The Reading Group views discussed in this section are accessed by selecting Reading Groups from the main Manifold menu. Those users who are logged into their Manifold accounts may access Reading Groups by selecting My Reading Groups from the user icon dropdown menu.
Alternatively, readers logged into their accounts can access the Reading Groups page from within the Manifold Reader by selecting a passage of text, choosing the Current Group option, and selecting first Manage Groups and then My Reading Groups.
Reading Groups are a way to build curated collections of content, such as a course reader, from Projects and Journals on your Manifold instance that readers may annotate, highlight, and comment on as a cohort and are geared toward classroom and peer-review use cases. Reading Groups may also be used to annotate, highlight, and comment on, as a cohort, any Text on your Manifold instance. Anyone with a Reader account can create public, private, and anonymous groups; invite others to join their groups; manage group membership; and add content from their Manifold instance to their groups.
A Reader can play one of three different roles in a Reading Group: Creator, Member, or Moderator. Readers who create a group are considered the group’s Creator. Those who join a group are group Members. The group's Creator can change the role of any group Member to Moderator—a group can have more than one moderator—who will then have the same abilities as the Creator to edit the group and its members.
If an Administrator of an instance joins a group (public, private, or anonymous), they have the same ability as Creators and Moderators to edit the group and its members. Additionally, Administrators on an instance have the ability to edit any public Reading Group, even if they are not a member of that group.
There are three types of Reading Groups—public, private, and anonymous—that function along the following lines:
- Public. Content, annotations, highlights, and comments in public groups are viewable to everyone—even to readers who have not signed up for an account on the Manifold instance in question—but only group members are able to leave annotations, highlights, and comments 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, and to organize engagement around public happenings occurring on campus or at a particular institution. All users with Reader accounts may join any public Reading Group on an instance.
- Private. Content, annotations, highlights, comments 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. Only invited users with Reader accounts may join private Reading Groups.
- Anonymous. Like Private groups, only fellow group members can see content, annotations, highlights, and comments that have been committed to the group. Additionally the identities of group members are masked from one another—save the group Creator, Moderator(s), and Administrators of an instance who are also members of the group—allowing for Texts to be peer-reviewed in the system.
Within this view, readers without accounts or those not logged in to their accounts, will only see the Public Reading Groups page. Readers logged in to their accounts will see two tabs, My Reading Groups and Public Reading Groups, and the Create New Group button (see Create a Reading Group).
The Public Reading Groups page provides readers with a list of groups that are openly available to view and join. The list includes: name of the group, (if you are logged in to your account) your role or a Join button, number of members, and group activity (number of annotations, highlights, and comments). The total number of public reading groups is noted above the list.
The My Reading Groups tab displays the total number of private and anonymous groups of which you are a member and a list of these groups that includes: name of the group and type, number of members, group activity (number of annotations, highlights, and comments), and actions (depending on your role in the group this could be a single Archive button for group members, or if you are a Creator, Moderator, or Administrator of an instance, you will see an additional Edit button).
- Archive button. This removes a Reading Group from My Reading Groups. An archived group can be reactivated at any time. Use the Active/Archived dropdown menu to view archived groups and then use the Activate button to return the group to My Reading Groups.
- Edit button. Opens a drawer to the right that allows you to edit the group settings (see Create a Reading group).
Don't See the My Reading Groups Tab?
You need to have an account on the Manifold instance and be logged in, in order to see the My Reading Groups tab.
Reading Group lists can be searched and sorted. The search and dropdown combobox used to perform those tasks are displayed to the right, above the Reading Group list. The Search box allows users to look for a specific Reading Group within the list. The Sort dropdown menu allows users to sort the list by selecting one of the predefined options: A-Z, Z-A, Newest Groups First, Oldest Groups First, Earliest Course Start Date, Latest Course Start Date, Earliest Course End Date, and Latest Course End Date.
Private and anonymous groups, viewed in the My Reading Groups tab, have an additional dropdown combobox to select whether to display Active or Archived groups.
Selecting a Reading Group name from the list will open a detailed view of the group. In this view, selecting the Details button, located to the right of the group name, will toggle open a box with information about the group and your engagements within that group that includes the following information: type of group, number of members, your role, number of annotations and highlights, and content added. Selecting the Details button again will toggle the box closed. Selecting the My Reading Groups or Public Reading Groups at the top of the page will return you to the respective reading group list.
If the group has only Notes (annotations, comments, and highlights), no added content such as Projects, Texts, etc., these will be shown below the name of the group in an interactive list, documenting all of the Reading Group member’s interactions with Texts across the instance.
A Notes entry contains the following elements: selected text passage, section/chapter and title of Text, group member and annotation, and comment(s) link. The text passage is the section of text associated with the Annotation. The full passage may be partially hidden, clicking Read the Full Passage will show the entire selection of text. The section/chapter and title of Text, noted in italics and followed by an arrow, is the location from which the text passage was taken, selecting it will take you to the associated section of text in the Manifold Reader. The name of the member who created the annotation and approximate date of the annotation. Comments, if any, are noted below the annotation and are displayed by selecting Comment, which will expand the line and show all Comments associated with the annotation.
