Groups in Original Course View

The Groups tool allows faculty members to organize students into groups of any size. Faculty members can provide communication and collaboration tools that only Group members can access. Groups can be created one at a time or in sets. Groups can be designated as Self-Enroll, allowing students to add themselves to a Group, or Manual Enroll, having the faculty member assign students to a Group.

Once created, each Group has its own space in the course to work together. The faculty member can allow individual Group members to personalize their Group space with personal modules, such as My Calendar and What's New. The Faculty can enable an assortment of tools to help students collaborate.

Tools that can be made available to a Group include:

  • Blogs: In the Group area, all members of a Group can create entries for the same Blog, building upon one another. Any course member can read and comment on a Group Blog, but cannot make Entries if they are not a member of the Group. Faculty can select the grade option for Group Blogs.
  • Collaboration: Users within the Group can create and attend chat sessions and virtual classroom sessions.
  • Discussion Board: Users within the Group can create and manage their own forums.
  • Email: Users within the Group can email individual members or the entire Group.
  • File Exchange: Group members and faculty can add and share files in this area.
  • Journals: When used in the Group area, all members of a Group can view each other's entries, but the Group Journal can only be viewed by the Group and the faculty. Faculty can select the grade option for Journals.
  • Tasks: Users within the Group can create Tasks that are distributed to all Group members.
  • Wikis: Users within the Group can edit their Group Wiki. All students within the Course can view a Group Wiki. The faculty can view and edit a Group Wiki and can select the grade option for Group Wikis.

Screenshot highlighting the process for creating groups or group sets

To create a Group: From the Control Panel click Users and Groups, click Groups, and select either Create Single Group or Create Group Set in the adjacent content frame. If Create Group sets is selected, there is an additional option to have students randomly enrolled into groups.

Groups in Ultra Course View

Status: Available

In the Ultra Course View, Groups can be created at the course level in the Details & Actions panel, in the settings for an Assignment, or in the settings for a Discussion. Groups can be created manually, randomly, or set up for students to self-enroll in a group of their choice.

Course Groups

  • Created in the Details & Actions panel
  • Membership can be random, self-enroll, reused from another group set, or customized manually
  • Primarily useful for the instructor to send Messages to a group of students
  • Students cannot see their group members or use any collaborative tools

Group Assignments

  • Created in the settings for an Assignment
  • Membership can be random, self-enroll, reused from another group set, or customized manually
  • Group members submit once on behalf of the group; grade is assigned to all group members
  • With Class Conversations enabled, group members can discuss the assignment via a private discussion board or synchronously in Blackboard Collaborate

Group Discussions

  • Created in the settings for a Discussion
  • Membership can be random, self-enroll, reused from another group set, or customized manually
  • Group discussion is limited to group members
  • Discussion analytics are calculated for each group as well as the course overall

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use Groups in Blackboard?

You can use the Groups feature in Blackboard to allow students to collaborate on projects, assignments, quizzes or any other collaboration-based course work. This feature provides private areas that students can use for discussions, chats, file sharing and quick email access among group members.

Are there any special considerations in setting up group resources?

Yes.  The tools available through the Groups feature area are very similar to the tools that are available at the “course” or "whole class" level. Also, please note that there are three ways that students can join a group:

  • Self Enrollment: This option allows the students themselves to become members of groups by using sign-up sheets that the faculty can create for each group.
  • Manual Enrollment: This option requires the faculty to select each member one at a time from a list of all the students in the course.
  • Random Enrollment: This option is best suited for multiple groups, whereby the faculty allows the system to divide up all the members of the course among all the groups based on criteria chosen by the faculty (as, for example, a certain number of students per group).
I see I can export groups; will the students in the groups be exported?
No, student information (their names, activities, etc.) from groups will not be exported. Only the structure of the groups (group names, settings, discussion forums, etc.) will be exported. For more details, please refer to information pertaining to the Export Course feature of Blackboard.
I added a student into a group; how can I move him/her into another?

The easiest way to move a student from one group to another is to first remove (i.e. un-enroll) the student from the original group, and then add that student to the correct group. Please note that all information connected to that student will be lost once you remove him/her from the original group.

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