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General Contacts / Connections Communities / Discussions Resources Libraries

General | Top

Q: What is my username/password?
A: You will use the same username and password that you use to log in to the MyASTC site. If you have forgotten your login credentials, please use the "forgot username" and "forgot password" links on the login page. If you are still having problems, please contact us.

Q: How do I control what information is visible in My Profile?
A: Hover over "My Profile” in the navigation bar, then click “My Privacy Settings.” This will let you control what information is visible and to whom. After you've made changes, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.

Q: How do I change my title/address/phone number?
A: To change this information in your community.astc.org profile, you'll first need to change it in the ASTC database. Please go to members.astc.org and login with the same username and password you use for the ASTC Community site. Next, click Profile in the top navigation bar. On this page, you can edit any of your information by clicking the pencil icon in the upper right corner of each box. When you've finished saving your changes, click Community in the top navigation bar to be directed back the community.astc.org. Click My Profile in the top navigation bar, then click Refresh Member Data beneath your contact information. Your profile should now be updated. (You can also find these instructions on page 5 of this PDF: http://astc.org/about/pdf/HLhowto.pdf)


Contacts / Connections | Top

Q: How do I find other members?
A: Click Directory in the top navigation bar, then use the search fields provide, or click "Use more detailed search criteria." The Directory lets you search for other members based on:
  • First and/or last name
  • Company/Institution name
  • Email address

Use the “Advanced Search” option to increase your search to:

  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Functional Job Title
  • Community
  • Education
Q: How do I add contacts to my contact list?
A: There are several ways to add contacts. When you perform a search in the Directory, you will see an “Add as contact” button to the right of each person in your search results. Just click this link to send a contact request. If you click through and view an individual’s profile, you can click the contact request link to the right of his or her profile picture.

Q: Why should I add contacts to my contact list?
A: Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions, or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can't.


Communities / Discussions | Top

Q: What are communities?
A: Communities allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other members.

Q: What communities do I already belong to?
A: Go to “My Communities” in the top navigation bar to view the communities of which you are currently a member. You can also view this information under “My Profile,” just underneath your photo.

Q: How do I join/subscribe to a community and the affiliated Discussion Group?
A: Hover over “My Communities” and click on “All Communities” in order to see a list of available communities. Click the "Join" button next to the Community that you wish to join. You will then be asked to choose an email notification option for the community's discussion.

Q: How do I start a new Community of Practice?
A: ASTC welcomes and encourages proposals from the field for new Communities of Practice. If you are interested in forming a new Community of Practice (CoP), please take a moment to review ASTC's eligibility requirements below before submitting your proposal.

Eligibility:
  • Primary CoP contact must be an ASTC member or employed by an ASTC-member institution
  • Must have a specific issue or audience identified (e.g. Explainers and Facilitators, CEOs, Developing Content about Energy in Science Centers, Volunteer Management, etc.)
  • Should have a preliminary engagement plan developed (e.g., conference calls, in-person meetings, webinars, chat forum, etc.), including draft timeline for implementation
  • Must identify a legacy product for sharing CoP output with the field (e.g. white paper, presentation archives, annual conference session, ASTC Dimensions article, astc.org blog post, etc.)
For CoP consideration, please contact ASTC's Professional Development team. You can find the CoP proposal form here.

Q: How do I create a new community?
A: Under "My Communities" > "All Communities," there is a button called "Create New Community." This will open a "Manage Community" page that will prompt you to name the Community, set the viewing permissions, create an affiliated Resource Library and Discussion Group, and invite other users to join the Community.

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of emails I receive?
A: Hover over “My Communities” in the top navigation bar, then click “My Subscriptions” in the drop down menu that appears. You have the option of Text or HTML emails. By default, this is set to HTML, and we encourage you to leave it set to this it is supported by your email client. However, if you are having problems viewing the HTML version or if it takes too long to open, please switch to the text version.

For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:
  • Real time: sends an email every time a new message is posted
  • Daily digest: sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day
  • Legacy: sends real-time text versions of the posts, which are compatible with Blackberries and most other handheld devices. This option also allows you to reply without logging into a web browser, but it does NOT allow you to include attachments with your post.
  • No Email: allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.
Q: How do I leave a community or unsubscribe from a discussion?
A: Hover over “My Communities” then click “My Subscriptions.” Here, you will see a list of communities to which you've subscribed. Select “Unsubscribe” for the discussions you wish to leave and click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page. You will get a message confirming that your subscription options have been successfully updated. This can take several seconds if you change your settings for several groups at the same time. Please note that you might not be able to unsubscribe from certain communities, based on your status. In those cases, simply choose “No Emails” from the delivery options.

Q: How do I respond to others’ posts?
A: Click “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community or “Reply to Sender” to only send your message back to the sender; both links are located to the right of the post. We recommend replying to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources from which others could benefit.

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?
A: Go to the community in which you wish to start a discussion, click on the Discussions tab, then click the "Post new message" button. From an email (HTML version) for a particular discussion forum, you can use the “Post Message” link in the right navigation bar.

Q: I’m having trouble viewing the HTML email messages. How do I fix this?
A: If images are not appearing, it is likely that your email client is set to suppress images. This should be something you can change in your security or viewing options. If you would rather receive text-based email, hover over “My Communities” then click “My Subscriptions” and select the “Text” format option near the top of the page. Be sure to hit “Save” at the bottom of the page once you've made this change.

Q: How do I change the information showing up in my signature block?
A: We have set a default signature, but if you would like to change the information that appears or the order in which it appears, hover over  "My Profile” and click “My Signature.” You can add, delete, or reorganize the fields that show up in your signature by clicking the variables on the right-hand side of the screen. Please note that the content of these fields is pulled directly from your profile.


Resource Libraries | Top

Q: How do the resource libraries get populated?
A: The resource libraries are populated in two ways: Community members can upload documents directly by using the “Create New Library Entry” link found in each community's Resources tab. That is to say, resources are not required to be associated with a discussion. Alternately, when you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the resource library.

Q: How do I upload a file?
A: Navigate to the desired community and click the Resources tab, then click the "Create New Library Entry" button above the list of resources. Next, follow the prompts to add information about the resource you are uploading. You can also hover over "Participate" in the main navigation bar and click "Share a File." Then follow the on screen instructions to choose the appropriate resource library and upload your file.

Q: What kind of files can I upload?
A: The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images, and YouTube videos.

Q: What are the “tags” for?
A: Tags are another way of organizing and searching for documents. You can help others find the file you uploaded by selecting the appropriate tags when you upload it.