Public Reading Groups viewed by a reader who is not logged in or does not have an account will display only the All Texts dropdown list, showing all the Texts that have been annotated by the group. Readers may select an individual Text from the dropdown list to show just the Notes associated with that Text. Selecting Reset Filters, located below the All Texts box, will return the user to the full list of Notes.
If you are a member of a Reading Group, you will see the same interactive list, documenting all of the Reading Group member’s interactions with the Texts across the instance but you will have and additional dropdown menu All Members to sort for work done on specific Texts and by specific members. Thus, if you are curious to see what everyone has thought of a specific Text, you can select that Text from the All Texts dropdown. If you want to see what only a particular group member thought about it, you would adjust both the All Texts and All Members dropdowns.
When the list is sorted to a reader’s preference they can peruse and then select any item in the resulting list to take them to the location of the annotation or highlight to engage with the material further. Members of a group with Notes entries will also see an option, located under the annotation, to Flag and Unflag an individual annotation.
Creators, Moderators, and Administrators of a group see three section blocks when they open a Reading Group: three tabs—Home, Notes + Comments, and Members, Manage Group block, and Added Content block.
- Home. This tab displays the landing page for the Reading group with the above mentioned editable section blocks.
- Notes + Comments. This tab displays a list of all Notes (annotations, comments, and highlights) created by the group. This view is similar to the public view of a Note with the addition of an All Members dropdown menu. The All Members dropdown list shows all members of the group and may be used to see the Notes of a specific member. Both dropdown menus may be used together to create a custom view of Note entries. Selecting Reset Filters, located below the All Members box, will return the user to the full list of Notes.
- Members. This tab displays a detailed list of all group members including: Member Name, Role, Activity, Note Style (annotation style: dashed, dotted, solid, wavy), and Actions. Selecting a Member Name will open a view of all the member's annotations and comments. Selecting the Edit button will open a drawer to the right where you can delete or edit a group member's details, noted above, with the addition of adding a label to describe a specific member and will be displayed next to the their name in the membership list. The Remove button will remove a member from the group, you will be prompted to confirm this action. Removing a member from the group will not delete their annotations from the group.
The Manage Group block allows you to edit the Home page of your group. There is a slider that you can toggle on/off (see Edit a Reading Group Home Page) and an Edit Settings button (see Create a Reading Group).
If the group contains added content (Projects, Texts, Text Sections, Resource Collections, and Resources) from your Manifold instance, they will be displayed in blocks with corresponding names and information about each item contained in the block. Clicking on an item from any of the blocks will open that item in the original Project from which it was added. Added content can be managed by editing the home page (see Edit a Reading Group Home Page).
Selecting the Create New Group button on the Reading Groups home page will create a new group—you must be logged in to your Manifold account. A drawer will open from the right with the following fields that will define the dynamics of the group:
A group name is required to create a new Reading Group; however, the group name can be modified at any time.
Groups have three privacy options—public, private, and anonymous—that function along the following lines:
- Public. Annotations, highlights, and comments made in Public groups are viewable to everyone—even to readers who have not signed up for an account on the Manifold instance in question—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, highlights, and comments 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, highlights, and comments that have been committed to the group. Additionally the identities of group members are masked from one another—save the group's Creator, Moderator(s), and instance Administrators who are also group members—allowing for texts to be peer-reviewed in the system.
Comment threads are disabled in Anonymous groups. However, readers annotating anonymously can still engage in cross-communication by adding an annotation of their own to the passage in question by way of the Annotation button, located below the quoted annotated passage.
The Invitation Code serves as a key to accessing a Reading 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 Invitation Code can be shared with those intended to be part of the group—via email, text, etc.— and recipients can input it on the My 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 code inactive, though users who joined the Reading Group previously with an old code will still be members of the group.
Clicking the Copy button will copy the invitation code to your computer's clipboard where you will be to paste it into other applications.
Any manual alterations made to the Invitation Code on the Edit Reading Group page will be reflected in the corresponding Invitation URL, described below.
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 course website. Users 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 Reading Group.
The phrase that follows
join= in the Invitation URL is the group’s Invitation Code and can be input by readers on the My Reading Groups page.
Users who are not logged in or do not have an account on the instance will receive an error message when they click the link, indicating they do not have permission to access the group. Once they log in or create their account the page will resolve to the Reading Group confirmation prompt.
Clicking the Copy button will copy the invitation code to your computer's clipboard where you will be to paste it into other applications.
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—a tell that provides them the means to join a group to which they were not invited. To ensure other moderators do not intrude on your Reading Group, we suggest employing an Invitation Code not easily guessed by others and enabling Notifications.
You have the option to add dates to Reading Groups for internal tracking and reporting. When Yes is selected, two date fields will appear that allow you to add specific start and end dates.
When the Notifications field is checked, Manifold will alert the group Creator and Moderator(s) via email when someone joins the group. This can be used as a guard to ensure only those readers targeted for the Reading Group become members.
