|by Kenwrick Chan
In our Winter InfobITS article we discussed the basics of how Laulima, the UH implementation of Sakai, may be used within the context of a course. Laulima is also available for our University of Hawai'i community to use for group collaboration as well. Examples might include task forces, search committees, cohort groups or at-risk students in a major.
Getting Your Group Together
To request a Laulima group click on the "Request Account" link on the Laulima server main page. For classes we've configured Laulima to have three roles: teacher, student, and teaching assistant; course members are added into each course by our student information system automatically. For collaboration groups we simply have two roles: maintain (users who can change the site) and access. By default, Laulima groups are private and site maintainers need to add users to their group. Once a group is established, if you know the users that make up your group you can start the process of adding them in using their UH usernames. To begin the process click on the "Site Info" text link in the left side menu bar for your group. When that screen appears select "Add Participants". You'll be presented with a screen that has a text area to add UH users by their username. In the lower text area you can add guests, those who do not have UH usernames.
It's important to enter the full email address for your guests. By adding them to your site, Laulima will automatically send them an email with the login information and instructions on how to login. During this process you will also need to assign the roles for participants.
If you want to make your group a public group, which allows anyone with a UH username may join, click on "Site Info", then "Manage Access". Change the values for "Global Access" to reflect your group status. This screen also allows you to Publish your group making it available for users with "Access" role to view the entire group space.
Laulima's announcement tool allows you to send announcements to everyone in your course or collaboration group. The announcement goes directly to the user's UH email account. If you use another email account to read your email be sure to forward your UH email to this account.
Adding the email archive tool to your course or collaboration group creates a mailing list for your course or group. All messages sent to this list are archived and a search function is available to allow you to find unique messages. To add a tool to your Laulima course or collaboration group click on "Site Info" in the left menu area, then "Edit Tools" from the "Site Info" screen. You'll see a listing of available tools. Click on the checkbox for "Email Archive" (or any tool you want to add) then follow the prompts after you click on the "Continue" button. To enable all members of your group to post to this list, click on "Permissions" in the "Email Archive" tool, click on the checkbox of "New" in the "access" row, then click on the "Save" button.
Group File Uploading
By default only members with "Maintain" role can upload files into an area viewed by the "Resources Tool". For a collaboration group it is quite common to set up a folder that all members of the collaboration group can upload to. To begin, create a folder in your "Resource Tools" area by selecting "Create Folder" in the "Add" dropdown menu. Name your folder then click on the "Create Folders Now" button. Click on the checkbox next to the newly created folder, then select "Edit Folder Permissions" in the "Action" dropdown menu. For the "Access" role, click on the checkbox for "new", "revise.own", and "delete.own" then click on the "Save" button. Once enabled, all members of your collaboration group now have the ability to upload, modify, and delete the files that they place in that shared folder.