What are groups?

You can allocate students within your Blackboard (Course Resources) module into Groups.  A Group area for each Group is created for students to collaborate with a number of tools made available within the area to assist Group work.  The Group area can be used to aid students to plan, organise, exchange ideas, share resources and Group assignments can be set for students to work on together.

You can choose which tools are available to students.  The tools available to choose from are:  Collaboration, File Exchange, Group Blog, Group Discussion Board, Group Journal, Group Tasks, Group Wiki, Send Email and Group Assignment.

There are a number of ways to create Groups within Blackboard including random enrol, self-enrol and manual enrol.

Why would I use groups with my students?

  • Provides tools to aid a more structured, task orientated approach to group work.  This can be particularly beneficial to students who are not used to group work.
  • Enhances the planning and organisation skills of the group, with the tools for collaborative working available at any time and place.  Therefore reducing any obstacles relating to group members not being available to meet up at the same time or place.
  • Develop students’ digital communication skills. Requiring them to communicate and collaborate in a professional manner within an online environment.
  • Contributions made by each member during the process of group work are recorded. These are visible to both the Module Leader and students supporting the evaluation of how well the group worked together and the individual contributions made by each member.
  • Supports differentiation in formative assessment, with the ability to set different tasks and provide different resources within each separate group area.

How do I use groups with my students?

  • There are different ways in creating groups within Blackboard. Groups can be created as single groups or in group sets.
  • There are also different methods in allocating students to groups, these are:
  • Manual enrol:  Each student in the Blackboard module is assigned to a group.  This method can be used within both single sets or group sets.
  • Random enrol:  Is only available for group sets.  Random enrol automatically distributes students to groups based on the number of students and the number of groups required.
  • Self- enrol:  Is available for both single groups and group sets.  Students can sign themselves up to groups using a ‘sign in’ sheet.

Please note:

  • Group tools are only available to you and each groups of students’ with the exception of group blogs and wikis, which appear to all module members when the tools are accessed in the module tools page.
  • You can delete groups you no longer need.  If you need to keep the marks in the Grade Centre you’ll need to tick to confirm that you want to keep the grades, for instance a graded blog or wiki.  However, the content of what was created will be deleted when the group is deleted.