Norse Groups Training

Norse Groups is a quick and easy way for groups of people with a common interest to facilitate discussions.

Goals

Upon completion of this training, you will be able to:

Training

Getting Started with Norse Groups

If you already have a Norse Apps account, you can access Norse Groups by going directly to http://groups.luther.edu. You can also access it by starting with any of the other Norse Apps components and then clicking the Groups link in the top left corner of the page.

If you do not have a Norse Apps account, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or email helpdesk@luther.edu.

When you log into Norse Groups, you will see a screen similar to the one below. If you are already a member of one or more groups, you should see them listed on the right side of the page. Otherwise, you will have to join a group first.
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Joining a Group

If you know a manager of the group you would like to join, just let them know of your interest. The manager can then either directly add you to the group or send you an email invitation to join it.

If you do not know a manager of the group, you will have to find the group through the Groups home page (the screen above). You can either use the search bar or click on Browse all groups… to see a list of all publicly displayed groups. Click on the link of the group you are interested in.

Depending on the group’s privacy setting, you may or may not be able to see the group’s discussions, and you will have one of three options for joining the group.

1. Invite-only: Some groups are invite-only. This means that a group manager must send you an invitation in order for you to join. If this is the case, use the Contact owner to join link on the right side of the page to send the group owner an email.

2. Apply-only: Some groups allow you to make a request for membership. Use the Apply for group membership link on the right side of the page to send a membership request via Norse Groups to the group owners.

3. Open membership: Anyone can join this type of group. Simply click the Join this group link to become a member.

After joining a group by one of the above methods, you will arrive at the “Join” page. At this page, you can choose if and how messages from the group will be sent to you via email, as well as the nickname that group members will see in the membership list and the messages you send.

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Participating in a Group

At its most basic level, Norse Groups functions as a discussion board, so most of the time you will be using it to send and receive messages. You can do this either through Norse Groups itself or through your email.

Depending on what settings you chose when you joined the group, you will receive the group’s messages via email either one-by-one, in batches, in summary form, or not at all. The other way to read the messages is to go to the group’s home page and click the Discussions tab on the right side of the page. This will bring up a list of the recently discussed topics; click on a topic to see all of the posted messages.

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If you receive the group messages via email, you can reply to a posted message simply by replying to the message’s email. If you read the messages from within the group’s page, go to the desired topic via the above instructions and click the Reply link below the specific message you want to reply to. If you don’t want your response to the entire group, use the Reply to author link instead.

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Creating a new topic is just as easy. From the group home page, go to the Discussions tab, and click the + new post link that appears on the right side of the page. You will come to a screen that looks like a form for sending email (see below image). Just fill in the subject and the message and click the Post message button.
You can also post messages directly from Norse Mail by sending an email to the group email address. If you don’t know the group email, you can find it by clicking on the About this group tab on the right side of the page.

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Using the Group Email Address

As mentioned in the above section, you can post messages to the group from Norse Mail by sending an email to the group email address (which can be found in the About this group tab on the right side of the page). However, you can also use the group email address to share documents and calendars with the entire group. To do so, follow the regular procedures for calendar or document sharing, and type in the group email address when selecting people to invite. Every group member will then receive an invitation. See Norse Calendar Training and Norse Docs Training for details on how to share documents and calendars.

User Settings

The settings you select when you join a group are not permanent. Use the Edit my membership link on the right side of the group page to change how you receive email messages from the group and edit the nickname that other group members see when you post. From this page you can also use the Unsubscribe button in the lower-right corner to leave the group.

As of 07/01/2011, Groups profiles have been disabled. This change will not affect the nicknames you might have chosen for yourself to participate in groups. It will only affect the custom profiles fields, such as your photo, location, and occupation. More details are available here.

Creating a Group

Setting up a mailing list or discussion board in Norse Groups is easy and can be done without any help from an admin. From the Norse Groups home page, click the Create a group button in the “My Groups” area. You will be taken to the group setup page shown below.

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Start by typing in the name of your group. This name will also appear in the email address field below. If the group name is too long or otherwise unwieldy to use as an email address, you can override this feature an type in a different group email address (though “-group” will be appended to whatever address you type in). The email address is used to automatically create the group home page address.

The last step on this page is to choose an access level for the group. Select “Announcement-only” if only the owner (you) and group managers should have the ability to post, “Restricted” if you want only members you invite to read and post, “Team” if only the owner (you) and group managers can invite new members, but everyone in luther.edu can post, or “Public” if you want the group to be available to everyone in the Luther domain. Note that with the “Public” access level, you can also choose to include people outside the Luther domain by checking the appropriate box. Click the Create my group button to move on to the page shown below.

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There are two ways to add people to your group. By default, you will start at the invitation screen. Simply type in the email addresses of people you want to invite to the group, add a message, and click Invite members. Once your invitees accept the invitation, they will be members of your group. You can also add people to your group without invitation by clicking the Add members directly link. Again, you have to enter the email addresses and a message, but this time you must also choose the new members’ default email subscription setting. After filling these fields out, click the Add members button to automatically add the members to your group. You can always invite/add members later and just click the Skip this step button for now.

Customizing and Managing Your Group

When in a group that you own or manage, you will have a few additional options on the right side of the page. A good deal of customization can be done from the various tabs under the Group settings link:

General: Change the group’s name, description, email address, and web address.

Access: Customize the group’s privacy and permission settings. Set who can view the messages and member list, whether or not the group shows up in the Groups Directory, who can join the group and whether an invitation is required, and who can post messages. You can also enable message moderation by selecting the All messages held for moderation option in the “Message moderation” area.

Appearance: Choose a picture for the group, and customize the look and feel, including fonts and colors.

Navigation: Choose whether or not to display the sections, Discussions and/or Members by clicking on the hide button. You can also edit the name of these sections by clicking inside the fields and adding your own words.

Email Delivery: Select how email messages from the group appear, including subject lines and message footers.

Advanced: Choose if and how the group’s messages are archived. It’s recommended that you leave the “Do Not Archive” checkbox unchecked. This is also where you can delete the group permanently.

The Spam controls Indicate what should automatically happen to suspected spam messages.

More Apps for Norse Apps

On January 5th, 2011, there were changes to our Norse Apps account infrastructure that allow access to other Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change lets users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice, Maps ,YouTube, SketchUp, and Picasa Web Albums from their Norse Apps account. For a detailed list, see More Google applications for your school.

Additional Resources

Review the Help within Norse Groups

In the top right corner of each Norse Groups window, there is a link labeled Help. This will take you to the Google Apps Help Center, with the Email information displaying. Click on Google Groups Help Center in the middle of the page and then click on other options to learn more about using Norse Groups.

Review Online Google Resources

The Google Apps for Education Training Center contains modules and resources to help you have the best experience with Google Apps possible.

Review Educause Learning Initiative Resources

For an overview of Google Apps, see 7 things you should know about…Google Apps which is part of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s (ELI’s) series providing concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices.

Consult Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a provider of web-based software training videos and resources. If you are interested in access to Lynda.com please contact the Technology Help Desk at helpdesk@luther.edu or 563-387-1000.

Review the Technology Help Desk web site

Contact the Technology Help Desk