Online Community FAQ Answers to Your Retreat Questions Question 1:
How will the email and text notification system work? When will students and chapter admins receive emails or texts?
The student notification system will be set up to automatically email students whenever someone posts on their profile page, their project page, or their chapter page. Chapter admins will have the ability to subscribe to the pages that they’d like to receive notices about, providing them with more control and flexibility.
Is there a way to search for community members?
There will be a way to search menu option on both the student and mentor pages. Tamarack Media and the National Office will work together to develop a “chapter admin only” listing of chapter directors, coordinators, and teachers that will appear in “Chapter Tools”.
Is there a way to delete old messages on chapter pages? Messages from last year may confuse students.
Chapter messages will soon be archived by date, so only messages posted after a certain time period will be visible on chapter pages. It is critical to have a record of these comments, because part of our program evaluation and research involves collecting and analyzing use of the Online Community, and deleting comments removes the record that it ever existed (thus removing it from the research).
Is there a way to share files with other chapters and with our students on the community?
Yes – several different ways! Option 1: To share documents via your chapter’s page you can “Edit” your chapter’s page. Among the options you’ll see includes “File Attachments” where you can attach files that show up on your chapter page. Option 2: You have the ability to “Create a resource”, which should appear in a list of options under your picture on your “My Profile” page. Any resources you create will also be tagged on your chapter page under “Chapter Resources”. When you create a resource that is public it is viewable by everyone on the community. Option 3: To share a resource only with other chapter admins, go through the same process to “Create a resource”, but then click “make this resource private”.
Will student projects be grouped again by topic in a way that they can find other students with similar projects?
Yes , when students create a project they will get to pick their project topic. This will automatically sort them by project by topic in a new page, which will also connect them to mentors who have an expertise in the area of students’ interest.
How much information will the Online Community pull from Facebook, if my students use Facebook Connect to log in?
Essentially none. Students will have the option to use their Facebook profile picture as their Online Community profile picture. Students will also be able to tell people on Facebook that they’re part of the EnvironMentors community. That is the only communication between the sites. You should remind students to log out of both the Online Community and Facebook if they’re using a public computer. The Facebook Connect feature of the Online Community will be blocked anywhere Facebook is blocked (i.e. high school library computers).
How will the Online Community work for returning students and alumni?
Alumni are still able to log in to the community. Although we told you at the retreat that returning students should create new profiles to take advantage of all the new features, that’s not necessary anymore. Returning students can simply update their existing profiles. Remember to have all students to select the year or years that they have been a part of the program. Years are listed by the year of the national fair, so the 2011-12 academic year is the “EM class of 2012” because our fair will be in May 2012.