Blackboard: Setting up Groups

You can create groups within Blackboard to facilitate CRN Management and for group work/collaboration.

Within Blackboard you can create identical CRN groups (from your SIS reports) which will allow you to:

  • Set up WIKIs, emails , blogs and other tools for these CRN groups ,
  • Give CRN access to content, tests or assignments at different times using adaptive release. This can be especially helpful for management of a tutorial classes.
  • Set up  project groups for students to collaborate on group work by using the Group tool in Blackboard.

Step 1: Group Setup

From the Control Panel choose "User and Groups" and "Groups".

You have two options to choose from :

  1. Create Single Set”- To be used in setting up one group and
  2. Create Group Set” to be used if you intend to setup multiple groups.

The Create Group Set allows you to setup groups with the same standard settings and tool access.It also allows you to randomize membership , particularly useful if you want to setup project groups. The Create Group Set is used in conjunction with the Batch allocates group tool to set up CRN groups.

Enrollment Options

  • Self Enroll – Students can enroll themselves into a group. You can use a sign-up sheet to instruct students.
  • Manual Enroll – The instructor manually assigns students to groups , this option is used for the CRN group setup.
  • Random – This is only  available when setting up Group sets. It will automatically distribute students to groups, NB - You can access these groups at a later point and manually enroll students.

After choosing the enrollment type, you will be prompted to name your Group and set any information.When naming a Group Set, a number will be automatically applied at the end of each group to distinguish them. You can edit the group names from here or edit them after they have been setup.

Step 2-5: Group Functionality


2. Tool Availability 
  • From here you can decide which Tools you want your students to use.
  • Eg - If you wish groups to use the wiki tool ,Tick WIKI.
 group assignment
3. Module Personalisation
  • If ticked - Students can change the colour scheme of their group! 


4. Group Set Options

  • If ticked - Students can create smart view for this group!

5. Now choose submit.

group set options

Edit Group Set Enrolments 
  • You will now be brought to the Enrolments area. From here you can will see the automated number applied to your group you change the name of the groups. You can also manually add users to each group. If click randomise it will assign users randomly to a group.Once the groups are setup they will appear in the group area.
group enrolments

Batch enrolling students using a CSV file

You can import a CSV (comma-separated value) file containing your groups and another for group members, export to reorganise offline as needed, and then import again.

On the main Groups page, use the Import and Export functions on the action bar to add new users and groups. However, you cannot remove users or groups. During these processes, you cannot add new users to your course.

The main Groups page

On the Import Groups page, you can choose whether to upload Groups or Members via CSV (they must be separate operations).

Screenshot 2016-02-18 14.08.43

The Import Groups page

You can also select the group tools you want each group to have access to. Previous tool availability settings are overwritten.

Screenshot 2016-02-18 14.12.56

The Import Groups page (cont.)

On the Export Groups and Members page, make a selection for what you want to export:

  • Groups only
  • Group members only
  • Groups and group members

Sample CSV Files

Download the following files to use as examples when formatting your own files:

Sample for group members (CSV)

Sample for groups (CSV)

Group Codes

Group codes are unique identifiers used strictly for import purposes. You may reveal a column in the interface to see the group codes, but you cannot edit group codes while in your course.

Group codes also appear in downloaded CSV files. You can edit the group codes in the CSV file when importing existing users to a group to ensure the users are added to the correct group. Group codes are necessary to provide a way to identify each group in case they have the same name.

When viewing all groups, use the View Options drop-down list to show and hide the Group Code column.