Sessions

Sessions

A ThinkTank Session is a virtual collaboration space of ThinkTank. A ThinkTank Session is a Structured Collaborative environment designed to promote successful group dynamics and facilitate the achievement of team goals and desired outcomes.

If you are Leader Account Holder, you can join Sessions that you have created (under My Sessions in the Home screen), or you can join a Session you have previously joined (under All Sessions) by clicking on the appropriate preview screen. If the subsequent "Session Preview Screen" displays the correct Session, click on the right arrow located on the Welcome screen to join that Session. If you are a Thinker Account Holder and have not previously joined a Session, you must enter the Session ID and Passkey provided by the Session Leader in order to join the ThinkTank Session.

To join a Session from the Home screen:

          1. At the home screen, enter the Session ID and Passkey:

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2. Provide your email address (which is typically your work e-mail address) and screen name (which is what displays to others during the Session):

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3. Click on the Enter Session. The Session data downloads (may take several seconds), and then the Session opens.

Clicking on a Session screen thumbnail in the Home screen activates two options:

  • Click to Show Preview: Click on the Click to Show Preview  icon to open a preview page of the Session (shown below).
  • Click to Start: Click on the Click to Start  icon to open the Session in the main workspace window.

The Preview screen displays the Session details (Leader, Passkey, Start/End Date, etc.), Agenda (and Plan, Background, and Outcomes, if applicable) and Thinkers. In addition, you can see whether documents or images are attached to activities, and you can optionally open documents from the Session Preview screen.

  • Click on the large right arrow on the preview image to start the Session.
  • Session Title and ID are located at the upper left of the screen.
  • Agenda lists all of the Activities in the Session. Additionally, documents that are attached to activities display with a documents icon at the right:
  • Thinkers display all of the Thinkers who have joined the Session.
  • Session-level functionality includes Download Report, Publish as ThinkApp, Download Session, and Delete Session.
  • Details, located at the left under the preview screen, displays a summary of the Session, including Leader, Passkey, Start/End dates, Session URL, etc.
  • Click on the upper left gray arrow near the upper left Session ID and name to return to the Home page:

 

Download Report

Session owners (Leader or Workspace Administrator who created the Session) can download Session reports as a Word or Excel file from the Session Preview screen. Also, if you are assigned as a Co-Leader of a Session, you can download that particular Session. So, if the "Download Report" button is unavailable, you are not assigned as a Leader or Co-Leader in that particular session. Workspace Administrators, however, can download reports from any Session in the Workspace.

To download a report:

  1. Click on the Download Report button, located under the Session Preview thumbnail image. The Report Options dialog box opens:

  1. From the Report Format drop-down menu, select Excel or Word.
  2. By default, the roster is included in the report. Click on the Include Roster check mark to remove it, if necessary.
  3. If necessary, select the Include Name Tags and/or Include Time Stamps options.
  4. By default, all activities display in the report. To exclude one or more activities from the report, click on the blue highlighted activity so that it turns white (not selected).
    • Alternatively, you can click on Deselect All, and then select the appropriate activities.
    • You can click on Select All once again, if necessary.
  1. When finished with your selections, click on Submit. Depending on the number of activities, complexity of activities, etc., the report may take several seconds to generate.
  2. If you generated an Excel or Word report, click on Download to download and open/save the report.

 

View and Download Documents and Images Attached to Activities

In the Session Preview screen, you can see whether activities have documents or images attached to them, without opening the session. If Welcome, Presentation or PictureThis activities have images attached to them, you can view them in your respective browser. You can optionally download and open documents attached to activities.

  1. To view documents or images, click or tap on the documents icon at the right of the tile, shown below. The number at the right indicates how many documents/images are attached:

  1. The list of documents and/or images are displayed in a popup dialog shown below.

  1. To open the image or PDF document in a new browser tab, double-click the row. Alternatively, click the drop-down arrow, and then select View in Browser.

Note: Note: For touch devices, tap on the drop-down arrow, and tap View in Browser.

Images with extensions including .png, .jpg, .gif, etc., and PDF files are opened in a new browser tab. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoints, etc. are downloaded to your browser if you want to open them in their respective application.

 

Publish (Session) as ThinkApp

Workspace Administrators and Leaders (Session owner who created Session) can publish a session as a ThinkApp from the Session Preview screen. Co-Leaders of a Session can also publish that particular Session as a ThinkApp from the Session Preview screen. For detailed instructions, see the Publish Session as ThinkApp topic.

