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Blackboard

Learning Management System

Groups

The Group area in Blackboard allows students to meet and connect with their peers within a customizable space. Students can belong to more than one group within a course. The instructor can allow students to create and enroll in their own groups in order to form student-led study groups.


Create a Single Course Group

Video Tutorial: Create a Single Group & Manually Add Students
by Blackboard, Inc.

  1. With Edit Mode on, click Users and Groups from the Control Panel menu (below the course menu).
  2. Click Groups.
  3. Hover the cursor over Create Single Group. From the dropdown menu, choose Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll.
    • Self-Enroll allows students to enroll themselves in a group. Instructors may specify how many students are allowed in the group and if they are allowed to see who is already in the group before enrolling in it.
    • Manual Enroll allows the instructor to manually enroll students in the group.
  4. Enter the group name and description.
  5. Click Yes to make the group available.
  6. Select the tools available to the group by clicking the appropriate checkboxes.
  7. Click Allow Personalization to allow individual group members to personalize group space modules.
  8. Set up enrollment for the group:
    • Self-Enroll Complete the Sign-up options section.
    • Manual Enroll Select the student's name in the box to the left, then click the right-pointing arrow to add that student to the group. Repeat for each student or hold the Ctrl key and select several students to add at one time.
  9. Click Submit.

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Create Multiple Course Groups

Video Tutorial: Create a Group Set & Randomly Add Students by Blackboard, Inc.

  1. With Edit Mode on, click Users and Groups from the Control Panel menu (below the course menu).
  2. Click Groups.
  3. Hover the cursor over Create Group Set. Click:
    • Self-Enroll Students can enroll themselves in a group using a sign-up sheet.
    • Manual Enroll The instructor will manually enroll students in each group.
    • Random Enroll Blackboard will automatically enroll students in each group in random order.
  4. Enter the group name and description of the group.
  5. Click Yes to make the group available. Click Sign-up Sheet if you will have students self-enroll.
  6. Select the tools available to the group by checking the appropriate boxes.
  7. Check Allow Personalization to allow students to customize their group space modules.
  8. Follow the instructions for the group enrollment option chosen in Step 3. Click the link below to be taken to the enrollment specific directions:

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Self-Enrollment in a Group

  1. In the Sign-up Options section, enter the name for the sign-up sheet.
  2. Enter the Maximum Number of Members allowed in each group.
  3. If you want students to see who is in each group before they sign up for a group, check Show Members.
  4. To allow students to sign-up for a group from the groups area, check Allow Students to sign-up from the Groups Area.
  5. In the Group Set Options, enter the number of groups to create.
  6. Click Submit.

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Manual Enrollment in a Group

  1. In the Group Set Options section, enter the number of groups required in the text box.
  2. Click Submit.
  3. In Section 2 of the new screen, select the filter options.
  4. In Section 3, enroll students in each group. Click the student name in the left window, then click the right-pointing arrow to move the student to the Selected Iems window.
    To enroll multiple students at a time, hold the Control key while left-clicking the student names, then click the right-pointing arrow to move all selected students to the Selected Items window.
  5. Click Submit.

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Random Enrollment in a Group

NOTE: Random enrollment will only be applied to stduents who are currently in the course. If students enroll after the groups have been created, the instructor will need to manually enroll them into the groups.
NOTE: When naming a set of groups, each group will receive that group name plus a number. For example, the "Intro to Biology" groups will be named "Intro to Biology 1," "Intro to Biology 2," etc.

  1. In the Membership section, select how to determine the number of groups and enter the corresponding number in the box.
  2. Select how Blackboard should determine how to handle any remaining students. (For example, if an instructor selected groups of 3 and there are 10 people in the class, how should that tenth person be placed in a group.)

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About Course Group Tools

There are many tools that can enhance online collaboration within groups including file sharing, asynchronous discussion boards, synchronous meetings using video and voice through Wimba Classroom, online multimedia group projects in the form of wikis.

Each course groups has its own area within the Blackboard course site in which they can collaborate on course work. The following tools can assist in the collaborative process:

  • Group Discussion Board The group discussion board allows students to post messages and reply to each other. Instructors can use this tool to encourage discussion outside of the classroom. The group discussion board is only available to the group, not the entire class.
  • File Exchange Students and instructor can upload files to share with the group.
  • Group Tasks Students can organize projects or activities by defining task priority and tracking the task progress.
  • Wimba Classroom Students can have their own "online classroom" space in which they can hold synchronous group meetings using voice, video and all of the other options that Wimba Classroom provides. Learn more about using Wimba Classroom.
  • Wikis Wikis allow groups of students to create a multimedia project in one online space.

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