The key things to remember about changing a CommonSpot page are that you will typically go to the page in question, scroll up to the top, and select "Work on this Page" or "Work on this Page (All Changes)," and then either:
add something, by clicking on "Click to insert new element" or
change something that is already there, by clicking on the gear-wheel icon at the upper-left corner of that element.
Following which you will submit that change for publication.
While you are modifying a page, CommonSpot will routinely create one or more "lightboxes" to function as dialog boxes and forms to obtain your input. There may well be an extended period of time with minimal or no visible result from your actions.
Login and navigate to a page you want to change; select "View page in CommonSpot" from the pencil's menu. While viewing the page as published, you are seeing only those changes that have been completed and published.
Click on the "View" button in the content-spanning toolbar, and select "Work on this Page (My Changes)" or "Work on this Page (All Changes)." In the former case, you will see the completed and published version that was visible, as modified by any changes that are your own work-in-progress. In the latter case, you will be able to see and work with not only your own work-in-progress, but also work-in-progress by all other CommonSpot pagemasters or content contributors who have been authorized to work on that page.
After the page has been re-drawn, observe that your page now includes various small CommonSpot tool icons. Clicking on these icons will bring out menus of various actions. Each CommonSpot element will have at least one tool icon, typically a gear wheel at its top-left corner:
Clicking on that icon will evoke a menu; the choice closest to where the gear wheel was may be "New Data"; if so, consult with OIT staff before working on the page -- it may well not be using classic CommonSpot tools. Otherwise, that closest choice will evoke the primary content-modification tool for that element type -- for example, the Rich Text Editor for Formatted Text Block elements.
When you make changes, there will typically be a "Save" button to store them as work-in-progress. (Sometimes, it will be marked "Done," or "Finish," or "OK," etc., instead of "Save.")
The changed elements will have a yellow "work-in-progress" icon in place of the gear wheel, which usually look similar to one of the following:
, , or (there are some obscure cases where other symbols appear on the yellow background; for example, a minus sign when the pending change is to delete the element).
Such changed or new material is visible only when working on the page (and to those who are part of the formal approval process for that change, if there is one).
"Preview" mode displays the page as your audience would see it if all work-in-progress items were submitted for publication in their current state.
When you click on the yellow work-in-progress icon and select "Submit page...", be very careful to avoid selecting "Discard Change," which is adjacent on the menu!
If you have multiple page elements with changes that are still work-in-progress, you can choose to submit any one element's changes for publication at any time, by clicking on the appropriate yellow work-in-progress icon, and choosing "Submit Change..." from the menu. That will leave the other elements' changes still as work-in-progress, visible only while working on the page. If a new element has been added, then two changes typically have to be submitted for it to be visible to the world: the element itself, and the layout element that contains it (which got changed by having another item added to its inventory). If you have only one change to submit, the system is likely to be quicker in responding to the "Submit Change..." choice than it can be for the "Submit page..." choice. On the other hand, if CommonSpot has gotten confused about some aspect of the page, it is more likely to recover on its own during a "Submit page..." procedure than during a "Submit Change..." procedure.
While you are first building your subsite, it is appropriate to activate new pages, and to publish changes in revised pages, as you go along. Once your subsite is in production, however, you may well choose to get a new page entirely ready before activating it, or choose to complete an entire set of revisions to the content of an existing page before publishing them all together.
In the resulting publication dialog box, you will find the opportunity to provide comments. Please make a habit of doing so -- they will prove quite useful when you need to use the Version History feature, among other times. Do consider that the times when you need to use Version History are times when the world is already seeing something that is wrong, so any help that will speed your selection of the correct prior version is a very good thing!
In the publication dialog box you will also find a check-box, immediately after the comment section, to "View page as published after submission." Often it is best to check that box.
In class, be sure to wait your turn to click on the "OK" button.