 

Invite New Thinkers

To invite new Thinkers:

  1. Ensure that you have the list of email addresses you collected when you planned your Session.
  2. Click on the Invite New Thinkers  icon located at the right, under the Thinkers section.
  3. Once your default email application opens, the Session details, including the Session URL, ID, and Passkey, populate the email text field. Edit these, if necessary, before sending.

 

Email All Thinkers

To email all Thinkers in the Session:

  1. Click on the Email All Thinkers  icon at the right. This opens your default email application with the Session details, including the Session URL, ID, and Passkey.
  2. Edit the Session details, if necessary, before sending the email.

 

Calendar Invite

You can download an iCalendar file with the Session information by clicking on the Calendar Invite  icon at the right. After the .ics file downloads, you can save it locally, then attach it to an email.

 

These instructions provide basic guidelines and instructions to help you create a Session.

How do I Create a Session?

The following steps provide basic guidelines for creating a ThinkTank Session:

  1. Create a ThinkTank account
  2. Pre-Session planning
  3. Create a new Session from the Home screen
  4. Add activities to the Session from the Designer tab
  5. Invite Thinkers to Session

Note: Before leading a ThinkTank Session, it is required that you complete ThinkTank's Session Leader training. For more information, visit http://thinktank.net/thinktank-services/#training.

Create a ThinkTank Account

Before you can create a Session, you must be designated as a Leader by your Workspace Administrator and then create your ThinkTank account. An Account Holder is a user with a ThinkTank username and password and (if designated as a Leader by the Workspace Administrator) has access to create and join ThinkTank Sessions. A Guest is a user who does not have a ThinkTank Account Holder username and password. Guests join ThinkTank Sessions as Thinkers, or participants.

  1. Navigate to your organization’s ThinkTank URL address provided by the Workspace Administrator. The login screen opens. Click "Create Account" under "Account Holder" button in the upper right corner:

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  1. The Create Account section displays:

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  1. In the Create Account section, fill in the following required fields:
    • E-mail (domain name must be registered by your ThinkTank Workspace Administrator in the ThinkTank Workspace)
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Username
    • Password (see the Login topic that describes password complexity requirements)
    • Confirm New Password
  1. Click on Create Account.
  2. ThinkTank generates an automated email with your account confirmation details. Confirm and activate your account by clicking the link in the email within three days of receipt.

 

Pre-Session Planning

Before you create a Session, you must engage in some basic planning. A well-defined purpose and objective is crucial to the success of a ThinkTank Session. In addition, you must ensure some basic technical requirements are met prior to leading a Session.

Understand the purpose and objective of the Session:

  • Define why you are having the Session.
  • Define the key results you would like to achieve (deliverables).
  • Compile a list of Session participants, including email addresses, for sending out the Session invites.
  • Read the planning documentation found in the "Using This Section" page when you first create a new Session.

Ensure the following technical requirements are met:

  • Reliable Internet access is available for all Session participants.
  • Verify all participants are able to log in to the Session via desktops, laptops, or other devices prior to the Session start date.

Note: It is highly recommended that Leaders thoroughly read the Session preparation material that comes with each new Session. The material is found when you click on the "Using This Section" tile under each Session component (Plan, Background, Agenda, Outcomes).

Create a New Session from the Home Screen

You can create a new Session from the ThinkTank Home screen. New Sessions have built-in planning assistance documentation that can help you plan your Session.

To create a new Session:

  1. Log on to ThinkTank with your Account Holder credentials. The Home screen opens by default.

  1. Click on the upper right green plus sign  to open a drop-down menu of session operations, and select Create New Session. The Create Session dialog box opens.

  1. Fill in the following required fields:
      • Name: Session name
      • Description: Session description
      • Passkey: Assign a number, alphanumeric, or a combination thereof for the Passkey. Thinkers are required to enter a Passkey to join a Session. If you see a notification about the session passkey complexity, then your Workspace Administrator enabled the "Complex Session Passkey" setting for your workspace. Your session passkey is then required to meeting the following criteria:
        • Passkeys must be at least 8 characters in length.
        • Passkeys must contain at least one digit.
        • Passkeys must contain at least one lower case character.
        • Passkeys must contain at least one upper case character.

