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Creating groups

From: Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

Video: Creating groups

To create a group of students within your Blackboard course, access your course and then on your course menu click on Groups. If you don't see a link to Groups there, you can actually add a tool link to Groups, or scroll down and under Users and Groups click on Groups. Finally, choose whether or not you want to create just one group or a set of groups. Now before we do that I want to show you a secret. I'm going to click on Group Settings. Blackboard 9 out of the box gives the students the ability to create their own groups, so they can have their own study groups that they can create within Blackboard.

Creating groups

To create a group of students within your Blackboard course, access your course and then on your course menu click on Groups. If you don't see a link to Groups there, you can actually add a tool link to Groups, or scroll down and under Users and Groups click on Groups. Finally, choose whether or not you want to create just one group or a set of groups. Now before we do that I want to show you a secret. I'm going to click on Group Settings. Blackboard 9 out of the box gives the students the ability to create their own groups, so they can have their own study groups that they can create within Blackboard.

These groups are sort of their own little walled garden. They have their own set of tools and only the members of the groups can see this. If you don't want your students to be able to create their own little private study groups, you want to turn that feature off. So let's go and create a group now and show you what I'm talking about. I'm going to create just one single group. I've two options. I can create a group and not have anybody in it and the students can then choose whether or not they want to join this group, or I can create a manual enroll group.

That means that I'm going to add the students to this group. I control it. Let's do that. So I'm going to call this Manual Enroll Group. I can type in a description if I want to. Is this going to be available to the students? Yes or No, it's up to me. And then within this group and only within this group I can give these students certain tools that are going to be private to them. In other words, I can give the students their own discussion board, but only the students in this group will be able to see that discussion board.

Well, and me or any other instructor in the course. In this case, I can give the students the ability to create and edit their own private blogs. I mentioned earlier the Blackboard's Blog tool is sort of not really what we think of when we think of a blog tool. It's not visible outside of the course. Well, a group blog is even more closed off. It's only visible to the members of the group and the instructor of the course. So I'm going to turn that off for now. Collaboration gives the students the ability to create a virtual classroom or a whiteboard.

I'm not going to let them do that. I'm going to let them have a discussion board. I'm going to let them email themselves. And Group File Exchange is actually a great feature. It's a way for students who are working together on a same project to upload a file and share it with each other. It's sort of their own private group dropbox. A little aside. If you really miss Blackboard's dropbox, create one group, call it Dropbox, turn on only Group File Exchange, and you've just recreated the dropbox.

Again, anything that's uploaded into the file exchange can be viewed by anybody who was a member of that group. I'm not going to turn on Journals. It's sort of a reflection tool. I'm not going to do Tasks or the My Scholar social bookmarking and I'm not going to do Wikis. Now I'm going to allow the students to change the color scheme of their group's page to move modules around, if they want to add modules. That's fine with me. And now I'm going to start adding a few people. I'm not going to add Jayden Brown. I like Jayden, but I want to show you why I don't want to add him.

I'm going to add like four students here. And I click on Submit. So I've now created a simple group. If I get on the Group page, I can see what it looks like to the students. The students now have access to a file exchange, discussion board, they can send email. Now notice that I didn't actually put Jayden Brown in here. I did that on purpose. I'm going to switch over to Firefox and I'm going to show you what this looks like from Jayden's point of view. You get into Groups and there's nothing there.

If Jayden is not a member of the group, he's not going to see that the group exists. That's actually a really interesting and powerful feature. It keeps the groups private. You can't have students going into other people's groups and seeing what's going on. This is a great way to make sure that the group work that you assign your students, the students aren't cheating off of each other. They are working together as a team. So I've created just one group. Let me get back to the Groups page. Let me show you one other thing. How to create a group set.

Now I can create a self-enroll group, and when I'm creating a group set, it's a number of groups. It's not just one group but multiple groups, and instead of having to go and create it one at a time, I can just say create three or four groups or five groups or n number of groups, and it will create it. I can have it where the students can enroll themselves. I can manually enroll, and new here, I've the ability to randomly enroll. In other words, take certain number of students, I don't care who, put them in one group. Take some others, put them in another group, and I can do that.

I'll click on Random Enroll. Now you might be tempted here to type like Group 1, Group 2, Group 3. You can't do that. What I can do is I can type Group or Study Group, but I can't add the numbers, because that number's going to appear in every group when I create this. The Description is optional. If I want to give instructions on what to do, that's fine. And the rest of the settings pretty much look the same. I'm going to turn off Blogs and Collaboration. I'll leave Discussion Board on.

Leave Email and File Exchange. Turn off Journals, Tasks, My Scholar, Scholar, and Wiki. Allow Personalization. And now I can either have a certain number of groups or I can sit there and say okay, I want to have how many groups it needs where I have three students per group and just go do that. Or I can sit there and say no, I want to have five groups and just evenly distribute the students through the course. In fact, I get to choose what happens with the rest of the people if anybody else comes in or whatever.

I can just basically distribute everybody through the groups. I can put the remaining members in their own group or I can manually add the remaining members to groups. In this case, I'm just going to go three groups and distribute evenly. So now actually in this case I've got six study groups. If I ever need to edit this, for example, if I want to call this Study Group 1, I can edit this, and then call them Study Group 1 or Study Group - Monday. I have the ability to go back and change and edit this at any point in time.

As an instructor I can now see all of my groups. Let me switch back to Jayden's point of view. I click on Groups again. Jayden sees one group and one group alone because Jayden was randomly put into Study Group 5. He gets into Study Group 5. He sees the group members, he has got the file exchange, he has got the group discussion board, he can actually personalize the module, and kind of change things around here. Last thing, let me go back here. We were talking about discussion board earlier and I want to go down here and I want to get into Course Tools and Discussion Boards, and I want to show you why when you click on Course Management > Course Tools > Discussion Board, it doesn't take you into the course discussion board yet.

Remember that each of these groups now have their own discussion board. How do you get access to that? Well, I could go and click into each group, and that's a good way for you to see what's going on in the file exchange. But if you just want to see what's going on in the discussion board, if I click on the Discussion Board link under Course Tools, you're going to see that I have my course discussion, but you're also going to see that I have a discussion board for each and every group that I can access. So that is in a nutshell Blackboard's Group tool.

How to create Blackboard groups. In the next movie, we're going to show you how to change the enrollment of a particular group.

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This video is part of

Image for Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

84 video lessons · 12461 viewers

Patrick Crispen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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