How to Use Groups and Teams in COVE Studio

Teams are a feature which are similar to Groups, in that it governs visibility of something within Studio.

Formerly we referred to Groups as “Edition Groups”, or “Edition Tags”. The change to “Groups” is a change of name only – the functionality remains identical. Actually the terms for Team and Group can be configured, in case other terms are more intuitive. Some people prefer the word “Class” rather than “Group” for instance, and/or “Group” rather than “Team”.

The point is, a Group, as it is currently called, can be assigned to a user, and/or to a document; any document with a given Group tag is considered to be “shared with” which just means “visible on the dashboard of” any user who has that same Group tag on his/her account.

A Team, on the other hand, only governs visibility of annotations. So within a class group, for example, smaller groups of students might share a Team tag, and be assigned to work together to annotate a given document with special attention to some theme, perhaps. The effect of this would be to have a somewhat separate workspace of sorts, where that smaller group can see only annotations by their team members, if/when they so choose, by using the Team filter in the sidebar.

In all cases (both for Group/Class/Edition tags and for Team tags), a given annotation is only visible to other users sharing those tags IF the author of the annotation checks the “My groups can view this annotation” box on the annotation editor for each annotation he/she wants to make visible. In that case, that annotation will be visible to members of one’s groups if the filter sidebar is set to show “Group” or “Team” visible annotations.

Further clarification on Teams

The teams feature is quite similar to the groups (aka classes) feature: it allows users to be put into groups, which controls who can see which annotations.

Unlike groups/classes/editions, this set of groupings has no bearing on which documents or anthologies are visible, nor to whom. It bears ONLY on annotations, and then, only on annotations which are created after a team is created and its author and/or other users put into that team. So annotations created before a team is created must be opened by their authors after they’ve joined a team, and saved again, in order for that visibility filter to be useful.

Once that’s completed, annotations on a document visible to many people, can be filtered not only by me, class/group/edition, but also by team. That filter would show only those annotations which have their visibility box checked, and which were created by a user who’s a member of a team that you’re a member of.

I should note that the labels for these two groupings (a) “group” or “edition” or “class” and b) “team”), are configurable, per-tenant, so if you would like to call groups, classes, and teams, groups, for instance, that’s possible, but only for all users of a domain, like

Essentially, as soon as any user has a value in their account, where “teams” are listed, that team exists. Anyone else who adds that same value to their account would be on that same team.

So if you, or your students, go to: COVE Studio :: Sign in, you will see a teams field in there; add any value, like “team1”, and hit enter within the field to enter that team name, then click “update”, that will create the team, and then subsequent users who enter the identical team name will be on that team.

That will then make it so that new annotations, when created by users who’ve done that, and when having the box labelled “My groups can view this annotation” checked before saving, will then see that annotation when the “Teams” filter is selected in the annotation sidebar.

Adding a team to a user account

Filtering annotations by team

Sharing an annotation with a team

Some more questions, with some more answers:

  1. Individual students will have to ‘enroll’ themselves in a ‘team’ after I have enrolled them in the anthology itself? I can’t do this for the students, correct?
  1. Can that team be named anything? (“Team Anything”)

Correct: each user who wishes to be in a team with other users should add the same precise team name to their account, and that can be anything they (collectively) choose, with the other users who wish to be in that team, but bear in mind: Team Anything and team-anything are NOT the same, and there’s no autocomplete of suggested values that are already in the database, so this step requires attention to detail. Nor is there anything to prevent any user from adding any value, so using something very generic, like team-1 could result in being on a team with unexpected users. This is not a security feature, it’s a convenience filter. So use something like: my-more-specific-team-name, or chocolate-foosball-giraffe, or literature-101-spring-2022-team-1, etc.

  1. Is there an actual difference in annotating? The student would make the annotation ‘visible to the group’—wouldn’t this include the entire class and not just the ‘team? I noted that you typed in a tag. Would that tag be the team name?

After that, there’s no visible difference in the annotation editor – the only required step is to check that box that makes your annotation visible; anyone who shares your teams will then see that annotation. No additional tagging is required – that tag I added was superfluous.

  1. On the other hand, the key to seeing the annotations from a particular section will be hitting the ‘team’ filter in the annotation window and choosing a particular team to view, correct?