         

        Notes on Changing Session Passkeys

        If you change a session passkey after Thinkers and Leaders have previously entered sessions using another passkey, they must use the newly-assigned passkey to enter the session; the old passkey will no longer be valid. Participants will no longer be able to enter the session (from the Home screen or external link) unless you notify them of the new passkey.

         

      • Session Pass Type: If required, select the Session Pass Type. This indicates how session passes are used when guests join a Session. If you are unsure what to select, please contact your ThinkTank Workspace Administrator.

    Note: This field is not visible if the "Session Passes by Session" license key has been configured by your Workspace Administrator, which is used by a select few clients.

    • Include default activities for planning, background and outcomes: This setting is visible to Leaders who have created five or more Sessions in the workspace. When this setting is enabled, specific activities automatically display in the Navigation tab to provide guidance in the planning and creation of the Session. This setting does not display for new Leaders with fewer than five Sessions, as default activities are automatically included in Sessions to provide guidance. If desired (and after you have created five or more Sessions), you can remove the check mark once you are comfortable with creating Sessions.
    • Enforce Calendar: When enabled, this makes the session available to Thinkers only during the time specified by the start and end time.
    • Start: When you enable the Enforce Calendar setting, you must select a start time for the Session.
    • End: When you enable the Enforce Calendar setting, you must select an end time for the Session.

    Note: Your organization may require you to fill out additional information specific to your ThinkTank Installation. As a result, some fields shown in this example, such as Organization and Internal/External, may not be available, or you may be required to fill in custom fields not shown in this example.

  2. Click on Create. A Session ID is automatically assigned to the new Session.
  3. Click on Start. The "Using This Section" page inside the Plan section of the ThinkTank Session opens by default and provides detailed guidelines to help you prepare and design your Session.

Tip: It is highly recommended to read the documentation on each of the "Using This Section" pages inside the Plan, Background, Agenda, and Outcomes. These pages contain valuable tips and techniques to help you prepare and design your Session.

Session Components

The Session consists of the following components:

  • The Plan, which helps you define your Session parameters, objectives and outcomes.
  • The Background, which helps you prepare for your Session, provide Thinkers with pre-read documents, and initiate communication to your Thinkers.
  • The Agenda, which is where you design your ThinkTank Session by dragging and dropping activities from the Designer tab.
  • The Outcomes, where you evaluate the Session once it is complete, and, based on the outcomes/results, plan the required action moving forward.

To refer back to these detailed tips and techniques, click on the Using This Section tile for the associated Plan, Background, Agenda or Outcomes activity:

 

Add Activities to the Session from the Designer Tab

When you are ready to add activities to the Session, click on the Designer tab, where a list of ThinkTank activities is located.

In the Designer tab, activities are categorized by the following types:

  • Crowdsource Activities: For gathering open-ended or qualitative information from your Thinkers
  • Assessment Activities: For gathering quantitative information from Thinkers
  • Visual Activities: For presenting and gathering feedback on graphical information from Thinkers
  • Matrix Activities: For gathering multi-dimensional information from Thinkers
  • Session Tools Activities: Tools to help you lead better Sessions
  • From Another Session: For copying activities from other Sessions you created

From the list, drag the activity tile and drop it into the desired location in the left Navigation tab. You can drop the activity in any location under the Plan, Background, Agenda, or Outcomes.

  • A green line appears in your desired location.
  • To move the activity to another location, drag the activity tile up or down the list until you reach the correct location.

Note: Currently, no Undo operation is available in ThinkTank. Before you delete activities, contributions, documents, presentations, etc,. ensure these items are not required in the Session.


Invite Thinkers to Session

After compiling a list of Thinkers' emails, you can email invitations and iCalendar .ics files from the Session Settings, found by clicking on your profile initials at the upper right:

To invite Thinkers from the Session Settings:

  1. Select Session Settings from the drop-down menu. The Session Settings dialog opens to the Details section:

  1. Fill in additional details required for the Session, including any notes or dial-in information. For more details on individual settings, see Session Settings.

Note: Your organization may require you to fill out additional information specific to your ThinkTank Installation. As a result, some fields shown in this example may not be available, such as Note/Reference and Internal/External, or you may be required to fill in custom fields not shown in this example.

  1. To add an .ics i-Calendar file that you can attach to the email, click on the Calendar Invite  icon.
    • Download the .ics file, and save it locally.
    • You can then attach this file to the email generated in the next step.
  2. To send the invitation, click on the Email  icon at the top.

