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Online Community FAQs

About the Online Community

1. What is the Online Community?

The Online Community is a place where Open Polytechnic students, and the general public who are interested in studying with us, can create and participate in discussion forums related to study or general life as an Open Polytechnic student.

The Online Community is currently in beta mode, so we can see whether it is something that students are keen to use. Our students will ultimately be making the decision about whether it is useful for them – and we reserve the right to make changes or remove the community based on feedback from our students.

2. What does ‘beta’ mean?

Beta is a term used to describe something that is still being built, but is available for people to start using while it is in its early stages. We might change a few things while you are trialling it, especially if you give us feedback about things you think could be better.

3. What’s the difference between the Online Community and the forums in the Online Campus?

Only current students of the Open Polytechnic can view and create a post in an Online Campus forum. The Online Community is open to everyone. When you create a post in an Online Campus forum your post will only be seen by other students enrolled in your course. When you post on the Online Community anyone can see your post, not just your current classmates. That means you can talk to a much larger group of Open Polytechnic students, including students who are studying the same qualification as you or students who live in the same town as you. You can also talk to people who are thinking about studying with Open Polytechnic but aren’t students yet.

4. Do I have to be a current Open Polytechnic student to be a member of the community?

No. Anyone can view the discussion forums, and anyone can create an account to be part of the Online Community. If you are not currently an Open Polytechnic student, but are thinking about enrolling, then posting a question on the forum asking students about their experiences might help you learn more about studying with the Open Polytechnic.

5. Do I have to create an account to read the discussion forums?

No. All the discussion forums are open to the public. But if you want to create or reply to a topic, or like a post, you will have to create an account.

6. Do I have to create an account to post to the forums or like a post?

Yes. We require you to register so that we can stop any spam posts.

7. What can’t I do in the Online Community?

When you create an account for the Online Community, you agree to our Terms of Use – these are a set of rules for using the Online Community. You can view these terms of use at any time from the link below.

>> Terms of use for the Online Community


8. Is the Online Community moderated?

Yes. You can help us moderate by clicking on 'report' if you think a post is inappropriate.

9. What do I do if I think a post by another member is inappropriate or violates the Online Community terms and conditions?

Click on the ‘report’ button on the bottom right of the post in question and our moderators will investigate. Once our investigation is over we will contact you to let you know our decision.

10. What happens if someone reports my post?

Our moderators will review the reported post and make a decision on whether it conforms to our terms and conditions of the community. Read our Terms of Use for more information.

11. What happens if I get banned from the community?

The Open Polytechnic reserves the right to ban any member of the community that consistently violates our terms of use. If you are banned, you will no longer be able to create a post or like a post in the community.

Creating an account

12. How do I create an account?

To create an account, select the “Create account” button at the top right of the page. You will be asked to provide a username, email address and password. Your email address will be kept private. Your username is publicly viewable and will display next to your posts.

Before you create your account, you will need to read and accept our Terms of Use.

After you have created your account, you have the option to create a profile to tell other users more about you. After you have signed in, click on your username at the top right of the page, select My Settings. From here you can upload a photo, customise your profile, add more information about yourself and manage your preferences.

13. Do I have to use my real name?

You don’t have to use your real name when creating an account. The name you provide will display to the public next to your posts. It’s up to you whether you choose to use your real name or a nickname.

14. Can I change my display name?

Yes, you can change your details at any time by visiting My Settings (you’ll find this by clicking on your username at the top right of the page). From here, you can access all your profile and account settings, including your display name.

15. Do I have to create an account just to look at the posts?

No. Anyone can view the discussions in the Online Community forums.

16. Do I have to create an account to create a post or like a post?

Yes. See ‘12. How do I create an account?’ for more information on how to do this.

17. How do I change the email address my account is linked to?

You can change your details at any time by visiting My Settings (you’ll find this by clicking on your username at the top right of the page). From here, select Email and Password to change the email address your account is linked to.

18. Will the Open Polytechnic start sending me emails or spamming me if I create an account?

We will not spam you, however we may send you important information about the online community or information about enrolling with Open Polytechnic. You can choose to opt-out of these emails at any time by selecting “unsubscribe”.

Posting in the Online Community

19. What am I allowed to post on the Online Community?

You can create a discussion thread or a post that relates to your study or your experiences as an Open Polytechnic student, or a question for students about Open Polytechnic study or study experiences. You can also post any information you think students might enjoy reading as long as it isn’t an advertisement and doesn’t violate our Terms of Use.

For your own privacy, we don’t recommend you post any personal information that could identify you. As per our terms and conditions, be careful about posting anything that could defame or slander anyone, or be considered abusive, as you will be personally liable.

20. Am I liable for the things I post on the Online Community?

Yes. If we think you have violated our terms of use we may delete your post or ban you from the community. If we think there is a more serious issue to be followed up, we may take further action by contacting an external agency.

21. Can I private message other community members?

Yes. If you would like to send a private message to another member, visit the Members page and search for the member’s name. You will find the option next to their name to “PM (private message) this member”. You can also “Add as friend” and “Find content” (view their posts).

22. Can I delete my own posts?

No. You can edit any topics or replies you have created, but you can’t delete them.

23. What happens when I like a post?

If you ‘Like’ a post, you can view it easily in future from your profile. To access posts you have liked, click on your username in the top right of the page, select My Profile, then Likes. From here, you can view Likes you have given and received, and search and read the posts you have liked.

24. How do I edit an post I’ve already made?

Find the post you want to edit. To find a post quickly, you can access it from your profile. To access posts you have created, click on your username in the top right of the page, select My Profile, then Posts. Click on the title of the post you want to edit. From here, you will be taken to the topic – you’ll see the option to ‘Edit’ at the bottom right of your post.

25. Can I get email notifications if someone replies to one of my posts, or there is a thread I am really interested in?

If you want to receive notifications from a topic, find the ‘Follow this topic’ button on the top right of the topic page. You will be asked how you would like to receive notifications – instantly, only when not online, daily or weekly. Notifications will be sent to the email address linked to your account.

26. I want to give you feedback about the Online Community, how do I do that?

That’s great, we want your feedback to help us improve the online community, We have set up a forum for you to provide your feedback. Visit the forum and post your feedback.

If you would like to provide your feedback to us privately, you can email us at community@openpolytechnic.ac.nz.

27. Can I sell things on the Online Community?

We don’t recommend it. The Open Polytechnic takes no responsibility for any items that members may wish to buy or sell on the community. You do so at your own risk.

Need help?

You can contact Open Polytechnic on freephone 0508 650 200 or email us at customerservices@openpolytechnic.ac.nz.