ECoP Tutorial

Electronic Communities of Practice, or eCoPs, support Teams in their work. These are password protected areas of InspireNet's website and content is available only to team members.

If at any time you're having trouble or need to ask a question, contact us: patherton@bcsupportunit.ca.

To Access your eCoP

To access your eCoP, login to the website (blue button, top right hand side) and click the My Teams tab. The list of Teams you're subscribed to as well as those you can join will appear. Select the Team's eCoP you want to visit. In the left hand navigation, you'll see the content types of the eCoP.

eCoP Content Types

Your team's eCoP features the following types of content. Click a content type to be taken to the detailed steps for using it, or scroll down.

What's the difference between a blog and a wiki? Check out these easy-to-understand YouTube videos (about 6 minutes in total):

General Quick Tips

►If you want to copy and paste from a Microsoft application, be advised that Microsoft documents contain hidden codes that will garble your post. To avoid this, copy the text you want to include in your team's eCoP, and at the top of the 'Body' box, click the icon that looks like a clipboard (next to the word "Source") to paste the content as plain text.

►To make a quick link to eCoP content using a hyperlink:

  • Open the content (shared document, wiki, etc) and copy the URL to the clipboard (highlight the webpage address and press C while holding down the Ctrl key)
  • Go to the page you want to create the link click the Edit tab, then highlight the text you want to hyperlink
  • Select the icon that looks like a globe with a link over top of it, then copy the URL from the clipboard (press V while holding down the Ctrl key)

If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update." More about Content Notifications.

►About email notifications: when you receive an automated notification from inspirenet.ca, to access the content listed you need to first be logged in to the website, then click the link in the email notification after 'Read More'. You will be taken directly to the new content without having to find it.

Adding Content

To add content to your eCoP, select one of the content types. 

Poll
Create polls to quickly obtain votes from team members (responses can only be multiple choice).

How:

  • Select Create Poll from the left hand navigation in your eCoP
  • Add your poll Question
  • Add a brief description to inform team members of the purpose of the poll
  • Enter the Choices, selecting Add another choice if needed until you have all choices included
  • Under Poll status, select Active
  • Under Poll duration, use the drop down to select how long your poll should be 'live'
  • If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update."
  • Click Save to save the poll
  • Team members will be alerted to the Poll by either an automated email, or you can send the link to them in your own email
  • Once members have submitted their vote, they will see all poll results to date.
  • The poll automatically closes after the poll duration, selected above, ends.

Discussion
Use the discussion if you want to hold an asynchronous discussion with Team members.

How:

  • Select Create Discussion from the left hand navigation in your eCoP
  • In the Body box, enter your Discussion thread's first post
  • If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update."
  • Click Save to save the post
  • Team members will be alerted to the post by either an automated email, or you can send the link to them in your own email
  • Team members can contribute to this discussion using the Comments section beneath it

Event
This option allows you to add an event of interest to your team, such as a next team meeting or conference of interest.

How:

  • Select Create Event from the left hand navigation in your eCoP
  • Add a Title for your Event
  • In the Body box, enter a description about the Event
  • Under Details Title, add the Event title
  • Under Details URL, add the webpage address for the Event
  • Under Location, add the city, province/state/country where the event will be held
  • If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update."
  • Under Date, select the start and end dates of the event
  • Under Abstract Deadline, select the deadline for abstracts to be submitted
  • Click Save to save the post
  • Team members will be alerted to the Event by either an automated email, or you can send the link to them in your own email

Shared Document
Use this feature to upload a document that is of interest to team members, such as a Word document, a .pdf or a PowerPoint presentation. Note that copyright law precludes InspireNet members from uploading documents which are copyright protected (instead, use a wiki to contribute to a Team reference list with a link to the reference). More information about copyright.

How:

First, have a copy of the document saved on your computer, then:

  • Select Create Event from the left hand navigation in your eCoP
  • Add a Title
  • Select Browse
  • Locate the file on your computer, and click Upload
  • Enter a Description
  • Add any Notes that you want Team members to have about this document (i.e. "Mildred prepared this for our October meeting discussion. Please review it before then."
  • If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update."
  • Click Save at the bottom of the page
  • Team members will be alerted to the post by either an automated email, or you can send the link to them in your own email
  • Team members can contribute to this document page using the Comments section

To edit a Shared document in MS Word from your team's eCoP:

1. Download a copy of the document (click the document link in the eCoP, then click Open and save it to your computer)

2. In MS Word, turn on track changes, make your changes, then save this copy to your computer.

3. Upload your edited version to the same page you found the original document on (see above for uploading instructions).

