Create groups in your module

What is it?

Groups in Blackboard are a way of splitting your students into teams for the purpose of collaboration.

What does it do?

You can prepare groups at the start of your module and use these to set assignments to groups, release content to groups, and send messages to groups.

  • Organise students into randomly assigned, custom-made, or self-enrolled groups
  • Message groups
  • Set assignments to groups and allocate marks and feedback as a group

What should I know?

Students will not see who is in their group from the Groups menu unless they are in a self-enrolled group and you have selected the option to allow this. We’ll discuss this further in the guide on what students will see.

Step 1: In the Details and Actions area, click into the link under Course Groups that says View sets & groups. You can use this area to see what groups you have already created and create new groups for your course.

Blackboard Ultra module view showing the details and actions menu highlighting; the course groups option

Step 2: Select the New Group Set icon at the top right of this page to create a new group set. 

Blackboard ultra module course groups screen highlighting the new group set button

Step 3: There are three ways you can create group sets: custom, randomly assign, or self-enrolment.

Blackboard ultra new group set screen

Custom Group Sets

Screenshot of a custom group set with arrows pointing to the title, the three dots to assign a student, and the group to add the student to

Step 1: Making sure you have Custom selected from the drop-down menu, you can begin to create a custom group set. Click on the link that says New Group Set [date] to change the title of this group set. We recommend that you name this something meaningful to yourselves and to students, e.g. Tutorial groups, Presentation groups, etc. 

Step 2: Click on the purple plus sign below the list of student names to create a new group. You can click on the plus sign as many times as needed to get the desired numbers of groups. 

Step 3: You can re-name the individual groups by clicking on the group title (defaults to New group #) and then entering a clear and meaningful name (e.g. Laura’s tutorial group, Presentation topic X, etc.). You can use the area that says Add a group description to enter any relevant information for that group. 

Step 4: To add people to the groups you’ve created, go to the top of the page where all the students are listed and click on the three dots next to a user’s name. You can then use the drop-down menu to select the group you want to add them to.

Randomly Assigned Group Sets

Screenshot of a random group set with arrows pointing to the title and drop-down for the number of groups

Step 1: Making sure you have Randomly assigned selected from the drop-down menu. Once you have done this, you can use the Number of groups menu to determine the number of groups and students per group.

Step 2: Click on the link that says New Group Set [date] to change the title of this group set. We recommend that you name this something meaningful to yourselves and to students, e.g. Tutorial groups, Presentation groups, etc. 

Step 3: You can re-name the individual groups by clicking on the group title (defaults to New group #) and then entering a clear and meaningful name (e.g. Laura’s tutorial group, Presentation topic X, etc.). You can use the area that says Add a group description to enter any relevant information for that group. 

Note: Remember that this randomly assigns students who are enrolled on your course at the time you create this group set. If students are added to the course later, you will have to edit this group set to assign that student to a group. 

Self-enrolment Group Set

Screenshot of a selfenrol group set with arrows pointing to the title, enrolment end date, and maximum members per group

Step 1: Making sure you have Self-enrolment selected from the drop-down menu, you can begin to create a custom group set. Click on the link that says New Group Set [date] to change the title of this group set. We recommend that you name this something meaningful to yourselves and to students, e.g. Tutorial groups, Presentation groups, etc. 

Step 2: You can use the description box at the top of the page for general instructions for students. You can choose a date that the self-enrolment will become available to students, and the date when this will close. At the end date, any students who have not enrolled in a group will be automatically assigned.

Step 3: You can enter the maximum members per group and decide if you want to hide the enrolled students from their peers or allow them to see who has enrolled in a group.

Step 4: Click on the purple plus sign below the list of student names to create a new group. You can click on the plus sign as many times as needed to get the desired numbers of groups. 

Step 5: You can re-name the groups by clicking on the group title (defaults to New group #) and then entering a clear and meaningful name (e.g. Laura’s tutorial group, Presentation topic X, etc.). You can use the area that says Add a group description to enter any relevant information for that group. 

Updated on 09/09/2021

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