GMU Townhall Host/Moderator 
Access Permissions Instructions
by Virginia Montecino

[Townhall is a Web-based asynchronous "bulletin board" with synchronous chat capability]

Also see: Instructions for participants in Townhall

These instructions primary deal with host privileges. See the Townhall tutorial 
when you register for Townhall or see these general instructions for how to
register and use the program:

To request a Townhall site for your course go to this Web address:

Explanation of access options: If you do not select access options for your class, anyone registered with Townhall can post messages to your class or program meeting place. (That may or may not be desirable, depending upon the type of forum and purpose.) An access list lets you restrict entry to a folder or discussion. Access permissions may be specified for a user or for a group of users. For example, you could restrict access to only members of a particular course, and within the course forum you could have small group forums for students working on specific projects. The restricted access folders will not even appear on non-participants' computer screens.

If a folder or discussion does not have an access list, it uses the access list of its parent folder.

The system operator always has access to your Townhall site to troubleshoot, if necessary.

Access rights:

Hosts/ * moderators can:

  • Add new folders and discussions
  • Edit headings
  • Edit and delete inappropriate messages (The 30 minute time for participants to edit messages does not apply to hosts. Hosts can edit and delete any messages any time.)
  • Set permissions for participants to add discussions and folders. The host can set different permissions for different folders and discussions.
* Moderators are hosts who must approve new folders/discussions. A moderated site requires all participants submit new folders/discussions to moderator before they are posted. You probably will want to avoid this work intensive host option. [Hosts for moderated and non-moderated sites can delete unwanted folders, discussions.]

Participants - can have access to various folders , post messages and engage in chat. If given permission by the host, they can create folders and sub-folders. The host can set different permissions for different folders and discussions.

Restricted access:

Read-only - access allows participants to view material, but does not allow participants to start new folders or discussions, or post messages in particular folders. [For example, a professor may want to post a syllabus or announcements and not invite discussion in that folder.]

No access - completely prevents a user from viewing or posting. [For example, a professor might want to establish some small group forums within the larger class forum. Each small group forum would only allow access to those students.]

Creating an Access List:

[To add members to a restricted class or forum list, users must first have registered with Townhall.]

Menu choices for hosts:
 Check Messages  Cancel Subscriptions Search Add Discussion
Add Link  Add Folder Add Chat Access List
 Preferences Email to Sysop Edit Folder Delete Folder
Export Import Check Moderated

Select  "Access List" to create a restricted list of users for your Townhall site. Once a host establishes a restricted access list, this negates the "all registered users" option and only members of the list have access.

Facsimile of the Access "window" with access levels :

[To set access permissions, click in the circle under the category you select for each participant.]
User name
read only
no access
Add new users
Other registered users
Guest users
Update Show Previous Users Clear Export Import  Cancel 
Show All Show Access List Only Show User Groups
Select "Add new users" from the Access List location to add new participants to your access list:

To enter names in the access list, scroll down until you come to a "window" to enter the text, then type or copy and paste log on names of the users. To add a user or group, as a host, participant, moderated user, reader-only user or deny access, select the appropriate category. Insert new users single file, with the email name, NO COMMAS. (Suggestion: Keep a list of the participants Townhall names in the appropriate registration format to copy and paste into the access list window.) 
For example:

Select "Update" to add to your list of participants. "Clear" will delete all entries.

Select "OK" after creating or updating the Access List.

Return to the Access List and select the appropriate access permissions.

Select "OK" again after updating the permissions for new members. You may be prompted to login again.

Other options:

To see all registered Townhall participants, select "Show All.".

Select "Show Access List Only" to see list of restricted access users.

Select "Following Users" if only a partial list of participants appears in the "Show Access List Only" "window."

Select "Show User Groups" to add members to groups.


 Prepared by Virginia Montecino-;
[This documentation is a work-in-progress and is partially based on the Web Crossing ©  (software which Townhall uses) on-line help. I invite suggestions for improvement and/or clarification.
May be copied in its entirety with attribution.
latest revision Feb 2001

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