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FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Connexions

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User accounts

Do I need an account to use the repository materials?
You are free to search the repository, learn from materials, and reuse materials without needing an account. You will need an account if you want to take advantage of some of our site features, such as authoring content, or creating lenses or My Favorites lists.
How do I set up a new account
In order to create an account, you will need to fill out the account sign-up form and provide your name, username, and a valid email address. After agreeing to the terms of the site license, click the Request Account button and a confirmation email will be sent to the address you provided. That email will contain a link you will need to use to confirm your account and set your account password. Once this has completed, you will have the option of providing additional user profile information, or you can get started taking advantage of member features such as your dashboard, My Favorites, and the content authoring system.
I have an account, but I can't log in.
We use cookies to recognize users. If cookies are not enabled on your browser, you will not be recognized and you will not be able to login. Please verify that cookies are enabled on the browser you are using and try to login again.
I lost my password.
Use the Lost Password form. You can access this form anytime from the "Forgot your password?" link in the "My Account" portlet. Enter your user name and click the Start password reset button. The system will send a Web page link to the e-mail address on your account.
You will have up to 2 weeks from the time the e-mail was sent to follow the link and reset your password. If you do not reset your password within 2 weeks the link will be deactivated; however, you can repeat the process at any time to generate a new link.
How do I access my Member Profile and Author statistics?
After logging in, go to the Edit Profile page. You can also get there by finding the box called "My Account" on the right hand side of the page and clicking Profile & Account Settings. Click Edit Profile to edit your profile. Use the green tabs near the top of the page to view your profile as it looks to other readers. Under "View" you will be able to click on "view statistics" to see your contents' rankings.

Using the repository

Can I reuse content? How do I cite it?
You can use any content in our repository without contacting the author for permission as long as you give attribution including:
  • Author names
  • Title of the work
  • URL where the work can be found
When an author puts content into the content repository, he or she agrees to publishing that content under the Creative Commons Attribution License. That license allows you to use the content in most any way, as long as you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. Also you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Please see a brief version this license agreement at here, or a more detailed wording of the license at here.
To see examples of different ways to cite the content, click the Cite this content link at the bottom of the content.
You may also consider adapting existing content for your own classroom or learning purposes. Our software platform allows for easy remixing and customization of content, while maintaining attribution to the original author. By republishing your modified content to our repository, you are helping to increase the accumulated knowledge housed in the repository.
What kind of quality control is in place?
We do not pre-screen the contents of modules. Authors are responsible for the information in their modules. We encourage collaboration and feedback, however, and we provide the author(s)' emails for readers to give feedback when they suspect information is not correct. Readers with accounts may also derive a copy of existing content, make changes or additions to it, and republish it as a new module under their own name.
For quality control, we offer a system of post-publication peer review called lenses. Lenses enable both organizations and individuals to give their stamps of approval to content in the repository, allowing for user-driven quality control of modules and collections. Through these lenses, users can provide their own tags and comments for items in the repository. Lenses can also be used as "bookmarks" within the repository to keep track of related or otherwise interesting content. A list of all publicly-viewable lenses can be found under the Lenses tab at the top of the page.
What if content is a violation of copyright?
If we suspect, or if someone else suspects, that content in a module violates copyright, we take that very seriously and look into it immediately. Please email us with the content title or ID if you suspect content is a copyright violation.
How do I create a lens for my organization?
In order to set up an endorsement or affiliation lens, you will first need to set up an organizational account.
  1. Create a personal account using the sign-up form. You will need a valid email address in order to complete the registration process.
  2. After logging into the site, create an organizational account.
  3. Log out of your personal account and log into the newly created organizational account.
  4. Click on the MyCNX tab at the top of the screen and click on the Create a lens link.
  5. Provide a name for the lens, select a lens type, and click on the Continue button.
  6. Customize your lens by providing additional information such as a description, logo, website, etc. (Note: This information should provide readers with a description of your organization as well as the criteria used to endorse content (in the case of an endorsement lens). Also, you may wish to leave your lens in a "Private" state until you have had a chance to add content to the lens - this option can be changed at any time.)
  7. Save your lens.
Once created, you will be able to add content to your lens by using the Add to a lens feature in the Content Actions bar at the top of the content. If you wish to modify or remove items from your lens, or to make your lens public or private, you can do so by clicking on the MyCNX tab, clicking on the View all my lenses link, and making the necessary changes to your lens.
Is this module part of a longer work? How do I find it?
On the left side of the page is a box called Related Material. The links inside this box are specific to the module you are viewing at the time. Inside the "Related Material" box is a header called "Collections using this material". (This header only appears if the module is included in at least one collection.) You can click on the names of the listed collections to be taken to the start page of the collection. From there, you can page through the modules one by one just like a book, or use the table of contents on the left to jump to a specific module. If you'd like to download the entire book in PDF format, use the "Download" pull-down menu which is located on the right side of the page just above the collection title in orange.
Incidentally, the "Related Material" box also shows a list of content that is related to the module you are viewing. Browsing the content listed there is a great way to find similar or related learning materials.
How can I find quality material in a certain subject?
Use the Search button and the text box in the upper right corner of the home page to enter a text string and search for it in the modules within the Content Repository. In addition, there is a Content tab at the top of the Connexions home page. This link lets you browse modules by title, author, or keyword. It also allows you to list the courses by title, institution, or instructor. For further methods to discover quality content, read our page on Finding Content
Can I use IE (Internet Explorer)?
Yes. For a complete list of supported internet browsers see the Browser Support page.
This video/audio won't play.
Please check the URL; if the author has linked to multimedia outside of the site (i.e. www.archive.org or www.youtube.com) then the content may have moved. Contact the author(s) of the content to ask them to provide an up-to-date link.

