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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

by webadmin last modified Jan 10, 2013 10:00 AM
Participation

Can the general public visit the Portal and access materials?

Individuals from the global community are allowed to visit the portal and access materials designated for public view without logging in.

How can I request Portal membership and an account?

Members are currently invited or sponsored by USAID and Partner organizations. To request membership, send a request to info@rmportal.net. Your membership request will be processed and you will be notified by email if you are granted membership and will be provided an account username and password.

How do I know if I am already a member?

Ask by sending your question to info@rmportal.net. If you are already a member (many accounts have been setup by USAID and the Portal Partner organizations) we can send you your username and a reset password.

What can I do as a Portal member?

As a member, you are allowed to (publicly or privately) post and share materials, individually or in a group, create expert networks, and work collaboratively across organizations and regions.

How do I login to the Portal?

Click the login link located in the right top of the screen and enter your username and password. More detail on login is provided here:

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HOWTO

Tell me more about what I can do as a Portal member

Conditions of Portal membership are available here.

How can I retrieve a lost password or login?

Click the Retrieve Password link on the login page. Lost username may be retrieved only by emailing the portal administrator. Include your full name and email address. More detailed info is here:

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Finding My Way

How do I search the Portal and partner websites for content?

Portal Search and Partner Search are located at the upper left column of the Portal. To quickly search the Portal type the text into the Search Portal or Search Partner boxes and click the search button.

Search retrieves content uploaded to the portal indexed by keyword, title, description, and body text of Word and PDF documents.

Advanced Search allows more detailed searching options combining content type with other search criteria. You can search for an Event, File, Folder, Image, Link, News Item, Webpage, and Video in combination with Text, Keywords, Title, Author, Description, and Date.

Browse By lets you search portal content in a way that fits your research style. You may browse the portal content collection by theme, keyword, title, language, date posted, portal content type, library catalog, group, and by geographic region.

Partner Search enables you to search across our partner websites without leaving the portal. Using external search technologies, the Partner Search tool brings back actual documents (PDFs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as relevant web links and pages.

The Library Catalog is a site map that allows you to view the library structure at a glance with links directly to the library collection

How do I find my way around the Portal?

Here is an illustrated tutorial and HOWTO on portal navigation:

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Is the Portal available in other languages?

Some, though not all, materials are available in languages other than English.
Here is an illustrated tutorial on this topic:

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How do I find other Portal members?

Here is a brief tutorial on finding other Portal members:

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Portal Public Space

What parts of the Portal are available to the public?

The News, Tools, Library, Links, Training, FAQ, and Help sections of the portal are accessible by the general public.

How can I add to public News?

A public news item is an announcement that will show up in the news tab listing and in the news portlet for the public and all members to see.

news tab

news portlet

Go to your My Folder Area

Click on add item dropdown menu, located at the top right of your folder area, and select news item. The Edit Folder screen appears.

edit news item

Type in a Title.

Type a Description.

In the body text field is the text content. You can include formatted text, pictures and links to other internal or external web page content.

If you would like an image associated with your news item, locate the image browse button, click it, and navigate on your own computer to a .gif, .jpg, or .png format digital image that you would like to upload. Click open. The image will be uploaded. If you would like to include an image with your news item and the image is located on your own computer, click the Browse button located underneath the Body Text field. Navigate to the image you want to upload and click Open. The image will be uploaded.

If you have uploaded an image associated with your news item use the Kupu Image icon to attach the image. If your image is already uploaded in the portal, click on the Image icon and navigate to your image. When you find your image, click OK. You will return back to the Edit Page, there you will click Save.

kupu image editor

Click the Save button save
Notice the state setting at the top right of the content area. It will be set to private by default.
private

Important! A news item must be published to appear in public news area.

Click on the state dropdown menu, you may choose to:

Change the state of your news item to public draft, and:
submit your news item for review and publication by portal editorial staff, or;
If you have permission to do so, publish your news item yourself.

For more information on setting state, see Content has a State.

You may want to edit your news item , revise it's properties, delete it, or share it with other users and groups.

For More Detailed Information on News:

HOWTO

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How do I add materials to the Portal's public space?

You can upload materials (content) like web pages, links, files, flash movies, events, news items, and folders to the Public Access area of the Portal.