A group Creator or Moderator(s) can use the Edit button from the My Reading Groups page or the Edit Settings button on the Reading Group's home page (will open a drawer from the right of the screen) to reconfigure any of the group options that were set when it was created, from adjusting the Reading Group's name to changing Notification settings and deleting a Reading Group.
When deleting a public Reading Group, all annotations, highlights, and comments a user made within the auspices of a public Reading Group will remain in their My Public Annotations group. Annotations and highlights made in private or anonymous groups will persist for each individual reader in their My Private Annotations group.
A Reading Group Creator, Moderator, or an Administrator of an instance who is also a group member, may edit a Reading Group home page. Selecting the name of the group from the list of groups on the My Reading Groups page and toggling the slider on from the Manage Group block (see Manage Group block) will bring you to the Edit Home Page screen. Toggling the slider off will return you to the Reading Group's home page.
Selecting the Add Content button opens a window that allows you to search for content on your Manifold instance by keyword and type. You have the option to narrow your search results by checking or unchecking the boxes:Everything, Projects, Resources, Texts, and Full Texts. From your search results list, add content to your group by selecting the star Add icon to the right of the item title. You will be presented with a list of all Reading Groups with which you are a member, select the Reading Group name where you would like the item to be added. Selecting Close will return you to the Add Content window where you will see the selected item now has a highlighted star, indicating that the item has been added to this Reading Group. By default all content added to a Reading Group is placed in a content block titled Uncategorized. To add a new category to your group, see Create a New Category When you are finished, selecting the Close button will return you to the Edit Home Page screen.
Alternatively, you may add content to any Reading Group with which you are a Creator or Moderator, from multiple locations on your Manifold instance. Anywhere you see a star icon—next to a thumbnail image in the Manifold library, next to the title of a Project, Text, Resource Collection, or Resource on a Project home page, or next to an entry in the dropdown table of contents in the Manifold Reader—clicking on the star will open a window with a list of all Reading Group to which you have permission to add content, select the Reading Group name to add the item and Close to return to the previous page.
If you have not created a Reading Group, clicking on an item's star icon will add it to your My Starred list. Navigate to this list by clicking on your profile icon and selecting My Starred from the dropdown list.
You must be logged in to your Manifold account to add content to a Reading Group.
Added content can be curated into custom category blocks by entering a category name in the field and selecting the Add button. Each added category will become its own content block on your Reading Group home page and contains subcategory sections for: Projects, Journal Issues, Texts, Text Sections, Resource Collections, and Resources. Category content blocks can be modified by selecting the trashcan icon to delete, the pencil icon to edit category name and description, and the double bars to drag the block to a new position on the page.
Items within each of these subcategories can be deleted from the Reading Group (it will only be deleted from the group not the Manifold instance) by selecting Remove or moved to the same subcategory section in another category content block by selecting the double bars and dragging it to that category, i.e. Projects to Projects, Texts to Texts.
There are two ways for readers to join a Reading Group: by inputting an Invitation Code or by clicking on an Invitation URL. Both means are supplied by way of the group Creator. Readers cannot presently request to join a Manifold Reading Group.
Readers who have been provided an Invitation Code can join a group by selecting My Reading Groups from the user profile dropdown and entering it in the Join a Group field located at the bottom of the My Reading Groups page.
Alternatively, if the group Creator has encoded the Invitation URL on a course webpage or in an email, readers need only click the link to be taken to the instance and join the Reading Group.
Invitation Not Working?
See the Invitation URL section for concerns that may arise for readers that click on an Invitation link and are not presently logged in or don't have accounts on the instance.
Reading Group Creators and Moderators can selectively remove individual members from their groups. When a group member is removed they will not receive any notice of their removal; they will simply not have the option to commit their annotations, highlights, or comments to the group. Removing members from the group, is done by clicking the Remove button beside the member's name. Once clicked, you will be prompted to confirm the removal.
Any annotations, highlights, and comments a reader commits to the group prior to their removal will still be accessible to remaining group members.
Annotations are a means for readers to engage with the Texts they read on Manifold. Annotations can be private and serve as one’s own marginalia, left publicly to foster conversation among other readers, or they can be associated with Reading Groups. If you are logged in to Manifold, when you highlight text with your cursor a pop-up menu will appear providing you various options to interact with the text, along with the current Reading Group to which you will commit your interactions—i.e., annotations, highlights, or comments.
By default each reader’s account is associated with two Reading Groups: My Public Annotations and My Private Annotations. Interactions associated with the My Public Annotations group are public to everyone viewing the Text, regardless of whether they have created an account on the instance or not. Interactions associated with My Private Annotations are only viewable to the reader who makes them.
You can change the group you are committing your annotation or highlight to, by selecting the Current Group listing at the bottom of the pop-up. This will show you all the groups with which you are a member. By selecting a new group or by clicking the Back button you will return to the original pop-up menu, where you can choose to annotate or highlight the passage you selected.
If you select Annotate, a sliding drawer will open from the right where you can compose an annotation that will be associated with the passage you have selected. When you select the Save button, your annotation will be attached to that Text.