Set Up and Manage a Community with Circle.so

Circle.so is a third-party platform where creators can manage a community for their customers or clients. On Teachable, you can integrate your school with Circle.so so your students and clients can login and access your Circle.so community space with single sign-on. This article reviews how to set up and manage the Circle.so integration with your Teachable school.

Overview

Many school owners are interested in utilizing a community forum where they can engage and interact with their students and clients through the use of discussion forums and group spaces. Circle.so is a third-party community platform that offers these features and can integrate directly with your Teachable school. This integration is available on all paid Teachable plans.overview.png

First, creators will need to create a Circle.so account and sign up for a Circle.so plan. Circle offers a Basic, Professional, or Enterprise plan level. As a Teachable customer, you can sign up for a Circle.so plan at a discounted rate by signing up directly via this link.

Once you have signed up for a Circle.so account, you will be able to set up the Circle.so integration with your school and enable single sign-on (SSO) for Circle.so. This means that your Teachable students and clients will not need a separate account or login credentials to access your Circle.so community space—they can automatically access the Circle.so community from their Teachable account. The SSO integration works for both myTeachable and non-myTeachable schools.

Once you set up the integration between your Teachable school and your Circle.so community, users cannot sign up for your Circle.so community directly. They must use their account in your Teachable school to sign up and access the community.

TIP: For tips and guidance on how to set up and run an online community, we recommend checking out the Teachable blog

Set up the Circle.so integration

To set up the Circle.so integration with Teachable, follow these steps:

  1. From your Teachable school, navigate to the Settings > Integrations page and toggle on the checkbox for Circle.settings-integrations-circle.png
  2. Login to your Circle.so account. If you have not yet created a Circle.so account, you can get started here.
  3. Navigate to the Settings > Single Sign-On menu from your Circle.so account. Turn on the Enable SSO toggle.settings-singlesignon-enablesso.png
  4. In the OAuth Provider section, select Teachable from the drop-down menu.settings-singlesignon-oauthprovider.png
  5. Copy the Callback URL from your Circle.so account and paste it in the Callback URL field on your Teachable Settings > Integrations page. Click Save at the top of the page. callback_url.gif
  6. Enter “Teachable” in the Provider Name field on Circle.
  7. From your Teachable school’s Settings > Integrations page, click the View Credentials button.
  8. Copy the Client ID from Teachable and paste it in the Client ID field on Circle.so.client-id.gif
  9. Copy the Secret Key from Teachable and paste it in the Secret Key field on Circle.so.secret-key.gif
  10. Copy the Teachable School URL field from Teachable and paste it in the Teachable URL field on Circle.so.teachable-school-url.gif
  11. Click the Save changes button in Circle.so and the Save button at the top of your Teachable Setting > Integrations page.

NOTE: Any time you update your school with a new Teachable subdomain or a custom domain, the configuration must be updated with the new Teachable School URL as outlined in Step 10 above.

If you would like to disable the integration, you will need to toggle off the Enable SSO setting from your Circle.so account as outlined in Step 3 above.

Existing Circle.so community accounts

If you already have a Circle.so community prior to integrating with Teachable, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • After setting up the integration, any new users who you would like to join your community will be required to have a Teachable account to do so. (A purchase isn’t required, but they will need an account in your school as they will use those login credentials to access your Circle.so community space).
  • In your Circle.so Settings > Single Sign On menu, there is an Allow members with a Circle account to sign in toggle. allow_members_with_circle_account_to_login_with_existing_credentials.pngIf enabled, users who previously had an account in your Circle.so community will have the option on the sign in page to obtain access either using their Teachable account or by signing in with their existing Circle email and password. If disabled, users will only be able to sign in via their Teachable login credentials. 
  • Once the integration has been set up, any logged out users who navigate directly to your Circle community URL will now be navigated to the Teachable school’s login page by default.

Complement your school and community space

Creators can utilize their community in a variety of ways within their school:

  • Different courses can contain a lecture that links to joining the community
  • Communities can contain separate, private spaces for different courses
  • Community admins (assigned by the community creator) can create a general space for prospective students who have not yet purchased a course

If you would like for your Teachable courses to correspond to separate, private spaces within your community, you can put an invitation link for that specific community space within a lecture of that course. More information on invitation links can be found below.

For any guidance on how to create private spaces, moderate your community, or any other Circle.so functionality, please refer to their support documentation here or contact their support team at support@circle.so.

Invite your students to join your community

One of the most common ways to invite your Teachable students or clients to join and access your Circle.so community is through the use of invitation links. To do so:

  1. In your Circle.so admin account, click the Members icon in the top right corner, then click the Invitation Links tab from the left-side menu. members-invitation_links.png
  2. Fill out the Name, Spaces, and Space groups fields according to your preferences. For more information on spaces and space groups, check out Circle.so’s support documentation here.
  3. Then, click Create. Upon creation, a link URL will be created that can be copied. These URLs will continue to exist unless you choose to edit or delete them.
  4. You can then copy the invitation link and paste it onto any specific page, course lecture, or coaching space across your school.invitation_link_in_lecture.gif

Circle.so provides a few other options for adding members to your community space. For example, you can use their member invitations feature to to directly invite members by adding individual emails or in bulk, or can use Zapier to automate invitations.

For more information on alternative methods for inviting users to your Circle.so community space, refer to Circle.so’s support documentation on this topic or contact their support team directly.

The student experience

If a user does not yet have an account in your Circle.so community, they will be prompted to set up their profile details the first time they click on your Circle.so community link.

Clicking your Circle.so community link will lead the student to the Teachable login page (if they are not logged in already). After successful login, it will navigate to the Teachable <> Circle authorization page, where they will have to click Authorize to access the community.studentxp-existing_account.gif

It’s important to note that users who do not have an account in your Teachable school will also be directed to the Teachable login page when clicking your Circle.so community link. If you would like to provide an option for students to create an account in your Teachable school directly on the Teachable login page, you can toggle on the Sign Up button from your Teachable Site > Navigation > Navigation Bar menu. Once they’ve created an account on Teachable, the student will be redirected to your Circle community with an action to authorize Teachable to be used for Circle.studentxp-no_account.gif

If you prefer to limit community access to those with course enrollments, you can keep the Sign Up button toggled off from your Teachable Site > Navigation settings.

Once they have set up their profile in your Circle.so community, any time they click your Circle.so community link they will be prompted to login via their Teachable account credentials (if they are not currently logged in). Once they login via their Teachable credentials, they will be redirected to your Circle.so community homepage.

NOTE: If you have users that created their account in your Circle.so community prior to integrating with Teachable, they can still login with their existing Circle.so account details if you enable the Allow members with a Circle account to sign in setting. Otherwise, they will be prompted to login via Teachable. More information on this setting can be found above.

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