Authoring

How do I create a module or collection?
The authoring interface has input forms that walk you through the steps necessary to create a module. These steps include inserting files and images, naming the module, inserting keywords for searches, listing collaborating authors and granting them roles, adding links, verifying print and on-line versions, and publishing the module. You can learn more about these steps by viewing our Authoring help pages.
Can I upload my content in any format I want?
Yes and no. All modules in the repository are converted into a CNXML format, which we then style and display in various formats online and as downloads (PDF, EPUB, etc.) A standardized format is used so that materials can be easily modified and remixed.
We provide importer tools where you can import .doc, .ooo, or .tex files, which we will convert to CNXML for you. If you also want to upload your original format, you may include it in your content as an Included File, and then either embed it within your module, or link to it from your module. You can also include a link to it in the Featured Links box.
Why don't my images show up after importing my Word document?
The problem here is the .wmf files - this is a Microsoft file type that is used for things like Word Art, flow charts, and other artwork created within an MS Office document. Unfortunately these files are not compatible with our system, so when you import your document the files will not be available in the resulting module. This issue has to do with the way that Word stores these file, and the fact that they are not designed to be used outside of the Office environment.
In order to include these files in the Word importer you will need to convert these images to a supported file type, such as .jpg, .gif, or .png, and replace the internal artwork with the new file. There are a few options for making this conversion - you may be able to right-click and save the artwork as an image, or you could also take a screenshot and save it as a new image. Once you have the new image in place, you can try reimporting the document and you should see the images in the resulting module.
Why do I get an error about not using the correct import format when I try to import a file into my module?
The file you attempted to import contains embedded spaces in the filename. Rename the file without the spaces and import it again.
If I reuse a module from the repository in my collection, can I edit it?
You can give an existing module an alternate title or delete/edit the author's links. But you cannot edit the content of a module unless you are the author or the author granted you the maintainer role. There are two options in this situation. You can request that the author change the contents of an existing module by emailing them (author emails are provided next to the author's name at the top of the module), or you can derive a copy of an existing module, edit it as needed, and publish it as your own with the Express Edit function. Derived copies contain an acknowledgment that they are based on an existing module.
I changed my Featured Links, but they don't show up online.
This applies to authors of both a module with Featured Links who also have authored a collection containing that module. If you have changed a module's links and republished, the links when viewing the module in the context of the collection will not update. This is a known bug. Please update your collection links to match the module links and republish the collection.
I republished my collection, but the PDF didn't update.
The PDFs are not generated immediately upon publishing, but enter a publishing queue. Most update in well under an hour. If your PDF has still not updated in 24 hours, there may be an issue with our PDF generation. Please contact us with the collection id and we will look into it.
Can I put multimedia objects like audio files, movies, Flash objects, or Java applets into my modules?
Yes. You can put any type of multimedia> object that can be embedded in a Web page into a module. The only requirement is that the object must have a valid MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) type. We do not allow uploaded files to exceed 50 MB.
How do I add other authors, editors, copyright holders, etc. to content?
Open up your content for editing. Go to to green "Roles" tab at the top of the page, underneath the content's title in orange. From there you can search by name or username and select the Roles to add for each person. A person must have an account to be given a Role.
How do I accept a role request?
To accept a pending role request, you will need to complete the following steps:
  1. Log in to the site.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen in the "My Accounts" portlet there will be a link in orange text indicating that you have one or more pending role requests. Click on this link.
  3. On the role requests page, locate the table titled "Requests Awaiting Your Approval." Check the box next to each request you wish to accept.
  4. If you are being added as a copyright holder for a module, you will also need to agree to the license terms by selecting the corresponding box below the table of requests.
  5. Once you have made your selections, click on the Accept button.
How do I create a lesson plan for my class?
Lesson plans are outside the scope of the software platform. The site allows you to customize and publish the educational materials you want your students to use in your class, in any order and with any content you desire.
Can I test my students with the site?
On-line quizzes and exams are not in the scope of the software platform. However, we do provide a method of feedback or self-assessment for students by inserting QML-based questions within the content.
How do I delete content?
We make a practice to never delete content from the Connexions repository, unless it is for legal reasons. If you wish to delete content due to legal reasons, please let us know and we will be sure to look into it and take necessary actions.
Nevertheless, some modules inevitably are published accidentally, or the author wishes to remove them for some other reason. In these cases, we suggest deleting the content of the module, changing its title to "Obsolete" and republishing. Most users will come across a named but blank module. The older versions still exist in the repository, but are not immediately accessible or obvious.
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