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How-to Guide

If you’ve read these instructions and still need help using the course site, you can either talk to me after class or email me at steeple@gradcenter.cuny.edu with a short description of your problem.


Step 1: Registering for the CUNY Academic Commons

You must sign-up and register for the Commons to join your course group or site. You must use your CUNY email to join but this can be changed in your profile later (see below). To join the CUNY Academic Commons:

  1. Head to the CUNY Academic Commons: https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/
  2. Click “Register” in the top right corner.
  3. Create a Username that is suitable for your course. A good username might be your first name and last initial.
  4. Use your QC email address to register.
  5. Enter your full name. You can make this private later.
  6. Please choose your CUNY College so we know which CUNY campuses are using the Commons!
  7. Agree to the Terms of Service (Don’t worry, we don’t collect data on you and anything you add or create on the CUNY Commons is yours.)

You’re done! Now that you have registered for the CUNY Academic Commons, you can edit your profile and go join groups and sites for your classes.

Step 2: Editing your Commons Profile

You can change, hide, and add information to your Commons Profile. You will need to get emails from the commons to receive information from your professor about class. To make sure you get Commons emails, you may want to change your email address to a non-CUNY email if you check your personal email more often. 

To edit a Commons profile:

  1. Sign in to the Commons with your newly created username and password
  2. Click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the page
  3. Select “My Profile”. This takes you to your public profile
  4. Use the “Edit Profile” button to make changes
  5. Change your email, picture, and other information here

Step 3: Joining the Course Group

In order to post blogs and comments on our course site, you will need to join our Course Group. After following this link, click the “Join Group” button shown in the image below.

Screenshot of our course group. A circle and arrow highlight the "join group" button in the middle of the image.

Step 4: Commenting on the Welcome Post (or any post)

After making an account and joining the course site, you need to leave a comment on our Welcome post. Throughout the semester you will receive credit for commenting on your classmates’ blogs, so this skill will be an important one to remember.

To reach the Welcome post, click on the “Blogs” tab on the navigation bar of our website, circled in red in the screenshot below.

Screenshot of this website's navigation bar, with a red circle around the "Blogs" tab.

You’ll see a post titled “Welcome”; click the title and read the question prompts included in the post. Scroll to the bottom and write your response in a comment textbox; post your comment by clicking the blue button.

Screenshot of the bottom of the Welcome post, including a large comment entry box.

Step 5: Posting to the Blog

To create a blog post, follow these directions.

  1. From any page on the course site, hover your mouse over the “New” button found in the black toolbar at the top of the site.
  2. In the drop down menu, select “Post,” shown below.Screenshot of our course site homepage. The "post" button in the black Commons toolbar at the top of the screen has been clicked, displaying a drop down list of options. The "post" option is highlighed with a red arrow.
  3. Title your post with the blog number and your last name (marked by the red number 1 in the screenshot below).
  4. Type up your blog (marked by the red number 2 in the screenshot below).
  5. Categorize your blog: under the Categories tab on the right, select “Blogs” option and the correct blog number (seen at the red number 3 in the screenshot below). If you can’t find the Categories tab, make sure that you’ve selected “Post” at the top of the column on the right (seen at the red number 4 in the screenshot below).
  6. Share your blog post by clicking the publish button in the upper right corner (seen near the red number 5 in the screenshot below).

Screenshot of the post creation screen. Red numbers point out the title, body, categories, and publish button..

To embed videos, images, or other media into your blog post, click the plus button that appears in the body of your post (circled in red in the screenshot below). Locate the type of object you want to include in your post from the given options and either upload it or paste the link.

Screenshot of the post creation screen. The "add new block" button, which looks like a plus, has been selected and a list of different objects that can be embedded into the post is featured.

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This course includes Open Educational Resources (OER), which are entirely cost-free and accessible online. Developed in the Open Knowledge Fellowship at The Graduate Center's Mina Rees Library, this work is made possible by state grant funding through the Office of Library Services.



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Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

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