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Learning outcomes

By the end of this guide you should know;

  • How to setup Groups in Blackboard

Groups in Blackboard can be used to disseminate teaching, learning and assessment content to specific groups of students. This can be a particularly useful approach for managing the delivery of blended learning. For example, a module cohort of 100 students could be spilt into five groups of twenty. These Groups can be used to facilitate online group work, to align particular instructors with particular groups of students, and to allow specific groups to access specific content relevant to their group only.

Important notes:

  1. If any students are enrolled on the module after groups have been setup, these students will not be automatically added to a group. The module instructor will be required to manually add these students to existing groups or manually create a new group(s) for these students.
  2. When setting up Groups there is no option to automatically assign specific students to specific groups. If this is required the module instructor will need to manually populate each group with specific students.

 

To create groups:

In the module – go into the Groups area.

groups option

There are three main options for creating groups:

Option 1 – automatically create a specified number of Groups and randomly assign students to each Group (the quickest option).

Option 2 – automatically create a specified number of Groups and manually assign specific students to each Group.

Option 3 – manually create each individual Group and manually choose which students are assigned to each Group (the least quickest option).


Option 1:
If you want to automatically create a specified number of Groups and randomly assign students to each group.

Click here to download a printable version of this guide in MS Word format

Text version

  1. Click the Create tab and select Random Enrol under the Group set option.

random enrol option

2. Give the group set a name – e.g. Group; and ensure the group is visible to students.

group name

3. Scroll down the page to the Tool Availability panel and indicate the tools that you want each group to have access to. In this example each Group will have access to its own Group Discussion Board and its own Group Collaborate area.

NOTE: if you do not select any tools at this time, but then decide to give groups access to specific tools at a later date having set up the Groups – you will have to activate the tools for EACH INDIVIDUAL GROUP; which could be time consuming.

tool list

NOTE: these tools only apply to Groups. If you do not check any tools in this list they will still be available across the module for general use.

4. Scroll down the page and un-check the module personalisation setting.

group personalisation panel

5. In the Group Set Options panel, check the Create Smart View . . . option. This will allow you to filter the Grade Centre to only show results for the students in each Group (should you require this option).

group set options

6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and use the membership options to determine how many groups/students per group there will be. Then click Submit.

membership options

7. The groups panel will appear showing a series of auto-generated groups and how many students have been enrolled in each group. Students will have been randomly assigned to a group.

groups list

Clicking on a Group name will present a list of the Group members.

group members

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Option 2:

If you want to automatically create a specified number of Groups and then assign specific students to each Group.

Click here to download a printable version of this guide in MS Word format

Text version

1. Click the Create tab and select Manual Enrol under the Group set option.

manual enrol option

2. Give the group set a name – e.g. Group. You can choose if you want students to be able to access their group or not area or not by making the group visible to students or not. If you are just using the group function to organise students you can select No.

group name

3. Scroll down the page to the Tool Availability panel and check the tools that you want each group to have access to. In this example each Group will have access to its own Group Discussion Board and its own Group Collaborate area. You can ignore this step if you have set group visibility to No.

tool list

4. Scroll down the page and un-check the module personalisation setting.

group personalisation panel

5. In the Group Set Options panel, enter the number of Groups that you want to be created. The Create Smart View option allows you to filter the Grade Centre to only show results for the students in each Group – should you require this option).

number of groups option
Click the submit button.

6. In the Group Set Enrolments panel – click the Add Users button for a Group

group enrol panel

7. From the student list indicate which students you want to add to the Group and click Submit.

select members list

The students will be enrolled on the Group

group members panel

Repeat this process for each Group.

8. When all Groups have been setup, click Submit.

groups list

The Groups will be saved.

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Option 3:
If you want to manually create individual groups and manually assign specific students to each group.

Click here to download a printable version of this guide in MS Word format

Text version

1. Click the Create tab and select Manual Enrol under the Single Group option.

manual enrol option

2. Give the group a name; and ensure the group is visible to students.

name group

3. Scroll down the page to the Tool Availability panel and check the tools that you want each group to have access to. In this example each Group will have access to its own Group Discussion Board and its own Group Collaborate area.

tool list
NOTE: these tools only apply to Groups. If you do not check any tools in this list they will still be available across the module for general use.

4. Scroll down the page and un-check the module personalisation setting.

group personalisation panel

5. In the Group Set Options panel, check the Create Smart View . . . option. This will allow you to filter the Grade Centre to only show results for the students in each Group (should you require this option).

group set options

6. In the Membership panel click the Add Users button.

add members panel

7. From the list of users – select the students who you want to be in this group, and click the Submit button.

select members list

8. Click the submit button to save the group.

group list

Repeat this process for each group until all students have been assigned a group.

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