Group Assignments & Discussions

This page shows examples of how to set up assignments and discussions with existing groups in Blackboard Ultra

Warning: Course Groups vs. Ad-Hoc Groups

The following documentation outlines Online Learning Service's recommended steps for creating and using course groups, and creating group discussions and group assignments.

Although other approaches exist for creating ad-hoc groups within the settings for a new assignment or discussion, this option is limited and will not give students access to the full range of group options and tools. Implementing other strategies outside of the prescribed method below will result in students being unable to access materials through the Group navigation tab in your course. 

Recommended steps for assigning group items

Step 1: Create the Group Set

Create a group set in the Groups tab of your course navigation.  This group set may be one that you wish to use over the course of the semester (such as individual sections in a merged course) or it may be a set that is specific to a particular assignment/discussion. 

For example, you might create an instructor-assigned group set to sort students by individual course sections (i.e. M001, M002, M003), and then create a self-enrolled group set for students to sign up for final project presentation groups. 

(For information on creating groups sets, visit our Answers page "Ultra Course - Groups")

Step 2: Create the Assignment/Discussion

To assign a group assignment or discussion, begin by creating the item in the course content area. For more information on how to create content in Blackboard Ultra, see the Course Content answers page.

Step 3: Access the Item Settings

Once you have created the item, open the item's settings by clicking the gear icon to the right of the settings.

When the settings panel opens, scroll down to the "Additional Tools."Select the option to "Assign to groups"

Step 4: Assign via "Reuse Groups" option

Selecting "assign to groups"  will open a panel similar to the "create group set" panel under the course groups tab.  

It is important to avoid creating a new group at this stage.

  • Next to the "Group students" option, click on the drop down menu (default set to "Custom").
  • Within this drop down menu, a section titled "Reuse groups" will appear, listing the current groups that exist in your course.
  • Select the group set you previously created that you wish to assign to the Assignment or Discussion. 
  • Select "Save" in the bottom right hand corner. 
  • Select "Save" again in the item settings.

Improvement to the management of group discussions from Instructor View

When an instructor views a group discussion on Ultra, there is a subtle but very important addition that they will see within the discussion page. A drop down menu will appear below the discussion topic that allows the instructor to easily navigate between the group discussions without having to leave the page and navigate to a separate group's page. The video below illustrates this unique Ultra course feature:

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