Another way to collect feedback on a document is to use the Comments section at the bottom of the page where the document has been saved.

An alternative to MS Word document collaboration:

An easy way to collaborate on a document is to provide the text (text only, no formatting or images) as a wiki (instead of a Shared Document), which everyone can edit by clicking Edit at the top, then Save at the bottom of the wiki page. The final text can then be copied and pasted into a Word document.

Wiki
Use a wiki to create a document that any Team member can edit.

How:

  • Select Create Wiki from the left hand navigation in your eCoP
  • Add a Title
  • In the Body box, enter your wiki text (which can be edited by any team member)
  • Click Save at the bottom of the page
  • If you do not want Team members to receive email notification about what you've added or changed, click the box next to: "Do not send notifications for this update."
  • Team members will be alerted to the post by either an automated email, or you can send the link to them in your own email
  • Team members can contribute to this wiki page using the Comments section

Changing content

If you want to change content, for instance, adding information to a wiki, or commenting on a blog, locate the item you want to change and click the Edit tab. Change the text, then click Save.

Finding Content

You remember it's there, but how do you find it? To find information in your eCoP from the home page of the eCoP, perform one of the following:

  • The easiest way to find any content on the website is to use the site's powerful search engine. When logged on to the site, the search function includes your team eCoPs in its search. Use the box in the top left hand of any webpage labelled 'Search this Site' to enter your search term.
  • On a long page full of text -- on any page on the internet -- you can find text by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the F key (Command+F on a Mac). This will pop open a finder for you to enter your search term and allows you to search the enter webpage for this word or term.
  • Scroll down through the list of content items. Content is listed in the order it was added, the same way that Facebook and Twitter add content. Or,
  • Use the drop down box to filter the content into the type you are looking for. If it was a document that someone uploaded that you want to find, you would select "Document to Share" in the drop down box, resulting in only documents being shown in the list.

Content notifications

You receive one email that provides a list of the new content in their eCoPs, based on the frequency you've selected in your Inspirenet.ca account (default = daily digest). To change the frequency, login to the website, select Edit in your account, which is linked to your name at the top of any webpage, and scroll down to Messaging and Notifications settings, Default send interval. You can select from

  • Immediately
  • Every hour
  • Twice a day
  • Daily
  • Weekly

Click Save to save your changes.

Other components of your eCoP

#  members
Clicking this will show the members of this team's eCoP, along with their avatar (small photo), if they've added one through their profile.

Manager: xx
The manager of the team is the individual who initially set up the team on the website.

My membership
By clicking this, you can unsubscribe from an eCoP if you wish.


Team Leaders / eCoP Administrators

Administrators are Action Team leaders and have some unique abilities in their eCoPs, all through the top navigation of your eCoP. When logged in to your team's eCoP you can do the following.

View
This allows you to see all content in the eCoP.

Add members
Use this function to add a new member, or set of new members to your Team's eCoP. Click Add members tab; enter the username, which is their first name and last name (i.e. Mildred Pierce) and click the Add users button. To add more than one new member at a time, separate user names with a comma.

Remove members
In the left hand navigation of the eCoP, click the XX Members link; click the List tab to list your team members; scroll to the member you want to remove and click Remove membership

Manage
Use this function to perform actions on your Team members as identified in the drop down options.

Edit
This feature allows the eCoP to be edited. Unless you feel comfortable doing this yourself, please contact us to do this for you: patherton@inspirenet.ca.

Broadcast
This feature gives administrators the ability to 'broadcast' an email message to all Team members without using separate email distribution lists.

Team Leaders looking for more information about leading virtual teams may want to review the following resources:


Webconferencing

Is your team interested in webconferencing to meet virtually? InspireNet eCoPs are provided free use of Cisco WebEx, a real-time, web-conferencing application that allows users to share and collaborate on documents, to record sessions, and to broadcast video images via webcams. The audio component of a WebEx session is carried out through the use of a toll number on your telephone, or by your computer with your microphone and speakers/webcam (recommended).

For more information about booking and using WebEx, contact: patherton@inspirenet.ca.

I would like to...