Course Social Features

Add Contacts

Add contacts to build your learning network and connect with your students.



You can add new contacts within your Contacts page on the platform.

  1. To navigate to your Contacts page, first locate the chat bar on the right-hand side of your account below your profile image. (If collapsed, you can open this bar by clicking on the chat bubble icon at the top right.)
  2. Click on the Contacts icon at the bottom of your chat bar to open the Contacts page.
  3. In the bottom left-hand corner of the Contacts page in the “Search” field, begin typing an individual’s name.
  4. Hover over the individual’s name that you’d like to add as a contact, and select the add contact icon that appears.

Note: You can also add a new contact from a profile page by clicking the “Follow” button in the top right-hand corner.



Chat with students or other instructors when they are online. Use this feature to discuss best practices with instructors, hold virtual office hours, or answer student questions in real time.

There are three ways to start a chat with an online contact.


Chat Bar


Click on an individual’s profile image that appears online in your chat bar. The chat bar is located on the right-hand side of your account below your profile image. You must have added an individual as a contact for them to appear online.


Contacts Page


Start a chat with an online contact from your Contacts page. Navigate to this page by clicking the people icon at the bottom of the chat bar. If a contact is online, you will see a chat icon with the word “chat” under the contact’s name. Click on this icon.


Profile Page


While viewing a contact’s profile page, click “Message.” If the individual is currently offline, the message button will appear gray to show the contact as unavailable to chat.


Create a Note

Notes are one of the most basic forms of communication on the platform. Add a contextualized note to almost any type of content to enrich your students’ learning.


To open the annotation menu within a reading:

  1. Drag your cursor over a passage.
  2. Click on the note icon to begin a new note.
  3. Fill out the sharing field, add a title, and a message, and even add an attachment or whiteboard.
  4. Click “Save” to save and post your note.

Note: For most types of content , you can hover over the right margin for a note icon to appear, and click the icon to begin a new note.


Change who your note is shared with.

  1. Notice that by default your note is shared with everyone in your course. To remove the course, hover over the course name and click the “x” that appears.
  2. Leave the sharing field empty to keep the note private, or type in the name of the person, group, list, or community with which you’d like to share your note.


Create a Discussion or Make an Announcement

Your course forum allows you to begin a discussion or make an announcement regarding the course.



To create a new discussion or announcement:

  1. Click on your course Community View in the top banner.
  2. In the left-hand panel, click on the channel in which you’d like to start a discussion.
  3. Click into the box “Write Something....” at the top of the page. 
  4. Add a title, tags, and your message, and even add a whiteboard, video, or file attachment.
  5. Click “Save” to save your discussion and post it.

Warning: Your course may have enrolled-only forums. If you’d like both open and enrolled students to view your discussion, make sure you post in the open forum.


Connect on the Site Community Page


Our community feature offers a collaborative meeting space for individuals to interact outside of a course context. The community page offers members a space to post a topic or question for the community to respond to, and also offers a list of community members for easy networking and communication.

To locate your community page, navigate to your homepage and click on a community.


Organize Groups

Create a meeting space to share best practices with a group of instructors, or set up student groups for class projects.

The group feature allows for a collection of individuals to privately and quickly share notes, ideas, and discussions between one another. Both instructors and students can create groups. Creating a group also sets up a Group page. A Group page is the meeting hub for its members. This page’s activity stream will display all notes shared with the group across readings and other materials, and also allows members to post a discussion directly to the group page regarding any topic.



To create a group and visit the group page:

  1. Navigate to your Contacts page, and click on the tab labeled “Groups.”
  2. At the top of the right, click on “Create a Group.”
  3. Type a group name.
  4. Select “Create” to create the group. Once the group is created, you will see a group code. Be sure to keep this group code to send to your contacts.
  5. Click on the created group within your Contacts page to navigate to the Group page.

Share your code with your contacts to build group membership. If you’ve forgotten your code, click on the dropdown arrow next to the group name on your Contacts page and click “Group Code” to view and copy it. Your contacts can select “Join Group” on their Contacts page and enter the group code to become a group member.

Now that you’ve created a group, you can share notes privately with group members by creating a note and adding the group name to the sharing field. See “Create a Note” to learn more.

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