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Blackboard 9.1 Online Guide: Groups Tool
Online Learning Modules

Introduction

The Groups tool in BB9.1 intends to help students to collaborate on their group work or projects. The instructor can create one group at a time or create group sets (more than one group) all at once. The Instructor has the privilege of manually assigning group members or allowing students to self-enroll or enrolling students to different groups randomly. The instructor can also set up group tools for communications, file sharing and collaboration among group members. This module will focus on these features.

Objectives
  • Create single groups and Group Sets with self-enroll, manual, and random enroll options
  • Add, monitor and Grade a Group Assignment
  • Select appropriate tools for students’ group work
  • Incorporate best practices
Learning Activities

Creating a Single Group (Watch it)

Step 1: Click Users and Groups section on on the Control Panel
Step 2: Click Groups. the Groups listing page opens.

Note: You can also click the Groups link on the Course Menu if you have created one. To create a Group link on Course Menu, follow these steps:
1. Click Add Menu Item icon on the course menu,
2. Select Create Tool Link
3. Give a name e.g. Groups
4. Select Groups for type
5. Click Submit.

Step 3: Put the cursor on the Action Bar Create Single Group to access the drop-down list.
Step 4: Click Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll. The Create Group page opens.
Step 5: Provide a Name and optional Description.
Step 6: Select Yes to make the Group Available or select Sign-up Sheet Only.
Step 7: Select the Tools available to the Group.
Step 8: Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if Student submissions will be graded.
Step 9: Select the check box for Allow Personalization to allow individual Group members to add Personal Modules to the Group Homepage.
Step 10: If you use Self enrollment, select the Sign-up options for Self-Enroll, including titling the Sign-up Sheet. Select the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include. If you use Manual Enroll, in the Membership section, select the Students from the Items to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to add the selected names to the Selected Items box.
Step 10: Click Submit.

Creating a group set (Watch it)

Step 1: Click Users and Groups section on on the Control Panel
Step 2: Click Groups. the Groups listing page opens.

Note: You can also click the Groups link on the Course Menu if you have created one. To create a Group link on Course Menu, follow these steps:
1. Click Add Menu Item icon on the course menu,
2. Select Create Tool Link
3. Give a name e.g. Groups
4. Select Groups for type
5. Click Submit.

Step 3: Put the cursor on the Action Bar Create Group Set to access the drop-down list.
Step 4: Select Self-Enroll, Manual Enroll or Random Enroll. The Create Enrollment Group Set page opens.
Step 4: Provide a Name and optional Description.
Step 5: Select Yes to make the Group Available or select Sign-up Sheet Only.
Step 6: Select the Tools available to the Group.
Step 7: Select the Grade option and type Points possible for Blogs, Journals, and Wikis, if Student submissions will be graded.
Step 8: Select the check box for Allow Personalization as needed.
Step 9: Select the Sign-up options for Self-Enroll, including titling the Sign-up Sheet. Select the Maximum Number of Members. Select any other Sign-up options you want to include.
OR In the Group Set Options section for Manual Enroll, type the Number of Groups to create. OR In the Membership section for Random Enroll, type the Number of Students per Group to create or the Number of Groups. Select an option to determine how to enroll any remaining members in the Groups.
Step 10: Click Submit.

Select appropriate Group Tools for students’ group work

While creating groups, the instructor needs to enable appropriate tools for group members to collabrate on work. Instructor can chooses from Group Blog,Collaboration (Real Chat or Virtual Classroom),Group Discussion Board, Email, Group Journal, Group Tasks, and Group Wiki. With Real Chat or Virtual Classroom, students can meet in real-time for kickoff meetings, division of tasks, and progress updates. They can also use Group Discussion Board to dicuss about their projects or use the Group Email tool to communicate.

It's Your Turn!

Goto your only course site, create groups and set up appropriate Group Tools as needed.

Best Practices in Higher Education

Best practices:

Select the best way to enroll group members

Ifyou have a large size of students, creating group sets with random enrollment may work more efficiently than creating sniggle groups one by one.

For small class size with diverse students of different levels, manually enrollment of group members with consideration of students personality,learning styles or academic level or may work better.

Summary

Groups in BB9.1 is a powerful tool for students to collaborate on work and projects.


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© 2010, The University of Toledo. A UT Learning Ventures Publication.
Last Updated: 1/3/12