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Topic Overview

The Course Groups feature allows instructors and students to create groups of students within a Course. These Course Groups have their own area on Blackboard. These spaces are equipped with tools that can assist in this collaborative process: Blogs, Journals, file sharing and Group Assignments.

Tool Availability for Groups

Group Blog: In the Group area, all members of a Group can create entries for the same Blog, building upon one another. Any course member can read an comment on a Group Blog, but cannot make entries if they are not a member of the Group

Collaboration: Users within the group can participate in real-time lessons and discussions.

Discussion Board: The Group Discussion Board is an area where Course Group members can post messages and replies Instructors can use this tool to encourage discussions of course material outside of the classroom. This Discussion Board is available only to Course Group members, not to the entire course.

File Exchange: Students and Instructors can use this tool to upload documents to the Course Group area and organize them through the creation of folders in which their items can be stored. Students can access this material from within the course. Instructors have access to all folders in their course.

Send Email: All members of a Course Group can send email messages to selected members or the entire group. These messages are internal to the Course Group, they are not available to anyone outside the group.

Group Journal: When used in the Group area, all members of a Group can view each other's entries, but the Group Journal can only be viewed by the Group and the Instructor.

Group Tasks: The Group Tasks page organizes projects or activities (referred to as tasks) by defining task priority and tracking task status.

Create a Group Set or Single Group

Single groups are created using the exact same steps used to create Group Sets but only create one group at a time. Only Self-Enroll and Manual Enroll options are available. Group Sets will typically be used more often but groups can be created individually as well.

  1. Begin by selecting Users and Groups from the Control Panel
  2. Click Groups
    Users and Groups Menu
  3. Click Create Single Group or Group Set
    Create Single Group or Group Set
  4. Select Enrollment type
    • Self-Enroll -- Students select their own group
    • Manual Enroll --You determine the group
    • Random Enroll -- Blackboard sets the groups randomly
  5. Follow the steps below corresponding to the type of group you want to make

Self-Enroll/Sign-up Sheet

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, the group can be immediately available to use or made available after all members have signed up. Self-enrollment is an option available for both single groups and group sets.

  1. Give the Group a name and description
  2. Select Group Availability
  3. Select Tool Availability
  4. Set Sign-up Options
    • Set maximum number of members allowed per group
    • Show Members
      Show Group Members Option
    • Allow students to sign up from the Groups listing page (The sign-up sheet can appear on the Groups listing page or be added as a link from other areas, such as a Content Area, Content Folder, Learning Module, or Lesson Plan. Adaptive release rules can be applied to the content page link, which provides the ability to limit the availability of the sign-up sheet)
  5. Set total number of groups to make
  6. Click Submit to Save
  7. You will return to the Groups page and should see a green bar indicating success and see the groups listed

Manual-Enroll

For Manual Enroll, an instructor assigns each student in the course to a group. Manual enrollment is available for both single groups and group sets.

  1. Give the Group a name and description
  2. Select Availability
    Group Available Option
  3. Select Tool Availability
  4. Set Module Personalization Setting
    • When "Allow Personalization" is selected, a student can add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them
  5. Set the Number of Groups you wish to create
    • This option will only show when creating a Group Set
  6. Submit
  7. Choose your Group Set Members Filter Options
    Groups Set Members Filter Options Menu
  8. Select Members for each group by using the left/right arrows
    • You can choose to Randomize at this stage
    • You also have the ability at this point to add/delete groups
    • As you add users to one group, they are automatically removed from the next set of groups to prevent duplication
  9. Click Submit to Save
  10. You will return to the Groups page and should see a green bar indicating success and see the groups listed

Random-Enroll

Random Enroll is available for only group sets 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 the course. Additional students can be enrolled manually.

  1. Give the Group a name and description
  2. Select Availability
    Group Available Option
  3. Select Tool Availability
  4. Set Module Personalization Setting
    • When "Allow Personalization" is selected, a student can add personal modules to the group homepage. Only the group member who added the modules can view them
  5. Determine Membership settings
    • Determine the number of groups by either Number of Students per Group or Number of Groups
      Determine the Number of Groups Options
    • Determine how to enroll any remaining members
      Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members Options
  6. Click Submit to Save
  7. You will return to the Groups page and should see a green bar indicating success and see the groups listed

Edit Group Members

Add or remove users from existing groups

  1. Start on the Groups page
  2. Click the action item button to the right of the name of the group
  3. Click Edit
    Edit Group Members Menu
  4. Scroll down to #4 – Membership
  5. Select the name of the student you want to add/remove
  6. Use the right/left arrows to change the membership
    Groups Membership Selection Menu
  7. Click Submit to save

View a Group

  1. Start on the Groups page
  2. Click the action item button to the right of the name of the group
  3. Click Open
    Open Group Menu Item
  4. You will be taken the that group’s page
  5. This is similar to what students see in the Groups Area of the Course Menu
    Sample of Group Space

 

Sources and Relevant Links

Add a Group Link to the Course Menu