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The Note icon This approach is to be employed for synchronous sessions that have NOT been scheduled through the automated timetable-linked process. The creation of a Group in Blackboard will create a Microsoft Class Team via which synchronous sessions can be created and delivered.

The Note icon Once the Blackboard Group and subsequent MS Class Team have been set up, the information source for the synchronous sessions is the academic register.

Creating a Blackboard Group with all enrolled students and selected staff members included.

Watch a video of this guide.

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1. From the Blackboard shell click on Users and Groups>Groups.

Accessing the Groups menu in Blackboard

2. Move the mouse over the Create button.

The Create button

3. If a single Group with all module students is required, click on Manual Enrol under Single Group.

Selecting a Single Manual Enrol Group

4. In the Name field include the module code and title and _msteams.

Including the _msteams suffix in the Group Name

5. Ensure Group is Visible to Students is set to No.

Hiding the Group from students in Blackboard

6. Under TOOL AVAILABILITY ensure that all tools are turned off.

Turning the Group tools off

7. Click the Add Users button.

The Add Users button

8. Ensure that the ‘Show all users regardless of role’ check box is selected to ensure that staff members (Instructors) are included. Then click the Go button. This is important as you MUST have at least one (1) instructor in the group in order for a Team to be generated.

add users

9. To ensure all people on the module are included click the Show All button toward the bottom of the screen.

The Show All button

10. Click the Select All box to select all students and staff members in the list.
NOTE: if you only want to select a specific number of students (not all of them) – check the individual box against each student you want to include. You must still include at least one instructor in the group.

Selecting all of the enroled students on the module shell

11. Ensure that any staff members (Instructors) who do not require access to the Team are removed by deselecting them.

12. Click Submit to finish creating the Group.

The students and the Submit button

13. The Group is now created. In approximately 24hours a corresponding Microsoft Class Team will have been created and can be used for any synchronous live sessions which have not been scheduled via the automated timetable-linked process.

The created Group

The Note icon It is possible to create more than one Group in Blackboard with the _msteams suffix where there is a requirement to group students into different MS Class Teams. However, virtual groupings may also be achieved in MS Teams by creating Channels that only specific students can see.

Important notes

The Note icon If students leave or join the module mid-semester, you must ensure that the Blackboard module Group membership is updated to include any students added to your cohort as late enrolments, etc. The Microsoft Class Team will be updated overnight to include any new students.

The Note icon MS Class Teams links should be made available in a specified Blackboard Content Area. Guidance for setting up a Blackboard content area is available at this link. If multiple Blackboard groups (and hence, Teams) have been created then the meeting links can be added with adaptive release. Guidance for setting the adaptive release of content folders is available at this link.

The Note icon If you have set up a single MS Class Team for a large cohort and are intending to run multiple sessions (repeated) for sub groups. These sub groups should be set up as Groups in Blackboard first, which will enable the formation of separate Teams.