Working with Blackboard Groups

This page is intended as a quick reference guide. Full information and details can be found on the Blackboard help pages — Creating Groups

What are Blackboard Groups?

You can create groups of students to collaborate on work, using a set of defined group tools, or to use as the basis for releasing content and activities to specific groups of students.

Each group can have its own space with links to tools to help students collaborate — these tools are only available to staff and to members of that group, although the same tools are also available for the whole cohort from the 'Communication and Tools’ menu link in your module. For more information on using those collaboration tools with groups, please see the Blackboard Help pages on Groups and Tools.

Creating Groups

Ensure Edit Mode is turned on (top right of your Blackboard page):

To create groups, go to the Control Panel of your module or organisation, expand the Users and Groups section and select Groups:

From the Create button, you will be able to select whether to create a single group for a sub-set of your students, or a set of groups which includes all of your students. You can also determine whether these will be built via self-enrolment, manual enrolment (by you) or random enrolment:

  • Self-enrolment allows students to add themselves to a sign-up sheet which is automatically created using this option. (Single group/Group Set)
  • Manual enrolment allows you to assign each student in your module or organisation to a group. (Single group/Group Set)
  • Random enrolment automatically distributes users into groups either based on the number of groups specified, or the number of students in each group. (Group Sets only)

On the 'Create a Group’ page

  • Give the group, or group set, a name and description.
  • Group sets will use the name followed by a number.
  • Make the group available.
  • Select the tools you want to make available to the groups (this could be all the group tools, a selection, or none of them, depending on your intended use of the group)
  • Select whether any of those tools will be available for grading.
  • If you are using groups primarily to make module or organisation content available you may not want to select any tools here.
  • Set your group options.

For self-enrolments (whether single or group set) you can add a Sign-up Sheet which can then be added as a link from a content area:

For a single group with manual enrolments, you can add the members directly:

For a group set with either self- or manual enrolments you will be asked how many groups to create:

For random enrolments, you can select either a number of students per group or a number of groups, as well as determining how to allocate the remaining students:

Click Submit.

Note: If you selected Group Set > Manual you will have an additional step to allocate users to each group after clicking Submit.

Managing groups — video

Group assignments

Group assignments can be set up to enable a group of students to submit together. They are then graded and given feedback as a group (though individual grades can be overridden).

Read more about Group Assignments.

Further information

Blackboard help page – Creating Groups (including video links)

Blackboard help page – Groups and Tools

Teach page – Adaptive release to control content for groups