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Introduction to Pace University E-Platform for Westchester Faculty Council

Prof. Lixin Tao
Seidenberg School
ltao@pace.edu
http://seidenberg.pace.edu/lixin

Welcome to Pace University E-Platform for Westchester Faculty Council. This platform is designed to facilitate your participating in the faculty council's activities. This article briefly introduces its main features and how to use them both as WFC leaders, who create and maintain contents, and WFC faculty, who create ideas, momentum, and results.

  1. After your initial login to this platform, you can use the "My account" link in the upper right corner to change your password to protect your identity on this platform.
  2. To find the upcoming events or past events as well as their supporting documents like agenda and minutes, click on the top main menu item "Events/Minutes". The events are sorted reversely against the event date and time. To add a new event, click on any link "Add Content" and then choose to add an "Event".
  3. To find out WFC/JFC documents other than those directly supporting meetings, click on the top main menu item "Documents". By default the documents are sorted reversely according to the distribution time of the documents. You can also click on the "Title" link, the header of the first column, to sort the documents according to their row titles. To add a new set of related documents to this document table, click on any link "Add Content" and then choose to add a "Document". You can add up to ten documents as a related group which would be presented as a row in the document table.
  4. There are multiple discussion forums for brainstorming. If you are a WFC member, after your login and clicking on the top main menu item "Forums", you will see one or more discussion forums under forum container "Public Forums", and you can click on any of them to enter and participate in the discussion there. Each WFC committee has its own discussion forum for private discussions. To add a new forum topic for discussion, you can either first visit the proper forum and then click on the "Add new Forum topic" link above that forum; or click on any "Add Content" link and then choose to add a "Forum topic", and you will have a chance to specify in which forum to post that forum topic.
  5. Each user has a personal WFC blog site at "http://community.seidenberg.pace.edu/wfc/blogs/user-name" (replacing "user-name" with your login name), and the blog articles on these personal blog sites are also automatically assembled on the global WFC blog site at "http://community.seidenberg.pace.edu/wfc/blog" (corresponding to the top main menu item "Blogs"). Please use blogging as another device for easy idea exchange and brainstorming. Start blogging by clicking on any "New Contents" link and then choosing "Blog entry".
  6. To add a new web page, you click on any link "Add Content" and then choose "Article" or "Basic page". The former also allows you to insert an image on top of the article and attach up to ten documents. At the bottom of the web page for creating your new page, use menu item "URL path settings" if you want to specify a web address for your new page; use menu item "Comment settings" to choose whether the new page is open for comments; use menu item "Publishing options" to specify whether you want to make the new page visible by the public, post it on the front page of this e-platform, or make this page the first item on the front page of this e-platform.
  7. You can also create a poll by clicking on any link "Add Content" and then choose to add a "Poll". By default the poll will be posted on the front page and votable by faculty who have logged in this platform.
  8. You can create a survey or conduct a vote by creating a Webform. Clicking any "Add Content" link and then choosing "Webform". First you specify a title of the Webform and whether the Webform should be posted in a menu, whether you allow commenting (normally should be no), and whether it should be posted on WFC platform front page. After you save these settings, you can use the "WEBFORM" pane to add survey/vote components, like text field/area, select options, files, email, time and date; specify whether the component is mandatory to be acted on, etc. If you have the privilege, you can use the Webform's "Results" tab to view survey/vote results and export the data.
  9. For better knitting of your articles or blog/forum topics with those on similar topics, please consider to select up to five optional category terms to describe the theme of your article/topics. When you click on one of such category terms at the bottom of the posts, you would see all articles/events/documents on this platform on the same topic represented by the term. This is a technique called semantic web based on taxonomy. Let me know if you need to add more category terms to describe Pace documents and events.
  10. When you edit text, for achieving the easy-to-use What You See What You GET (WYSWYG) mode, or you need to insert advanced HTML features like inserting an image, use "Full HTML" as your text format at the bottom of the editor.
  11. When you enter text in the text editor and you cannot see part of your text on the right, consider using "Plain text" as your text format at the bottom of the editor, or use the Maximize/Minimize icon in the right side of the editor tool bar to enter text in the full window. To find out the function of an icon or menu item, put the mouse cursor on it and wait and read the pop-up "cursor tip". Please take advantage of the editor tool bar icons to help you format and spell-check your contents. 
  12. To abort an editing session, just don't click on the "Save" button and visit another web page.
  13. If you modify a page and save the changes, and you find extra space between paragraphs and items which were not there in the editor, you just noticed a bug of the free WYSWYG editor that has been around for a while. I found two fixes for this problem: (1) editing the page and make sure that there is no such "extra space" problem; (2) clicking on the bottom "Preview" button to preview what you have and making sure that the presentation is still good; and clicking on the "Save" button at the bottom of the preview page; (2) creating a new page, copying the contents over to the new page, and using the new page to replace the old one having problem.
  14. In the left navigation menu, menu item "WFC Committees" lists all WFC committees. Clicking on any of these links will lead you to the home page for that corresponding committee. The committee leaders need to update the contents on their committee's home page. The last item on the committee home page is a link to the private discussion forum for the committee, and only the committee members and WFC leaders can visit that private forum.
  15. The WFC/JFC announcements and upcoming events that need your immediate attention are usually on the front page. You can also read them by clicking on the menu item "Announcements/Upcoming Events" in the left navigation menu. They need be added separately through adding new "Event" content to be shown in the "Events/Minutes" table.
  16. Navigation menu item "Faculty Report" displays the current faculty reports from the Board of Trustees committees.
  17. If you need to find out what are the recent contents posted on the platform, click on menu item "Recent Content" in the left navigation menu.
  18. If you need to find out all kinds of up-to-minutes news (Pace news/events, Pace president/provost new blogs, NSF funding opportunities and approaching deadlines, New York Times books/movies/regional news, and international news), click on menu item "News" in the left navigation menu. It would reveal two sub-menu items for news categories and news sources. Let me know if you need to add more types of news.
  19. Main menu item "Useful Links" lists most useful Pace and external links relevant to WFC. Let me know if you'd like to add more links.
  20. On the right side of the top banner you will see a search text field and a search button. You can use them to search for any contents on this e-platform.
  21. The bottom of the web pages are divided into three columns: the left lists all faculty who are currently working on this e-platform; the middle lists the NYC 6-day weather forecast; and the right lists the current active forum topics for you to jump in and pitch in.
  22. You are welcome to send feedback to us through the top main menu item "Contact us". Your message will be saved on this platform and processed by me. Don't be surprised to receive my reply/email from my admin email account for this site: pace.csis@gmail.com, directly from this platform, and I will work hard to protect your identity and privacy.

Please note that not all features are available to all users. WFC committee members have more privileges in managing this e-platform.

It is possible for faculty to attend WFC/JFC meetings through the Internet. One possibility is to create a new or reuse an existing forum for the meeting; faculty could join the meeting by visiting the specified forum, and their name should then be listed in the left bottom of the platform web page and could be, upon approval of WFC/JFC bylaw revision, counted as part of the meeting quorum; and a faculty at the meeting could be assigned as the proxy/representative of those joining the meeting remotely and passing messages/votes back and forth between the meeting and the remote participants through the specified discussion forum. Remote participants could also use a Webform for the meeting to participate in voting thus leaving a clear trace of who, when and what in the voting. The addition of call-in phone audio of course would make this e-attendance much more comfortable.

Hope you find the WFC e-platform feature-rich, friendly and useful.