Blackboard Help

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Creating Groups

Last Modified
09:22, 12 Mar 2013

You can create formal groups of students to collaborate on work, and create these groups one at a time or in sets. You can manually select group members or allow students to self-enroll. Each group has its own space, or homepage, with links to tools to help students collaborate. Only you and group members can access the group tools.

Two group creation options:

  • Create a single group
  • Create a Group Set

About Group Enrollment Methods

Self-Enroll allows students to add themselves to a group using a sign-up sheet. You can make sign-up sheets available to students on the groups listing page or by adding a link to a course area, such as a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. When you create a group using sign-up sheets, you can make the group immediately available to use or available after all members have signed up. Self-enrollment is an option available for both single groups and group sets.

Students cannot unenroll themselves from groups.

Manual Enroll allows you to assign each student in your course to a group. Manual enrollment is available for both single groups and group sets.

Random Enroll is available for group sets only and automatically distributes membership into groups based on a designated number of students per group or the designated number of groups. Random distribution applies only to students who are currently enrolled in your course. You can enroll additional students manually. When naming a set of groups, the name of each group has a number added to it when they are first created. For example, a set of groups named "Research" results in groups named "Research 1," "Research 2," and "Research 3," depending upon the number of groups in the set. After creation, you can edit the group names.

Accessing Groups

On the Control Panel, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups.

-OR-

In a new course, click the default Groups link on the course menu.

-OR-

Access groups using the default Tools link on the course menu. On the Tools page, select Groups.

How to Add a Groups Link to the Course Menu

If you want students to access groups often, you can add a link to the course menu for one-click access to the tool. You can customize the name of the link to fit your needs.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and point to the plus sign above the course menu. The Add Menu Item drop-down list appears.

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  2. Select Tool Link.
  3. Type a Name for the link.
  4. From the Type drop-down list, select Groups.
  5. Select the Available to Users check box.
  6. Click Submit.

The new tool link appears last in the course menu list. Press and drag the arrows icon to move the link into a new position. Access the link's contextual menu. You can rename, delete, or hide the link from students.

How to Add a Group Link in a Content Area

You can manually add links to individual groups and sign-up sheets in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders. You can set up a content area to include all the content and tools your students need for the week. After reading the weekly lecture, and viewing the slide presentation, students can also access the groups tool to complete the group assignment. Students do not need to navigate anywhere else in your course to complete all the required activities for the week.

When you add a link to a specific group in a content area, all students will see the link, however, if a student is not a member of the group, he or she will not be able to access the group homepage.

You can follow the same steps for adding link to learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

  1. Change Edit Mode to ON and access the course area where you want to add a group link, for example, the Week 2 content area.
  2. On the action bar, click Tools to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Groups.

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  4. On the Create Link: Group page, select the type of link: Link to the Groups page, to a group, or to a group set. If linking to a group or group set, select it from the list.
  5. Click Next.
  6. On the next Create Link: Group page, complete the Link Information to specify how it will appear in the content area. Select Options, if you want.
  7. Click Submit.

Accessing the Groups Link

Navigate to the content area, and click the group link to access the group homepage.

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How to Create a Single Group

  1. Access the Groups listing page and point to Create Single Group on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll.

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  3. On the Create Group page, type a Name and optional Description.
  4. Select the Yes option to make the Group Available. If you do not want the group to be available at this time, select No.
  5. Select the check boxes for the course tools you want to make available to the group.
  6. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if you want to grade student submissions.

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  7. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow students to add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them.
  8. For self-enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include. You might tell students that they cannot unenroll themselves from groups.

    -OR-

    For manual enroll Membership section, select the students from the Items to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to add the selected names to the Selected Items box.

  9. Click Submit.

    For Windows, to select multiple users in a row, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last names. To select users out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each name needed. For Macs, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. You can also select all course members with the Select All function.

The newly created group appears on the Groups listing page.

How to Create a Group Set

  1. Access the Groups listing page and point to Create Group Set on the action bar to access the drop-down list.

  2. Select Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll, or Random Enroll.
  3. On the Create Random Enrollment Group Set page, type a Name and optional Description.
  4. Select the Yes option to make the Group Available. If you do not want the group set to be available at the present time, select No.
  5. Select the check boxes for course tools you want to make available to the group set.
  6. Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if you want to grade student submissions.
  7. Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow individual group members to add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them.
  8. For self-enroll Sign-up options, type the Name of Sign-up Sheet. Type the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include. You might tell students that they cannot unenroll themselves from groups.

    -OR-

    For manual enroll Group Set Options section, type the Number of Groups to create.

    -OR-

    For random enroll Membership section, type the Number of Students per Group to create or the Number of Groups. Select an option to Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members in the groups.

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  9. Click Submit.

video  Creating a Group  (Flash movie | 3m 39s )

video  Creating Group Sets  (Flash movie | 2m 28s)

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