 

Invite Thinkers from the Session Title Bar

Alternatively, you can invite Thinkers from any Session's title bar as you design the Session. Ensure that you have the list of email addresses you collected when you planned your Session. To invite Thinkers to the Session, open the Session, and then click on the Invite using Email icon located at the upper left in the session title bar:

Invite Thinkers to the Session

Once your default email application opens, the Session details, including the Session URL, ID, and Passkey, populate the email text field.

The Download Session functionality allows the Leader (Session owner who created the Session) or Co-Leader to download and save that particular session. So, if the "Download Session" button is unavailable, the user is not assigned as a Leader or Co-Leader in that particular session. Workspace Administrators, however, can download any session in the Workspace.

Session or ThinkApp .gsml files can only be uploaded or downloaded using a laptop or desktop. Due to limited processing power in iPads and other tablets, Session and ThinkApp upload and download functionality is not supported on these devices.

Note: For information on uploading Sessions in the Home screen, see Upload Session.

To download a Session:

  1. From the Home screen, click on the Session thumbnail image.
  2. Click on the Click to Show Preview  icon. The Session Preview screen opens.
  3. Click on the Download Session button under the preview image. The Save Session dialog box opens.

  1. Choose the data you would like to include in the saved session:
  • Contributions: are ideas entered by Thinkers.
  • Comments: are the entries made under ideas and ballot items.
  • Attributions: are name tags and timestamps that may label entries made by users.
  • Roster: is the list of Thinkers who joined the Session.
  • Documents: refer to any files that were saved to the Session activities.
  • Vote Results: are the charts and tables that display the results from any Custom Assessment activities.
  • Permissions: lets you preserve any specific changes to the permission settings of an activity. If you select No, default permission settings are used.
  1. Click on Save, and the file will be saved with a .gsml extension on your local drive.

Note: By default, the Session ID becomes the name of the .gsml file, so you may want to rename it to reflect the Session name/title.

After downloading a session, you may wish to upload it to another thinkspace. It is simple to do.

  • Log in as a leader to the thinkspace where you wish to upload the session.
  • At your home screen, click the green plus sign on the top right, which you may have used to create sessions previously.
  • Click the "Upload" option.
  • A screen will appear to allow you to find your .gsml file. Find the file, and select it to be uploaded.
  • As the file uploads, a greeb bar will indicate process. Once the file has uploaded, ThinkTank will display a message stating that your session has been created.

A Leader who originally created a Session or a Workspace Administrator can reassign a Session's current Leader to another Account Holder.

  • Account Holders can only reassign Sessions they have created.
  • Workspace Administrators can reassign any Sessions within their workspace.

To reassign a Session:

  1. From the Home screen, click on the Session thumbnail image.
  2. Click on the Click to Show Preview  icon. The Session Preview screen opens.
  3. Click on the two person icon at the right of the Leader's e-mail address. The Reassign Session Leader dialog box opens.

  1. Enter the email address of the new Leader.
  2. Make Me Co-Leader, if enabled, provides you Co-Leader privileges in the Session and retains your access to it. If you select No, you will not have access to the session after reassignment.
  3. Click on Submit.

The Session Leader (Session owner who created the Session) or Workspace Administrator can delete a Session from a ThinkTank Workspace. Co-Leaders cannot delete Sessions.

To delete a Session:

  1. From the Home screen, click on the Session thumbnail image.
  2. Click on the Click to Show Preview  icon. The Session Preview screen opens.
  3. Click on the Delete Session button.
  4. To confirm the deletion, click Delete.

When Leaders log out of Sessions, they can either return to the Home screen or log out of ThinkTank. From the Home screen, Leader Account Holders can then log out of ThinkTank to return to the Login screen.

To log out of a Session as a Leader:

  1. Click on the green dot located at the upper right side of the Home screen near your username, which opens a drop-down menu:

  1. Select Logout from the menu.
  2. In the Home Screen dialog box, select the Home Screen button to return to the Home screen, or select the Logout button to log out of ThinkTank and return to the Login screen.

When Thinkers and Guests log out of Sessions, they are logged out of ThinkTank and returned to the Login screen.

To log out of a session as a Thinker or Guest:

  1. Click on the green dot located at the upper right side of the Home screen near your username, which opens a drop-down menu:

  1. Select Logout from the menu.
  2. In the confirmation dialog box, click the Logout button.
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