1. Go to the area where you want to add content and find the Public Pending Publication Folder:
pending publication folder

2. Click the add item dropdown menu and select the content type desired.
USAID Natural Resource Management and Development Portal
3. Click in the Title field and give the content a short title.
4. Click on the Description field and type a description.
5. Click the Save button.
6. Your content is created in a private state. Using the state drop down menu, change the state of your content to public draft, and Either submit your content for review and publication by portal editorial staff, or if you have permission to do so, publish your content yourself.
For an illustrated example visit Adding Materials to Public Space.

For more detailed information there is an illustrated tutorial and HOWTO on public space:

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What is the Pending Publication Folder?

The Pending Publication Folder was created to allow Portal members a chance to upload content to a higher level Public Access Areas of the Portal. This includes the Tools, Library, Training, Links and Help sections of the Portal.

In order to assure the quality of the Portal content, Copyright protection, and logical shelving of the content we have set up an editorial team who reviews the content before publication.

Visit Our Adding Materials to Public Space FAQ.

For more detailed information here is a tutorial describing the Pending Publication Folder is available here:

HOWTO

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Does the Portal support online learning?

Does the Portal have online learning tools?

Yes. The Portal provides a web-based learning management system used for delivering online courses, and managing virtual learning communities. It is designed using sound constructivist pedagogical principles and has the ability to create syllabi, objectives, content modules, assignments, tests, and social course activities like forums, chats, news and calendars.

Contact the Portal Administrator for more information about the portal learning management system.

The Training Area is a collection of member generated self-paced training courses and supporting resource materials: files, images and links related to the course subject matter.

If you are interested in posting to the training area, please contact the Portal Administrator or your sponsoring organization's portal manager.

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How does online collaboration work?

What collaboration tools are available on the Portal?

The Portal provides members a neutral group space to work collaboratively. [collaboratively work together]. Group 'workflow' tools include: public and private news, [and] calendars, a newsletter service, content sharing, group email notification, group member listing, shared library services, smartfolder content aggregators, and content flagging and indexing.

Can my Group share private news?

Yes. Each Group is given a private news smartfolder that can contain news or items of interest unique to the individual Group. More information is available here:

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Can my Group have a private calendar?

Yes. Each Group is given a private calendar that can contain events unique to the individual group. More information is available here.

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Can my Group have a newsletter?

Yes. Each Group is given a newsletter tool that can be distributed by the group within and beyond the portal community.

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Can my Group have public or private Forums?

Yes. Asynchronous (over time) public and private threaded forum discussions are available. Please request setup by the Portal Administrator. Please indicate if the Forum is to be public or private to your Group. Forums are available here.

How can I edit documents live on the portal?

The Zope External Editor is a useful collaboration tool. It allows you to edit documents that have been uploaded to the portal, then save your changes directly to the portal. This allows you to bypass the steps of saving the document (and changes) to your computer's hard drive then uploading the document again. You can also save your changes to the portal without closing the document you are working on. The Zope External Editor can be used with MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint. (ZEI is broken in Plone 2.5.2 and has not been fixed.)

Step-by-step instruction on installing and using the Zope External Editor is located on the HOWTO link below.

HOWTO

Are there other Group collaboration tools?

Several other Group collaboration tools are listed here. Collaboration tools may have technical requirements that your computer or network may or may not support or allow. Talk with your computer support staff, group coordinator, or Portal administrator info@rmportal.net for more information.

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Working in your own personal space

Where is my personal space on the Portal?

Every logged in member of the Portal has access to an area called "My Folder." In this area you can use the Portal as a virtual office space, uploading materials, publishing them for the global community or retaining the contents privately.
My folder

In your personal area you can easily share your private contents with one or more colleagues with whom you give permission to review, edit, or re-use.

Your personal space allows you to upload your documents for easy access while in the field, working from a home office, or when email or access to a CD drive, or storage device is not possible.

Click here for more information on your personal My Folder area

What is My Favorites?

When you are working anywhere on the Portal and come upon some materials you wish to bookmark, you can quickly add them to a Favorites folder in your personal area by clicking on the heart icon in the top right corner above the flag icons. A heart icon will appear in your My Folder area an act as link to the materials you have bookmarked.
My Favorites

For more indepth information on My Favorites:

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What is a smart folder?

A smart folder allows you to set up a folder that collects content from ALL over the portal based on criteria you define: images, content by keyword, links, videos etc.

A smart folder uses search criteria, images, content by keyword, links, videos etc, to automatically and continuously gather files into its folder.

A brief video and a simple illustrated explanation on creating a smartfolder.

Video

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