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StatCrunch groups

1. Introduction

StatCrunch Groups is a flexible utility which allows you to:

  • Put together individuals with common interests - For example, an instructor might establish a group so that their students can analyze and discuss the data sets from the course. For labs or projects where data is being collected, the group provides a common outlet for students to publish their data sets and results in a community forum for discussion.
  • Collect related content together - A single user may want to publish a set of related data sets, analysis results, reports or surveys in a common environment. For example, these items might all fall under the same topic such as sports or politics.
2. Creating a group

The creator of the group is considered the group administrator or admin for short. To create a group, select the My Groups option under your My StatCrunch listing and click the Create a group link. When creating a group, a number of properties discussed below control the privacy and display of group content as well as the process for users to join the group. The admin can change these properties at any time by clicking on the Edit link on the group home page.

  • Name is a short title for the group.
  • Description is a short statement describing what the group is all about. This information will be publicly available regardless of the group type discussed below and is best used as an enticement to join the group.
  • What type of group is this?
    This option determines who can view group content.
    • If this option is set to Public then everyone will have the capability to view group content.
    • If this option is set to Private, then only group members can view group content.
  • Do you want to require approval for new members?
    This option determines how easy it is for a user to join the group.
    • If the answer is yes, then each time a user requests to join the group, an email will be sent to the group admin informing them of the request. The group admin can then decide whether to accept or decline the request by clicking on the Manage link on the group home page. An email will be sent to the user informing them of the admin's decision.
    • If the answer is no, then a user can join the group automatically from the group's home page without the consent of the admin. This option may work best for group's that are centered on content rather than individuals.
  • In what order should content be displayed?
    This option determines the ordering of content on group pages.
    • If this option is set to Most recent content first, then the content will be displayed in the reverse order in which it was created on the StatCrunch site with newer content displayed first.
    • If this option is set to Alphabetically by name or title, then the content will be displayed in ascending order using the item name as specified by the member.
    • If this option is set to Alphabetically by StatCrunch ID, then the content will be displayed in ascending order using the StatCrunch IDs of the group members. This option is helpful when trying to locate content of a particular member.
  • How many items per page should be listed on the group pages for data sets, results and reports?
    Group pages will have a set of page numbers below each table allowing the user to page through the content. This option controls the number of items that will be displayed on each of these pages. The options are 15, 30 and 50 items.
  • Group tags defines a list of terms that will be listed on content pages so that the content can be easily searched based on these tags. These tags can be very helpful in organizing group content if all members are informed of how to use them properly. Tags should be separated with spaces. To join words together into a single tag use double quotes like in "acid rain".
  • Add yourself as a member?
    By default this option is set to yes so that the admin will be added as a member of the group when it is created. If the admin does not wish to be a member of the group then this option should be set to no. Note, however, that only members can add content to the group.
  • Thumbnail represents a small image that can be used to represent the group on the StatCrunch site. The group admin can either upload their own image or select an image by searching Flickr.
3. Joining a group

StatCrunch subscribers can locate groups using the Explore > Groups option shown at the top of all StatCrunch pages. The group admin may also choose to use their email system to send an invitation to potential members. In this case, the email should include the Web address of the group home page. Also, note that users will have to sign in to the StatCrunch site before they can join a group.

To join a group, simply click on the Join this group link near the top of the group home page. If the group is a public group, the user will immediately be added as a member to the group. If the group is private, then the user will be prompted to enter a request which will be forwarded to the group admin. As part of this request, the user may wish to specify some identifying information such as their real name to help the admin make a decision. When the group admin takes action on the request, an email will be sent to the user informing them of the admin's decision.

4. Leaving a group

Members of a group will have a Leave this group link near the top of the group home page. A member should think carefully before confirming the option to leave the group. Once a member leaves the group then all of that member's contributions will be deleted from the group. If the user subsequently decides to rejoin the group, this content will have to be manually added to the group again if desired.

5. Managing group members

The group admin can manage the members of a group by clicking on the Manage link next to the member information displayed on the group home page. The admin will then be presented with an alphabetical list of members and potential members. The listing can be easily sorted in terms of a user's group status: approved, declined or pending. The admin may select the check boxes next to a set of users and update their status using the Approve checked or Decline checked buttons below the user table. In either case, an email will be sent to the user informing them of the admin's decision. In situations where a user is declined after initially being approved, the user's content will be deleted from the group.

6. Adding content to a group

Members of a group can add their own data sets, results, reports and surveys to the group. To do so, the member needs to update the properties on these individual items by clicking the Edit link on the appropriate page. For example, to share a data set with a group, the member would click the Edit link after accessing the data set from their My Data listing. Similar steps work for results, reports and surveys. After clicking this link, the user will have check box options for sharing the item with each of the groups for which they are a member. After submitting changes, the items will immediately be available on the corresponding group content pages.

There is also the option for sharing an item with everyone. This option is used to make an item available to the general public using the Explore option at the top of all StatCrunch pages. Sharing with a group and sharing with everyone need not be mutually exclusive options. The former being a method for placing an item in front of a more narrow focused audience, and the latter a method for placing an item in front of large general audience. Turning off the share with everyone option does not mean an item will not be publicly available if it is also shared with a public group.

7. Removing content from a group

Following the process outlined above, members can remove their content from a group by unchecking the group when editing the properties of a data set, result, report or survey. If a member decides to leave a group all of their content will also be deleted from the group.

The group admin can also delete content from a group by accessing the content pages for the group. The admin is presented with checkboxes next to each item in the group and can delete selected items by clicking the Remove checked from group button below the content table.

 


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