Quick Guide: Creating a Reading Group
First, make sure that you have signed up for a CUNY Manifold account.
To create a new reading group, go to cuny.manifoldapp.org and log in by clicking on the profile icon located in the top right corner of your screen.
A new screen will appear, enter the email and password you used to create your Manifold account and click the green “LOG IN” button.
You are now logged in and will then be taken back to the main screen. Click on the profile icon again, located in the top right corner, and should see a list of items appear in a dropdown box, click on “Manage Groups”.
You should now see the “Manage Reading Groups” window. Click on the green “CREATE A NEW READING GROUP” button.
A drawer will open from the right that says “New Reading Group” and contains fields that you need to fill out to define the details of your new reading group: Group Name, Privacy, Invitation Code, Invitation URL, Invitation Security, and Notifications.
Congratulations, you have created a Manifold reading group!
A group name is required to create a new reading group; however, the name can be modified at any time.
Groups have three privacy options—public, private, and anonymous—that function along the following lines:
- Public - Annotations and highlights made in public groups are viewable to everyone—even to readers who have not signed up for an account on the CUNY Manifold instance—but only group members are able to leave annotations and highlights under the auspices of the group. Annotations made in public groups can be used by instructors to guide classroom conversation across sections, as a means to enhance/transform texts into scholarly editions, to organize engagement around public happenings occurring on campus or at a particular institution.
- Private - Annotations and highlights made in private groups are only visible to other members of the group. Private groups can be employed in the classroom setting as a means to facilitate discussion among specific students in a safe environment, without concern of unaffiliated members interrupting the flow and dynamic of that space.
- Anonymous - Like Private groups, only fellow group members can see those annotations and highlights that have been committed to the group. Additionally the identities of group members are masked from one another—save the group moderator—allowing for texts to be peer-reviewed in the system.
The invitation code serves as a key to accessing a group. The code supplied in this field is automatically generated by Manifold upon the group’s creation, and it can be modified or swapped out entirely for a manually input key that may be more pertinent or meaningful.
The code can be shared with those intended to be part of the group—via email, text, etc.—and recipients can input it on the Manage Reading Groups Page to join the group:
Clicking the Regenerate button on the right will create a new invitation code for the group, rendering the previous access code inactive, though users who joined the group previously with an old code will still be members of the group.
An alternative means for readers to join a group is by way of the Invitation URL, which can be sent out via email or included on a classroom homepage. Readers who click on this link—whose value is determined, in part, by the active Invitation Code value–will be taken to the Manifold instance and asked to confirm their intent to join the group.
Readers who aren’t logged in or don’t have an account on the instance will receive an error message when they click the link, indicating they don’t have permission to access the group. Once they log in or create their account the page will resolve to the group confirmation prompt.
Security around the reading group invitation system is presently “soft.” If a group moderator selects an invitation code already in use they will be alerted that the code is already taken.
To ensure other moderators do not intrude on your group, we suggest employing an invitation code not easily guessed by others and enabling notifications, discussed in the next section.
When the Notifications field is checked, Manifold will alert the group moderator via email when someone joins the group. This can be used as a guard to ensure only those readers targeted for the group become members.
To learn more about Manifold Reading Groups, see: https://manifoldapp.org/docs/reading/annotating.html