Blackboard has the ability to create separate private group areas within your Blackboard course for you and a small group of students. Think of this like a project team area. This group area is completely private. Only you, your group members, and your instructor can access this group area. Within that group area you'll find a collection of Blackboard tools like Blogs, Collaboration, Discussion Board, you can send email that only the group members will receive, a File Exchange, you can upload files that only members of the group will see, and much more.
There are three possible types of Blackboard groups. The first are ones that you create as a student and this may not be available in your Blackboard course. The second are ones where you can choose to manually enroll in an existing Blackboard group, and this also may not be available. And third, and these are much more commonplace, are ones that your instructor creates and automatically enrolls you in. We're going to show you all three. To access Blackboard's Groups area, click on the Groups link on the Course menu.
Now, if you don't see a link to Groups on the Course menu, click on Tools, scroll down, and then click on the Groups link there. Let's show you how to create a student created group. I'm here on the Groups page. I've got a button that says Create Group. This button may not be available to you. Many instructors choose to turn this off, but if it is available to you, click on Create Group. I am going to type in the name of my group. I am going to type in a Description. This is actually really important.
You're going to see in a minute it's going to ask you not only for the Description, but it's also going to ask you for a Sign-up sheet instruction. My recommendation is put your information in the Description, and put the same information on what's called the Sign-up sheet. When you create a group, you're going to make it so that other people can choose to enroll in your group. You can't choose the members. So I am going to do Study Group again. Let me paste in the text here. So it's just the same text. I'm just kind of telling everybody, hey, I'm going to be doing a collaboration group for a presentation that's coming up in Week 3, please sign up if you want to.
How many members are going to be in my group? I am going to choose 5 and click on Submit. Now, before you click on Submit, make sure all of this information is correct. You may not be able to edit this after you click on Submit, and you will absolutely not be able to delete this group. Once you create a group, it's created and remains for the entire academic term. Only your instructor can erase a group. So I am going to click on Submit and I've now created the group.
I'm automatically enrolled in fact. If I click on the name of the group, I can get into it. When you get into a group, it will show up here in My Groups, in this little area. So if I want to get back into my Study Group, I no longer have to enroll in the group by going in the Groups and then creating a group. It's there, I have a link to it, and I can expand and contract this folder to get into the Group Tools. When I get into the Group Tools, I have the ability to do Collaboration, File Exchange, Group Blog, all those things. We'll talk a little more about this in the next movie.
So that's the first type of group. It's a group that the student creates. The second type of group is a self-enroll group. It's a group where you choose to enroll in a group. Those things have already been created by your instructor or by other students. You'll see a button and the button that you see is either going to say Sign-up or View Sign-up Sheet. I am going to click on this button, and now it's going to allow me to choose which group I want to sign into. In this case it's a set of groups that the instructor says.
It's kind of out of order here. Friday, Monday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I am going to sign-up for the Monday Study Group. When I click on Sign-up, I've now added the Monday Study Group to my list. By the way, how do I leave a group or quit a group after I've joined it? The answer is you can't. You have to talk to your instructor. And the last type of group is an instructor enroll group, and you don't actually have to do anything. The group will automatically appear. It will show up under My Groups and you can get into it. Let me do a quick tour of some of these tools that are available.
I can click and expand this group and go to a particular tool, or to the right of the name of the group, if I click this little button with the two greater than signs, it actually takes me into the Study Group. I can see that I have Collaboration tools, which is sort of live chat. File Exchange allows me to upload files from my computer to Blackboard and share it with just the members of this study group or whatever group I am in. I have a Blog tool, I have a Discussion Board, and the Discussion Board works just like the Discussion Board we talked about in the last chapter.
The only thing that's different here is that the Discussion Board is private and only the group members can see it. You also have Journals, Tasks, Wikis, a My Scholar Home, which is social bookmarking, and the ability for you to Send Email just to the particular group members. And as the group members add, you'll see their names here. So that's a quick look at the three types of Blackboard groups. In our next movie we're going to show you how to submit a group assignment.
- Configuring a browser to work with Blackboard
- Updating account information
- Accessing courses and course content
- Resolving missing courses
- Downloading and printing course files
- Submitting assignments
- Taking tests online
- Viewing grades with My Grades
- Sending and receiving email messages
- Joining and accessing a class group