What’s the Commons all about?
The UAA Commons is a place for various groups (both large and small) to collaborate, share, and learn. Unlike most static web resources with limited access, you have a voice in the UAA Commons. It is a public forum, and its not complicated to post. The Commons is managed and supported by Academic Innovations & eLearning at UAA, but we see all users as equal contributors, partners and mentors. Any faculty or staff member at any UAA campus can join and share. If you are wondering what is appropriate content for commons, please look over our Commons Community guidelines.
We hope the UAA Commons will become a valuable addition to your personal and professional learning network
There are a lot of places to post. Where do I start?
People have different reasons, needs and comfort levels for visiting and contributing to online spaces. We have set up the commons to offer various levels of interactions, while trying to keep all information open and searchable. Start by just looking around, and see where you can add to the conversation. If you just want to lurk, that’s OK, too.
What is the difference between a Forum, a Group and a Blog?
Forum: Like an open social mixer, you can post on any topic or create a new one. Look for help and post your own tips an tricks. All levels of users usually feel comfortable posting in a forum.
Group: You can start a group for your collective interests. Groups can be private or public, and contain their own forums, events and announcements. Its a great way to collaborate on a project, or keep a conversation going after an event. Groups sometimes naturally form out of forum topics, and people finding each other.
Blog: A blog is involves a little more of a posting commitment, as your blog readers will want you to publish regular, topical content. You can request to host a blog on Commons. These can be for individuals, groups or for your course materials. Blog posts aggregate into “feeds” and readers are able to comment on your posts. A blog is a great place to host announcements for your course, open course content, post your learning experiences, host your ePortfolio, or share your expertise. Blogs are excellent for reflection.
Your blog domain name will be www.example.commons.uaa.alaska.edu, unless you want to forward your own domain name. Your blog will be on the WordPress platform, the most popular and usable blog platform available. Blogging in WordPress is a truly transferable skill (add it your new resume that you host on your new blog:). Your content will be searchable from with all the UAA website search tools, unless you specify otherwise. We have many customizable themes and offer support for users of any level who would like to start a blog.
I already have to check my email and other social media sites, how will I find the time for another learning community?
If you are visiting and contributing to the Commons regularly, it should actually SAVE time for you, and everyone else. Think of all the people you email to get the word out about something. Think of all the valuable information that gets sent within email listserves that would be great for everyone to know now, if only you had access to a public site that you knew others were visiting. Your content is instantly visable, searchable, able to be commented on, and added to.
Tips for making Commons work for you:
- Open Commons when you get to work, along with your email.
- Bookmark Commons in your browser.
- Check your profile notification settings to make sure you are getting the kind of email notices you want.