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The Group module provides a Group Entity. Think of this Group Entity as a starter pack of sorts for different Group Types. We start with a very generic, abstract thing that has some common functionality, then we use that as a template, initiate the template to create "clones", and then add unique fields to the clones to make them their own types of groups.

Using Oregon State University as an example, let's examine some different group related things here at the university.

Different Types of Groups

Let's first consider some of the different group types that exist here at the university:

  • Academic
    • This is pretty obvious. This would be the academic units that provide the education to our students. This includes departments such as English, Math, and Physics.
  • Service
    • These are the units that support students and employees. This includes departments like Admissions, Student Health Services, Human Resources and Web Services.
  • Administrative
    • These are the groups that kind of work as an umbrella for Academic and Service units. This would be something similar to a Dean's or Director's office.
  • Research
    • These groups could be a research center, a research lab in a college, or even a research initiative.
  • Association
    • This is for clubs and communities. Good examples are recognized student activity clubs like the Amateur Radio club, Faculty Senate, or employee clubs such as Triad.

Common Elements

Now let's examine what most of these groups will have in common:

  • Name
    • The full name of the group.
  • Acronym
    • Often times a group has an acronym that they are more commonly referred as.
  • Description
    • This can be a mission statement or a more casual description of what purpose the group serves.
  • Operational Hours
    • The working hours of the group.
  • Contact Information
    • Email, phone number, address, map embed etc.
  • Social Media Communities
    • Links to social media communities that the group belongs to.
  • Person In Charge
    • The Dean, Director, President, Principal Investigator, Advocate, etc.
  • Primary Group Manager
    • The person responsible for managing the group's web presence.
  • Members
    • Those who belong in the group.

Unique Elements

Finally, let's take a look at some things that are unique to each group:

  • Academic
    • Policies/Standards/Guidelines
    • Degrees/Certificates and Courses
    • Associated Faculty and Advisors
    • Faculty Publications
    • Associated Students
    • Scholarships
  • Service
    • Policies/Standards/Guidelines
    • Services Offered
    • Service Availability
    • Request for Service
    • Associated Managers and Staff
    • Training and Resources
  • Administrative
    • Policies/Standards/Guidelines
    • Collection of Units
    • Collection of Unit Leaders
    • Collection of All Associated Employees
  • Research
    • Research Team
    • Grants and Funding
    • Research Publications
  • Association
    • Officers
    • Advocate (for Student Groups)
    • Committees
    • Meetings/Events
    • Minutes
    • Membership Invitation/How to Join

Now that we have a rough outline of our different group types, we're going to get in and actually build one out. Given that Web Services is a service group, we'll use the Service Group Type as our guinea pig.