership in this case ensures that when new staff are added, they will be part of the group without the group moderator or system administrators having to remember to add them individually.
Similarly, automatic membership can be useful for including every parent in a Parent News group, or all 12th grade students in a 12th Grade group.
- To set the automated membership options, expand the Automated Membership section of the Setup form:
- In the Subscribe these user types field, enter the roles for users who should be members of the group. In the All Staff example, user types might include Teacher, Administrator, and Office Staff:
- The for grades or subjects field may be used to narrow down the member list.
- Grades may be used only in conjunction with students. For example, if you are subscribing users of type "Student" you can specify 9, 10, 11, and 12 to narrow the automated subscription to just those students in high school. Grades are not associated with staff or parent accounts, and cannot be used in conjunction with those user types.
- Subjects may be used only in conjunction with staff. If you are subscribing users of type "Teacher" you could add "Science" or "Mathematics" as a subject to create a group just for teachers within that discipline. Subjects are not associated with student or parent accounts, and cannot be used in conjunction with those user types.
- You can opt to check the box for Unsubscribe users if they no longer meet the criteria to ensure that if a user's Role is changed they will be automatically removed from the group
- When finished, click Save
Inviting users to your group
In this example, we will take a look at an Edsby group called Class of 2022, which is to be populated only with students that are graduating in the year 2022. If we want this group to keep the same set of students over more than one school year we can't use automated membership, as students who are in 11th grade this year will be in 12th grade next year.
For this case, we'll need to invite the specific students who should be part of the group. There are two ways you can do this:
Method 1: Individual invitations
- From the group page, in the upper right corner, click Invite.
- In the Members panel that appears, enter the names of the people you would like to invite. Note that individuals you invite will need to accept your invitation to become members of the group:
- Click Invite Members once you have entered a set of names:
Although individual invitations allow you to be very specific when it comes to who you invite, this approach can be challenging as (a) you need to know all the names of the individuals that are supposed to be in the group, and (b) after inviting them, each user needs to accept your invitation to become a member.
Method 2 - Group invitations
- Group invitations are initiated from Zooms. In this example, to add students to a group, we'll go to the list of Zooms along the right side of the Home screen and click the Students link:
- The student zoom presents a list of all students in your school. Suppose that for this example, we would like to add current Grade 11 students to our group. To do this, in the Filters panel on the left side of the screen, click on grade 11:
- Upon doing so, only the Grade 11 students will show up on the list.
- At the top-right corner of the student list, use the drop-down menu and select Invite to group
- A window will appear allowing you to select the group to which you are inviting the selected students:
- The Invite button may be used to issue invitations to all selected students. Just as when inviting students individually, each invited student must accept their invitation to become a member of the group:
- The add button may be used to bypass the invitation process, and add all selected students to your group without requiring them to accept your invitation: