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The SmartParticipation Manual

SmartParticipation offers an effective, adaptable environment for informed online discussion and deliberation. This Manual explains the mechanics of setting up an instance of SmartParticipation for a discussion.

To learn about the design objectives of the platform, and get tips on how to make most effective use of it, go to http://sandbox.smartparticipation.com/. (You can also practice set-up there, before working on your own site.)

This pdf version of the SmartParticipation was created on August 28, 2017. This documentation is available as a wiki at http://smartparticipation.com/docs.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. IIS-1314778. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Installation

  1. Verify your server meets the Drupal 7 requirements.
  2. Follow instructions in ReadMe file.

Creating the Proposal

Overview. “Proposal” is SmartParticipation's generic term for a discussion, public comment period, etc. taking place on the platform. As such, Proposal is the primary category of organization. SmartParticipation can host multiple Proposals, simultaneously or sequentially.

A single Proposal may have multiple “phases” (e.g., initial scoping, first draft, and final draft). Each phase can have its own topic posts, informational documents, and comments. All phases remain accessible to users throughout the discussion. Phases can allow comments or can be informational only.

To create a Proposal:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select Proposal from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Create Proposal screen.



  3. The Create Proposal screen requires the following information:
    1. Title: This is how you would like the Proposal to be captioned on the homepage and in various dropdown menus. The title should reflect the way you plan to describe the discussion in outreach, advertising, etc.
    2. Whether an Interest survey will be presented to users. (On setting up an interest survey, see Interest Survey.) If you choose to include an interest survey, you will be asked to name the survey. This will allow you to easily identify the specific survey associated with this Proposal, even if there are multiple Proposals (and surveys) on the platform.
    3. Agency documents display name: This is the text of the link that commenters will use to access the list of primary or background documents in this Proposal. Because the platform was initially designed for public comment on U.S. federal rulemakings, the default description is “Agency Documents.” You might consider using “Important Documents,” “Background Documents”, “The Proposed Plan”, as alternatives. For instructions on adding the Agency documents section of SmartParticipation, please see Creating the Proposal Documents section.
    4. Status: “Open” when commenting is possible; “Closed” when commenting is finished. You must select Open in order to add topic posts. (Don't worry about people starting to comment before you've finished setting up. The last choice on the Create Proposal screen will be to leave the Proposal as “unpublished” until you are ready for the site to go live. (See below). Unpublished Proposals are visible only to those with Administrator rights.
    5. Proposal phases: Here you can designate the names and define start and end dates for multiple phases in the Proposal. (Ignore this section if you plan to have only a single phase.) In the Proposal phases form you can:
      1. Define the phase name using the Phase dropdown menu. The dropdown menu contains a short list of phase names. If none of the listed Phase names seem appropriate for your discussion, you can add addition options, as well as edit the features of existing options (including whether or not a phase will allow for user comments), via the site's Taxonomy menu. See Proposal phase Taxonomy for additional details on this process.
      2. Select the Phase display text, which will replace the existing phase name when displayed on the site.
      3. Select the Start and End Dates for the phase. If you are unsure of the precise dates, you can complete the rest of the form and add your dates later.
      4. Select the Phase open text, which will appear in the topic highlight bubble on the main proposal page while the phase is open.

      5. The Phase closed text is the text that will appear in the same bubble when the phase is closed.
      6. The Phase subtopic heading will appear at the top of each subtopic for the selected proposal phase.



    6. Use “Add another item”, just below the Proposal phases entry form to create additional phases.

    7. Main proposal image: This is the main image that will be associated with the Proposal. It appears on the homepage to the left of the Summary, as well as under the Proposal title on every Topic Post. Like the title, this graphic should correspond to those you use in advertising, social media, etc. (Files must be less than 500 KB; allowed file types: png gif jpg jpeg.)
    8. The Summary: The informative text that appears beneath the Proposal title and next to the main image on the homepage. For tips on content of the Summary, see http://sandbox.smartparticipation.com/. Only the first few lines of the Summary text will show unless the user clicks More. To adjust the default number of characters displayed, see Setting Comment and Other Text Lengths.
    9. Closed Proposal: If you wish, you can change the main image once the proposal has been closed and add an updated Summary, to be displayed once the Proposal has closed. (Files must be less than 500 KB; allowed file types: png gif jpg jpeg.)

  4. Using the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window: Leave the default state of “not published” while you work on setting up the site. Once you are ready to go live, check the Published box.

  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

NOTE: If you want to return to the Create Proposal screen after the initial set-up (for example, if you do not choose to publish the proposal during initial setup, or if you wish to make additional changes), select Find Content in the top navigation:

  1. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE filter by type:proposal.



  2. Click Edit under OPERATIONS for the corresponding proposal.



Proposal phase Taxonomy

Use the following steps to edit the list of names recorded in the proposal phase name dropdown menu:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Structure.



  2. On the following screen, select Taxonomy from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Taxonomy editing screen.



  3. On the next screen, select add terms corresponding to Proposal Phases if you wish to add a new phase name, or select list terms to edit the name or status of an existing term.
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    1. If you've selected list terms to edit existing terms, select edit under Operations corresponding with the term you wish to edit on the next screen.

    2. If you've selected add terms, proceed immediately to the following steps.

  4. In the next window, you can:
    1. Edit or add the Name of the phase.
    2. Provide a Description.
    3. Provide a default Subtopic text heading.
    4. Decide if the selected phase will Allow comments or not allow comments.



  5. Click Save to save updates.

Adding a New Topic

Overview. The content for discussion is organized as a series of Topic posts. Each Topic post comprises a set of Subtopics. Both Topics and Subtopics have descriptive titles that become part of the menus that “map” the issues to be discussed for participants. Participants attach comments to specific Subtopics. For tips on how to make the most effective use of the Topic/Subtopic structure, go to http://sandbox.smartparticipation.com/.

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.

  2. On the following screen, select Proposal topic from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Create Proposal topic entry screen.



  3. Creating a Topic post involves:
    1. Selecting the Proposal in which the Topic post should appear from the Proposal dropdown list.
    2. Giving the Topic a descriptive Title.
    3. Using Menu title to provide a shortened version of this title, if it is too long to fit the Topic Carousel and the Topic post dropdown menus.
    4. Selecting the relevant Phase (defined in the previous step).
    5. Providing an optional Description.
    6. You can choose to enter a Phase closed message, to be included in the Topic post, once the Topic's phase has closed.



.

4. Select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box. Publishing is necessary to allow you to see the post on the site. Published topics are not visible to the public until the Proposal has been published.

5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Ordering Topics

After Topics are created, you can change the order in which they are listed in the Topic Carousel and Topic drop-down menus:

NOTE: The following steps will not work for ordering topics in unpublished Proposals. Topics can be ordered once the Proposal has been published.

  1. On the homepage, click the Proposal title.

  2. Select Topics from the tabs on the screen that opens.

  3. On the next screen, reorder the topics by dragging the multi-directional arrows up or down.



  4. Click Submit to save your changes.

Adding a New Subtopic

Overview. Subtopics are the organizational units that contain the content to be discussed. Comments by site users are attached to individual Subtopics, thereby automatically organizing comments by substantive issue. Subtopic titles become the list of issues that participants see when they first open a Topic post.

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.

  2. On the following screen, select Proposal subtopic from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. On the Create Proposal subtopic entry screen:
    1. Select the Topic under which the subtopic should appear from the dropdown list.
    2. Give the subtopic a descriptive Title.
    3. Add content to the Body of the subtopic. Content can be entered either by using the rich-text editor: or directly in HTML by disabling the rich-text editor via the link at the bottom of the entry window:



  4. Select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box. Publishing lets you see the subtopics on the site but they are not publicly visible until the Proposal has been published.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Ordering Subtopics

To change the order in which Subtopics appear in the Topic post:

NOTE: The following steps will not work for ordering subtopics in unpublished Proposals. Subtopics can be ordered once the Proposal has been published.

  1. In the Topic Carousel on the Homepage, click the Topic that contains the Subtopics to be reordered.



  2. Select Subtopics from the tabs on the next screen.



  3. On the next screen, reorder the subtopics by dragging the multi-directional arrows up or down.



  4. Click Submit to save your changes.

Linking to other Topics and Subtopics

Because issues raised in one post will often be related to issues in other posts, internal cross-references can help participants move easily to other relevant content.

  1. To insert an internal cross-reference, you first need to get the URL of the Topic post or specific Subtopic(s) you want to link to. To do this, open the relevant Topic post in another window of your browser and copy-and-paste the URL from the address bar at the top of the screen:

    1. To reference an entire Topic post, make sure that all the Subtopics within that post are collapsed. Then, the URL will have this form:

    2. To reference a specific Subtopic, make sure that this Subtopic is expanded and all the rest are collapsed. Then, the URL will have this form:

    3. To reference multiple Subtopics in the same Topic post, expand these Subtopics and collapse all of the rest. This is the form of the URL with two Subtopics visible (each open Subtopic is indicated by its unique identification number (“nid”); multiple nids are separated by a dash):

  2. Once you have copied and pasted the appropriate URL, return to the editing screen of the Subtopic that will contain the cross-reference. Open the Link popup window by selecting the link symbol from the address bar.

  3. Paste the URL in the Link Info tab. Use the Target tab to designate whether clicking on the cross-reference will open a new browser window.
    .

Using the Learn Panel Accordion and Learn pages

Overview. The Learn Panel Accordion is a unique feature of the SmartParticipation platform that allows you to display instructional content in an eye-catching form. Each panel contains an image and short “teaser” text; a video can be embedded in the image. Users can select Read More to open a corresponding Learn page with more details. They can also access this content from the drop-down Learn menu in the top navigation.

For tips on making the most effective use of the Learn Panels, go to http://sandbox.smartparticipation.com/.

NOTE: The Learn Panel Accordion is a site-wide feature, and is not specific to a proposal. If SmartParticipation is used for multiple proposals, you will need to carefully consider how to setup your Learn Accordion to accommodate your content.

Setting up the Learn Panel Accordion and Learn pages

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select Learn page from the alphabetical list of options.



    This will launch the Create Learn page entry screen.

  3. In the entry screen:
    1. Provide a Title in the form of a phrase or question.
    2. Tab title allows you to provide a shorter version that will fit better on the Accordion tab and the drop- down Learn menu.
    3. If you select “No” in Display in learn panel, the content will appear as a separate Learn page that will be listed in the drop-down Learn menu but will not be part of the Learn Accordion. You would select this option if either (1) you choose not to display the Learn Accordion at all; or (2) you want to create more Learn pages than can be comfortably displayed in the Accordion format.
    4. Provide the Teaser text, the short text that will display above Read More on the Accordion panel.
    5. Upload an eye-catching Image or Video.
    6. Add the text that will appear on the Learn page.



  4. Finally, to make your Learn page active, select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Reordering the Learn Panel Accordion and Learn pages

To change the order of the Accordion panels and the list of Learn pages in the drop-down Learn menu:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Structure.



  2. On the next screen, select Menus from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. On the Menus editing screen, select the list links operation for Main menu.



  4. On the Menu Link screen, reorder Learn items by dragging the multi-directional arrows up or down.



  5. Click Save Configuration to save your changes.

Adding and Managing Users

Adding a User

In SmartParticipation, you can update and add users through a single interface. The following steps will guide you through the adding and managing users process.

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select People.



  2. On the following screen, click +Add user.



  3. On the following screen you'll be able to create the new user’s username, assign their account a password, and add their email address.



    1. Note that the Status and Roles sections allow you to control the user’s access to the site, and assign them a role. Authenticated user status is required for commenting and users will be assigned this role upon completing registration. For more information on roles and details on how to update these, please see the User Roles section of this manual.
    2. If the box is checked next to Notify user of new account an email will be sent to the new user with their login information. Please note that changing the password for a user will not notify them of this change automatically.

Managing a User

The user management interface is similar to the interface through which you add users. This interface, however, allows you to update and edit current users. It is especially useful for assigning administrative privileges to user profiles. The following steps will guide you through the editing process.

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select People.



  2. On the following screen, you will see a sortable list of all current users with their usernames, statuses, roles, how long they have been a member, and their last access. Click edit to access the user editing page for a corresponding user.



  3. The page that follows will allow changes to the user’s username, email address, password, status, and roles. In this section you can also add, delete, or change the image associated with a user.

    1. If the box is checked next to Notify user of new account, an email will be sent to the user with the info that has been updated. Please note, however, that the user will not be provided with updated password information. This information will need to be sent separately.

  4. Once editing is complete, click Save.

    1. Note that user accounts can also be cancelled at the very bottom of this form.



User Roles

SmartParticipation contains four distinct user types or Roles, which can be updated or added to using the steps below. These Roles are:

  1. Anonymous user: This role is reserved for users of the site who have registered but have not completed the required agreements (Accepting the Terms and Conditions and/or completing an interest survey) which grant them access to comment on the site material. As a result, anonymous users can view content, but these users can not comment on materials.
  2. Authenticated user: This role allows registered users to comment on site materials and to receive and provide feedback on comments, such as flagging comments as recommended.
  3. Administrator: Administrators are granted full rights to access the site material, including building content and editing material. However, the administrator role does not allow the user to moderate comments using the moderator interface.
  4. Moderator: Moderators are granted access to manage and administer comments, including using the SmartParticipation moderator interface.

Multiple roles may be applied to a single user, in the case where one user serves as both Moderator and Administrator. Information on assigning roles can be found in the Managing A User section of this manual.

It is also possible in the SmartParticipation platform to customize access for any particular role. To modify the access for a role, or to add additional roles, use the following steps:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select People.



  2. On the following screen, you will see a sortable list of all current users with their usernames, statuses, roles, how long they have been a member, and their last access.



  3. In the upper right hand corner of this screen, select the PERMISSIONS tab to access the list of permissions associated with each role. Here you can modify the permissions for each role, as needed, by selecting or deselecting the appropriate check box.



  4. When finished, make certain to select Save Permissions at the bottom of the screen.

Filtering Users

As site user numbers increase, it may be necessary to filter users by role, permission or status to make user management more efficient. The following section will explain this process.

  1. In the People section of the site, you can filter users by selecting the drop-down menu options under SHOW ALL USERS WHERE.



  2. Use the dropdown role, permission and/or status selections to select the appropriate user type, and then click Filter.
  3. The remaining users will match your filter criteria.
  4. You can further refine your search criteria by:
    1. Making additional selections and choosing Refine (this will add the additional search criteria to your filter).
    2. Choosing Undo, which will remove the last filter item in your selection.
    3. Choosing Reset, which will remove all filter criteria.



Site Registration

Site users register for SmartParticipation by using the site registration button (Register), located at the top right of all pages.

Users are also prompted to register when they attempt to make a comment or endorse comments on the site. Users register at the site level and not for each individual discussion. A newly registered user is granted the role of “authenticated user”. An administrator may view all users through the People interface and can assign additional roles to registered users or create new users. See Managing a User for more information.

The default setting of SmartParticipation requires that all users pick a user name, enter an email address, select a password and agree to the site Terms & Conditions when they register. Users complete these requirements through a registration pop-up form.



It is possible to require additional fields or to modify the requirements on existing fields. The following steps will guide you through this process:

  1. On the home page, in the top menu, select Configuration.



  2. Under the People category, select Account settings.



NOTE: Additional account features can be activated or changed in the Account settings display window. User account preferences and default settings can be modified by selecting the MANAGE DISPLAY tab on the top right of this display window. This includes altering registration requirements for such elements as the site Terms & Conditions



  1. Select the MANAGE FIELDS Fields tab on the top right of this display window.



    1. From this screen, you can edit existing fields, add new fields, and reorder the fields that are displayed to users on the user registration form as well as in their individual user accounts.

Comment Support Tips and Glossary Function

Comment Support Tips

Overview. The Comment Support Tips are an opportunity to give participants pithy advice on higher quality participation at a time when they might be motivated to edit and improve their comment. The Tips appear when a participant hits Submit on his/her first comment; the Tips include a choice of editing the comment, or submitting “as is.” (Both the original language and any edited version are saved in the database so that site managers can assess the effect of different Tips.)



After the first appearance, the Tips can be viewed by clicking the Comment Tips button above the comment box.



To create Comment Support Tips:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select Comment tips from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Create Comment tips entry screen.

  3. In the Create Comment tips entry screen, you’ll begin entering the information used in the display of your comment tips. This will include:
    1. The Title of your tips.
    2. A Lead sentence to provide general instruction.
    3. You'll also choose the Proposal for which your comment tips will display, and the Phase of the proposal during which these tips will appear.
    4. The Body of the tips, which contain the short instructions provided to users. Here are a few helpful tips on entering your comment support tips.
      1. Up to four comment tips can be entered and are distinguished by bullets. Use one bullet for each tip.
      2. Tips can be modified using basic HTML code, allowing for multiple, short paragraphs of text. Try using bold <strong> or a hard break (shift+enter or <br />) to refine your display.

  4. Finally, to make your tips active, select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box.



NOTE: A sample set of tips have been provided for you on the SmartParticipation.com sandbox. To access these, or to access a set of tips you've created:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Content.



  2. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE filter by type:Comment tips.



  3. The following screen will show one or more sets of Comment tips, depending on the number loaded to your site. Select edit corresponding to the Comment tips you'd like to view.



  4. Select edit corresponding to Use this space for tips on effective commenting to access the sample tips on the SmartParticipation.com sandbox.

Maintaining the Site and Proposal Glossaries

SmartParticipation allows you to create and edit multiple glossaries. These glossaries inform site users of the definitions of words and terms displayed on the site by underlining these terms and providing short definitions as users mouse-over the terms. To access and update the site glossaries:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Structure.



  2. On the following screen, select Taxonomy from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Taxonomy editing screen.

  3. On this screen, you can update the list terms for both the site glossary and the proposal specific glossary. If you've created a proposal, the proposal specific glossary will display. If you've yet to create a proposal, you'll only see the site glossary. To access and update the list of terms, select list terms for the appropriate glossary.

  4. On the following screen you can edit existing terms or add new terms. Keep in mind that the glossary definitions are sensitive to plurals (but not to capitalization) so you'll need to add definitions for both singular and plural terms.

Additional Features

Endorse Comments

Endorse is a feature of SmartParticipation that allows users the opportunity to indicate high-quality comments by other users. Below are some Endorsement features and functions to keep in mind while operating the site:

  1. This functionality is available to registered users (please keep in mind, however, that the Endorse button will not display for users' own comments, or to general users for comments made by Moderators).
  2. For users, the Endorse comments feature will appear just beneath user comments in the comment stream.



  3. Users whose comments are endorsed will receive an email informing them of the endorsement. This feature is designed to encourage online collaboration and strengthen the commenting community. For information on uploading and activating this and other notifications please read the Notifications and Emails section of this manual.

  4. The comment endorsement counter link will always display for administrators and moderators. However, the feature must be enabled for basic site users. Use the following steps to access this feature:

    1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



    2. On the following screen, select Endorsement Settings from the alphabetical list of options.



    3. Click the radio button to enable the endorsement counter for all users.

Recommended Comments is a feature of SmartParticipation that allows Moderators the opportunity to indicate high-quality comments by users. This function signals to users when a comment is particularly effective by placing the comment on the site home page. To enable Recommended Comments for Moderators:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



  2. On the following screen, select Recommended Comments from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. The subsequent field will allow you to Enable/Disable recommended comments.



  4. For Moderators, the Recommend Comments feature will appear just beneath a user's comment in the comment stream.



  5. Users whose comments are Recommended will receive an email informing them of the endorsement. This feature is designed to encourage online collaboration and strengthen the commenting community. For information on uploading and activating this, and other notifications, please read the Notifications and Emails section of this manual.

Setting Comment and Other Text Lengths

To set the maximum comment length, as well as the truncate value (or the maximum number of characters displayed) for other features, use the following steps:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



  2. On the following screen, select GENERAL SITE SETTINGS from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. In the subsequent display, you'll be able to enter length values in a number of fields to define the text-display length for various features, including:
    1. Proposal summary truncate value - The length of the Proposal summary, visible on the site's homepage.
    2. Topic comment truncate value - The display length for comments in the topic/subtopic section of the site.
    3. Featured comment truncate value - The display length for comments in the featured comments section on the homepage.
    4. Comment length limit - Maximum number of characters allowed for comments.



  4. After entering your values, you'll need to click Save configuration at the very bottom of the screen.

Uploading Documents

SmartParticipation supports the upload and display of several file types. To add files for direct hyperlinking on the site, use the following steps:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Find content.



  2. On the following screen, using the tabs in the upper right hand corner, select FILES.



  3. Then, select Add file. From the following Upload interface, you can add a number of file types. The allowed file types are displayed on this interface.



  4. To remove a file from the site, under the FILES area, select Edit for the corresponding file. From the following interface you will be able to remove the file.



  5. To locate your content once you've uploaded it, again, on the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Find content, then select FILES. The content is located in the FILES table and can be easily found by sorting by UPDATED date.

Linking to Uploaded Documents and Images

You can link directly to documents or images using the rich-text editor in any of the editing interfaces (Proposal, Topic, Subtopic, etc.). The below instructions guide you through the process using the rich-text editor in the Proposal editing interface, but the process is the same for any editing interface:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Content.



  2. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE filter by type:proposal.



  3. The following screen will show one or more proposals, depending on the number of proposals loaded to your site. Select edit corresponding to the proposal for which you'd like to link documents or insert images.



  4. Scroll down the proposal editing interface until you reach the Summary entry field, where you can update or include text for the summary body.



    To insert an image:

    1. Navigate to where you'd like the image to appear in the text and select the image icon in the rich-text editor.



    2. Click on Browse Server in the pop-up display window.



    3. If you've already added your image to the server, it will appear in this list.
    4. If you have not, you can upload an image by selecting Upload, choosing Browse and then browsing to the file on your computer.



    5. Once you select the file, choose the size of the thumbnail.
    6. Select upload.
    7. The image will appear in the server list and can be selected.
    8. Click OK to insert the image into the text.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.



    To link to a document:

    1. Highlight the text you'd like to use for your hyperlink and select the hyperlink icon in the rich-text editor.



    2. Click on Browse Server in the pop-up display window

    3. If you've already added your document to the server, it will appear in this list.
    4. If you have not, you can upload a document by selecting Upload, choosing Browse and then browsing to the file on your computer.



    5. Once you select the file, select upload.
    6. The file will appear in the server list and can be selected.
    7. Click OK to link to the document.



  6. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Creating the Proposal Documents section

Overview. The Agency Documents, also referred to as Proposal Documents, section of SmartParticipation is a repository for primary materials for your discussion. A link to this section appears on each Topic Post, and is therefore a ready way for users and commenters to access these materials. Instructions on setting the title of this link can be found under Agency documents display name in the Creating the Proposal section of this manual. In the sandbox, the link has been titled Helpful Documents. To setup the Proposal Documents section of SmartParticipation:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.

  2. On the following screen, select Proposal document from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. On the Edit Proposal document entry screen:
    1. Select the Proposal with which the documents should be associated.
    2. Give the document page a Title, which will appear at the top of your Proposal Documents section. See preview below.



    3. Enter the Menu title, which will be used in menus and as the document's default URL.



    4. Add content to the Body of the documents page. Content can be entered by using either the rich-text editor: or directly in HTML by disabling the rich-text editor via the link at the bottom of the entry window:



  4. Select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box. Publishing lets you see the documents pages on the site but they are not publicly visible until the Proposal has been published.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Profanity Filter

The Profanity Filter is a tool in SmartParticipation for automatically filtering out terms that are seen as generally offensive and which may intimidate other commenters and inhibit the online commenting community. The following steps will help you setup and utilize the Profanity Filter:

  1. At the top of the home page, select Configuration.



  2. On the following screen, under CONTENT AUTHORING select Profanity from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Profanity entry screen.



  3. On the following screen, select +Add to launch the manual upload entry screen.



  4. In the Add a new list entry screen, you can manually upload your list, as well as define other features of the filter.



    These include:

    1. Selecting the Administrative title which will identify your list on the preceding screen.
    2. Selecting the Words, which can be entered as a continuous list, with each word separated by a comma. (A quick internet search will yield a number of sites with appropriate lists. Refining these lists for your use is often necessary, however.)
    3. The Replacement mode, which allows you to choose how filtered words will be displayed in the comment stream.
    4. Replacement character/phrase, which will allow you to select the character or phrase used by the filter.

Announcements

In SmartParticipation, the Announcement function lets you keep users up to date on events like the impending closing of the discussion. The following steps will guide you in setting up an announcement:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select Announcement from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Create Announcement entry screen.



  3. In the Create Announcement entry screen, you can enter the information used in the display of your Announcement. This will include:
    1. The Title of your Announcement.
    2. Start and end dates.
    3. The Proposal with which the announcement is associated.

  4. Finally, to make your announcement active, select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Notifications and Emails

SmartParticipation features a number of automated emails designed to encourage users to comment and to return to the site to engage in further discussion. These emails will not generate unless text is loaded into the Site Configuration for any particular email. Likewise, entering the email body will automatically enable the email to send. Below is information on where to locate the various email notifications, as well as a brief description of each:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



  2. On the following screen, select NOTIFICATIONS AND EMAILS from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. Use the following six sections to load content into each email type. Entering content into the email body of each email type will enable the email to send. Leaving the body blank renders the email notification inactive. A sample set of emails has been provided for you on the SmartParticipation.com sandbox.
  4. Care should be taken in adjusting or deleting the [bracketed] text, which contains embedded HTML.
  5. Here is a brief description of each email type:

EMAIL SIGNATURE - Signature to append to all site emails sent to users.
REGISTRATION EMAIL - Text of email sent after user registration.
FIRST COMMENT EMAIL - Text of email sent after user's first comment on a proposal.
COMMENT REPLY EMAIL - Text of email sent after reply to user's comment.
COMMENT ENDORSEMENT EMAIL - Text of email sent after endorsement of user's comment.
COMMENT RECOMMENDATION EMAIL - Text of email sent after recommendation of user's comment.

To insert or modify the From email that will appear for the above automated emails, see the Updating site email address section.

Working with the FAQs

In SmartParticipation, Frequently Asked Questions can be addressed at the site level using the FAQ content feature. The FAQ link for users will appear in the site footer, and this destination page can be referred to as you build content in your subtopics. The following steps will guide you through entering the FAQs:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select FAQ from the alphabetical list of options.



    This will launch the Create FAQ entry screen.

  3. In the Create FAQ entry screen, you can enter your frequently asked question, its answer and additional details, including:

    1. Selecting the FAQ Category under which your question and answer will appear. (SmartParticipation has three categories preloaded, but these can be modified or added to. Instructions on how to do this can be found in Updating FAQ Categories, immediately below.)
    2. Entering the Question as it will appear to users.
    3. Using the Answer field to provide a short, succinct answer to the question.
    4. Selecting the FAQ Weight to order the question within the FAQ category list. The lower the number, the lighter the question, which will cause it to rise to the top. Heavier questions will sink to the bottom of your list.



  4. To make your FAQ active, select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box.
  5. Then click Save or Preview as desired.

Updating FAQ Categories

SmartParticipation has three FAQ categories preloaded. These preloaded categories can be modified, or new categories can be added, using the following steps:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Structure.



  2. On the following screen, select Taxonomy from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Taxonomy editing screen.

  3. On this screen, you can update the list terms for the FAQ categories. To access and update the list of FAQ categories, select list terms corresponding with FAQ Categories.



  4. On the following screen you can edit existing categories, add new categories, or reorder categories. This will impacting their appearance in the FAQ category drop-down menu in the Create FAQ display screen.
    1. To add new FAQ categories, select +Add in the top left hand corner.
    2. To edit existing categories, select edit corresponding to the FAQ category you wish to edit.



    3. To reorder the FAQ categories, drag the multi-directional arrows, located to the left of the appropriate category name, up or down.

    4. Click Save when ordering is finalized.

The SmartParticipation Site Footer can be accessed and content added through the Footer interface. This interface allows for a two-column display, as well as for the uploading of social media contact information. To access the Footer interface:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



  2. On the following screen, select FOOTER from the list of options.

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  3. In the Footer dropdown you'll enter the footer information that will display at the bottom of the each page of the site. This will include:
    1. Footer Column 1.
    2. Footer Column 2.
    3. Facebook and Twitter URLs.

  4. To complete your update of the Footer section, click Save configuration at the bottom of this form.

NOTE: In addition to the information which you can add using the above steps, the footer also has the potential to hold quick-links, allowing ready access to information within the site or more widely available on the internet. To add or edit these links, please see Updating the Footer Menu.

Along with the information contained in columns 1 and 2, for which editing informaiton is provided directly above, the SmartParticipation footer also has the ability to hold links for quick access to information either internal to the site or elsewhere on the web. To access these links:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Structure.



  2. On the next screen, select Menus from the alphabetical list of options.



  3. On the Menus editing screen, select the list links operation for SmartParticipation Footer Menu.



  4. On the List Links screen, you can reorder Footer items by dragging the multi-directional arrows up or down.
  5. You can also add a link by clicking on the + Add link icon.

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  6. Click Save Configuration to save your changes.

Contact Information

SmartParticipation has a Contact Us interface that allows for uploading of contact information for your organization. Like the FAQ feature, the link to contact information will display at the site level, in the footer. The following steps will guide you through the contact information upload process:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select SmartParticipation site configuration.



  2. On the following screen, select Contact Information from the list of options.



  3. In the Contact Information dropdown you'll enter the contact information that will display on the Contact Us page. This will include:
    1. Your Organization information.
    2. Your mailing Address.
    3. Organization Phone Number.

  4. To complete your update of the Contact Information section, click Save configuration at the bottom of this form.

NOTE: Site email information is not updated under Contact Information, but is updated on the site configuration level. Information on updating the site's email address is located immediately below, in the Updating site email address section of this manual.

Updating site email address

To update the site's email address, which will display on the Contact Us page and as the From address for SmartParticipation's automated emails, do the following:

  1. On the home page, in the top menu, select Configuration.



  2. Under the System category, select Site information.



  3. In the E-mail address entry field, enter the email address you'd like to appear on the Contact Us page.

  4. Press Save Configuration to save.

Reports and Exporting Data

SmartParticipation allows for the viewing and exporting of data at both the site level and the discussion level. This includes data related to site activity as well as data related to individual users, including data regarding their survey responses and comment activities. The following sections will guide you through the export of these various data elements.

Site-Level Reports

At the site level, you can access reports on both site information and users.

Site Information

Use the following steps to access data on site information and activity:

  1. On the home page, in the top menu, select Reports.



  2. The following Reports screen allows you to choose from a number of site-level reports:

Status report - Get a status report about your site's operation and any detected problems.
Recent log messages - View events that have recently been logged.
Field list - Overview of fields on all entity types.
HybridAuth identities - View HybridAuth identities counts grouped by authentication provider.
Recent hits - View pages that have recently been visited.
Top 'access denied' errors - View 'access denied' errors (403s).
Top 'page not found' errors - View 'page not found' errors (404s).
Top referrers - View top referrers.
Top pages - View pages that have been hit frequently.
Top visitors - View visitors that hit many pages.

Site-Level User Data

Use the following steps to access site-level user information:

  1. On the home page, in the top menu, select People



  2. Click the Export tab in the upper right hand corner of the following window to export user data. Keep in mind that for sites with many users, the export may take some time. The Loading… message appears above the upper left hand corner of the display to indicate that the export is generating.

Discussion-Level Reports

At the discussion level, survey and comment data are available for viewing or exporting. As users register for SmartParticipation at the site level, and not the discussion (proposal) level, user information is only available at the site level.

Viewing Survey and Comment Data

The following steps will guide you through viewing user survey and comment data at the discussion level:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Content.



  2. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE filter by type:proposal.



  3. The following screen will show one or more proposals, depending on the number of proposals loaded to your site. Select edit corresponding to the proposal for which you'd like to view data.



  4. Using the upper right hand tabs, select:
    1. SURVEYS to view survey data associated with the corresponding proposal.
    2. COMMENTS to view all submitted comments for the corresponding proposal.

Exporting Survey and Comment Data

The following steps will guide you through exporting survey and comment data at the discussion level:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Content.



  2. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE filter by type:proposal.



  3. The following screen will show one or more proposals, depending on the number of proposals loaded to your site. Select edit corresponding to the proposal for which you'd like to view data.



  4. Using the upper right hand tabs, select DATA EXPORT.



  5. You can then chose from the following Exports, all in CSV format:
    1. A/B test descriptions
    2. A/B test user assignments
    3. Access log
    4. Comment data
    5. Comment tips log
    6. Endorsement data
    7. Event log

Interest Survey

An interest survey provides important information on who you are reaching and hearing from and allows you to report on who participated. Interest survey questions can be tailored to each discussion to identify audiences that are of particular interest and can provide important demographic information. Creating an interest survey is optional and is a more advanced function on the administrator interface. It requires, at the very least, basic knowledge of HTML. The following steps will guide you through accessing the interest survey creation portal:

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Add content.



  2. On the following screen, select Interest survey from the alphabetical list of options. This will launch the Create Interest survey entry screen.



  3. In the Create Interest survey entry screen, enter the Title of your survey.



  4. Select the Publishing options tab at the very bottom of the window, and click the Published box.



  5. Click Save or Preview as desired.

Adding interest survey questions

To add interest survey questions, first you'll need to locate the interest survey you've created in the above steps.

  1. On the home page, in the upper left hand corner, select Content.



  2. On the following screen, under SHOW ONLY ITEMS WHERE, filter by type:Interest survey.



  3. The following screen will show one or more interest surveys, depending on the number of surveys loaded to your site. Select edit corresponding to the survey to which you'd like to add questions.



  4. Select the WEBFORM tab at the top right of the window.



  5. In the following interface you'll begin to build your interest survey.
  6. You'll need to enter a name for each question in the New component name box as well as choose the response type, which will impact the kind of survey question your users will complete.



  7. Additionally, clicking the Mandatory box will make the question mandatory. Leaving it blank will set the question as optional.
  8. Then click Add to enter the Edit component form. In this form, you can enter text for your question along with selecting from a number of formatting options, depending on your question type. You will need to use HTML markup to refine the text display.



  9. When you're finished, click Save component.
  10. Add additional questions in the same manner.

When constructing an interest survey in the SmartPartipation platform, you'll have a number of question types to choose from. Information on the question types we've found to be most frequently used is provided below.

Question Types

When constructing an interest survey in the SmartPartipation platform, you'll have a number of question types to choose from. Information on the question types we've found to be most frequently used is provided below.

Adding a Select options question

  1. Starting in the blank field at the bottom of the form, you'll need to enter a name for your question (in the New component name box) and choose Select options under Type.



  2. Then click Add to enter the Edit component form.



  3. In the Edit component form, you’ll begin entering the criteria for your question. This will include:
    1. The Label, which is the question as it will appear to survey respondents.
    2. Under Description enter additional information for the user regarding the survey question (optional).



    3. Beneath the Description, you can indicate if users can choose more than one response by checking the Multiple box.
    4. Under Options, enter the possible responses. The responses must be entered twice and separated by a vertical line. The first entry designates the field name in the database and the second is what appears to users. For example:

      no|No
      yes|Yes

    5. Under Validation, indicate whether this is a mandatory question for the survey.



    6. You can also adjust the Display of the question by choosing from the options in the Display dropdown area on this form.



  4. When you're finished, click Save component.

Adding an embedded or layered question

An embedded (layered) question is a question that is generated to a user based on their answer to a preceding question. Several steps are required to create a layered question. These are outlined below:

First, creating a Fieldset will allow you to organize your layered questions. The Fieldset serves as a placeholder (or parent), but does not display to users. To setup a Fieldset:

  1. Starting in the New component name field at the bottom of the Interest survey interface, you'll need to enter a name (in the New component name box) and choose “Fieldset” under Type.



  2. Then click Add to enter the edit component form.



  3. In the Display area click the Hide Label box. This will prevent the Fieldset component from displaying to users.



  4. Select the Conditional Rules dropdown and use the Conditional Rules area to create your conditions:



    1. Choose the Component (or other question) you'd like this question to be layered under. In other words, what is the other question that will be answered first, the answer to which will trigger your layered question.
    2. Choose the Operator to define whether the values list below is inclusive or exclusive.
    3. Choose the Values that will trigger display of your layered question (for example Yes or No).
    4. Click Save component.

Again, the Fieldset question is a parent question to help organize the layered questions that will follow. It will not display to users. In the next steps, you will create the layered questions, which will display to users.

  1. Once more, starting in the New component name field at the bottom of the Interest survey interface, you'll need to enter a name for your question (in the New component name box) and choose the type of question you'd like to use under Type.



  2. Then click Add to enter the edit component form.



  3. Select your question's criteria and populate the question as you did above, until you reach the Conditional rules dropdown.
  4. Select the Conditional Rules dropdown and use the Conditional Rules area to create your conditions:



    1. Choose the Component (other question) you'd like this question to be layered under. This should match your Fieldset question.
    2. Choose the Operator.
    3. In Values, type the response as it appears to the left of the slash (database field) under Options for the question to which you'd like your layered question to refer.

  5. Select the Position dropdown and use the Position area to categorize the question beneath the appropriate Fieldset.
    (*Note: the Position dropdown can only be found on the editing page of questions of the “select options” type.)
    1. The Parent is the question to which both the Fieldset and the layered question refer.
    2. Add a numerical weight to the question to position it within your interface list beneath the Fieldset (helpful only if you have multiple layered questions for various responses to a single parent question). Lower numbers produce lighter questions that “rise” to the top of the list.



  6. Click Save component.
start.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/28 11:59 by jwn3