Community Spaces make it easy for you to build a lively, engaging community for your students, while keeping posts organized and easy to navigate. Create spaces for specific topics and courses, use them for assignment review, or even as a place to mingle after a live lesson or webinar. Give your students the space they need to thrive!
In this article:
About Community Spaces
Community Spaces are a simple but powerful tool that allow you to shape the experience you want for your students. Think of Spaces as virtual rooms within your overall Community, where you can manage posts, curate topics and create different areas of the community for different conversations. This makes it easier for you and your students to find the content they are looking for, and keep things organized as your community grows and becomes more active.
You can create spaces for anything you want: student introductions, course feedback, assignment discussions, cohort groups and more. It's all up to you, and what sort of spaces you envision in your particular community.
How It Works
On a basic level, Spaces are containers for Community posts and activities. When a student visits your Community, they can select specific Spaces to jump into, where they can read and comment on posts, or create their own post in that Space. Every post must live in a Space, and a post can only live in one Space at a time. It is also possible to move posts between Spaces, if they end up in the wrong place!
Communities now includes the Course & Community Connection feature - an easy way to drive your students to your Community, directly from your Course! Learn more about this feature and how to set it up in the How to Add a Course to Your Space section below.
Aside from acting as containers, Spaces can also be customized and configured to serve specific purposes.
Customization options include:
- Space name: The name of the Space. This will appear in your Community's Spaces list
- Icon: You can choose an icon that best represents the Space, by clicking the image to the left of the Space name field
- Space description: A short description of the Space — this will appear in the Details section when viewing the Space
- Space image (optional): This image will appear in the Details section when viewing the Space — we recommend dimensions of 265 x 150 pixels, and there is a maximum file size of 5MB
Add a Course (optional): The Add a Course to this Space feature allows you to connect your Space to a specific course, so that students can access your Community directly from that course!
Note: this feature is currently in testing, and will be released in full on May 4th.
User Roles and Community Spaces
User roles in Communities all follow the same general permissions logic, with Site Owners and Site Admins having moderator permissions; Course Admins, Instructors and Students do not. In the case of Spaces, only Site Owners and Admins will be able to create, edit, or delete Spaces.
- Every Community must have at least one Space; you cannot delete the default 'General' space until you have created another to replace it. You can also edit the default space as normal.
- Spaces have been gradually turned on for all our course creators following the feature roll out. If you have a pre-existing Community before Spaces, don't worry — all of your existing Posts were automatically added to the default General Space.
- Course Cards for hidden or private courses will only be visible in the Community to students who are actively enrolled in those courses. Students who are not enrolled in those courses will not be able to see hidden or private course cards within a space.
How to Add a Space to Your Community
Once you have created a Community, adding a new Space is a simple process that you perform from within the Community itself:
- Go to Manage Learning Products
- Select Communities
- Locate the Community you want to work with in the list, open the vertical ellipsis menu (three dots) and click Go To Community
- From the Community home page, click the plus-sign (+) icon next to Spaces on the left navigation
- Fill out the details of your new Space, including the Space name and Space description
- Click Create Space
Once created, your new Space will appear at the bottom of the Spaces list on the left navigation. Click on the name to view the Space, make sure everything looks the way you expected — then start thinking about your first post!
How to Add a Course to Your Space
It’s important to create a strong connection between your course and your community, for a blended, cohesive learning experience for your students. The Course & Community Connection allows students to easily navigate from within your course directly to a Space within your Community.
Set up your connection with these simple steps:
- Go to Manage Learning Products
- Select Communities
- Click the ellipses (three dots) and select Go to Community to open your Community page
- Select an existing Space from the left navigation menu
(Optional) or create a new space (see instructions above)
- Click the gear icon at the top of the page to open your Space Settings:
- Click the Add a Course to this Space icon to the left
- Select the Course that you want to connect to the Space
- Click Update Space to save your changes
Now that the Space is connected to the Community, you will see a notification on the course card within your Admin. For your students, a card will appear in the Course Player encouraging them to jump in, share, and contribute to the Community.
You can preview how this will look in the course player by opening your connected course, and selecting Preview as an Enrolled Student.
You've now created a clear and easy connection between your Course and your Community, enabling a hub of activity and learning that your students will keep coming back to!
How to Edit a Space
If you want to update any of the details of an existing Space — including the name — you can do so by editing the Space:
- From the Community home page, locate the Space you want to edit on the left navigation and click to open that Space.
- Click on the gear icon at the top of the Space, next to the name
- Make the edits you want and click Update Space
How to Delete a Space
Deleting an existing Space is simple, but remember that doing so will also delete any posts currently in that Space. If you want to preserve posts when deleting a Space, you will have to move the individual posts into a new Space first (see instructions on Moving a Post, below.)
- From the Community home page, locate the Space you want to edit (in the left side navigation), and click to open that Space.
- Click on the gear icon at the top of the Space, next to the name:
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, read the warning message, and click Delete Space
- Read the confirmation message and click Delete Space again
How to Move a Post into a Different Space
- Locate the Post you want to move
- Click on the vertical ellipsis menu (three dots)
- Click Edit
- Scroll to the Space section at the bottom of the Edit post pop-up and use the drop-down selector to choose the Space you want to move the Post to
- Click Save Changes
The post will now appear in the new Space, along with any comments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a limit to the number of Spaces I can create?
No, there is no limit to the number of Spaces you can have in one Community. However, do keep in mind that the more Spaces you have, the harder it might be for students to figure out where to find what they're looking for, or where to post if they want to participate.
Can a post exist in multiple Spaces at once?
No, a post can only exist in one Space at a time.
Can you lock Spaces to only specific students or users?
No, it is not currently possible to limit who can access individual Spaces within a Community. You can, however, limit who has access to a Community, so if having limited/semi-private Spaces is an important part of your learning experience, you may want to consider having multiple Communities instead.
What if I have hidden or private courses?
Students who are not actively enrolled in the Course you've connected to your Space will not be able to navigate to that Course from the Community. This includes hidden or private courses - only students who are already enrolled in that course will be able to see the course card for that Space.
I use more than one Community — can I create the same Spaces across multiple different Communities?
Yes! You can create the same Spaces across multiple different Communities. However, we do not currently have any automated processes in place to help with this goal — you will need to add and customize the Spaces individually for each of your Communities.
Are you interested in learning more about what Communities has to offer? Thinkific is currently working on some updates to this feature, as part of our ongoing effort to make Communities a more integrative and immersive experience for you and your audience! To learn more about what we have in the works, check out our Communities Updates article!