Creating Group Sets with Random Enrollments

This lesson will demonstrate how to set up multiple groups within Blackboard.  To set up a single group, refer to the instructions on how to set up a single self-enrolled or manual-enrolled group.  There are three enrollment methods for group sets.

  • Self-Enroll (Students select which group they wish to enroll in)
  • Manual Enroll (Instructor assigns students to groups)
  • Random Enroll (Students are randomly placed into groups by Blackboard)

This lesson will demonstrate how to create groups with random enrollments, where Blackboard randomly assigns students to a group.

Accessing the Groups Tool

Image of the Blackboard Control Panel with the following annotations: 1.Click on Users and Groups.2.Then click on Groups.

Log into Blackboard and go to the Control Panel.  

  1. Click on Users and Groups.
  2. Then click on Groups.

Creating Group Sets with Random Enrollments

You will now see a screen labeled Groups that lists all the groups created within the course.

With the Random Enroll feature, Blackboard will randomly enroll students based on criteria selected by the instructor. To create a group set with random enrollments, click on the Create button and select Random Enroll from the menu in the Group Set column.

Setting up the Group Set Information

Image of the Create Group Set: Group Information with the following annotations: 1.Name: Enter a name for the group set under the space marked Name.  Blackboard will automatically append each group within the group set with a number2.Description: Enter a description for the group set here.3.Group is visible to students: Select Yes to make the group set availabile to students.

You will now see a screen labeled Create Random Enrollment Group Set. The section labeled Group Information allows instructors to enter the group set name and description.

  1. Name: Enter a name for the group set under the space marked Name.  Blackboard will automatically append each group within the group set with a number
  2. Description: Enter a description for the group set here.
  3. Group is visible to students: Select Yes to make the group set availabile to students.

Setting up Group Tool Availability and Settings

Image of Tool availability with the following annotations: 1.Blogs: Check the checkbox here to enable the Blogs tool.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.2.Discussion Board: Check this checkbox to enable the group discussion board.  Additionally, instructors can choose to permit students to create their own forums in the group, or instructors can choose to prevent students from creating their own forums.3.Email: Check this checkbox to allow students to send emails to each other within the group.4.File Exchange: Check this box to allow students to share files with each other within the group.5.Journals: Check this box to enable the Journal tool within the group.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.6.Tasks: Check this box to allow students to create tasks for group members.7.Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Check this box to enable students to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for realtime collaboration within their group. Additionally, instructors can choose whether or not to permit students to create and access session recordings.8.Wikis: Check this box to enable the Wiki tool in the group environment.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.9.Commercial Content Tools: Check this box to enable tools provided by an external tool provider.

Tool Availability allows you to enable and disable individual tools for student use within the groups.  To enable a tool, check the checkbox next to the tool name.  To disable a tool, uncheck the checkbox next to the tool name.

  1. Blogs: Check the checkbox here to enable the Blogs tool.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.
  2. Discussion Board: Check this checkbox to enable the group discussion board.  Additionally, instructors can choose to permit students to create their own forums in the group, or instructors can choose to prevent students from creating their own forums.
  3. Email: Check this checkbox to allow students to send emails to each other within the group.
  4. File Exchange: Check this box to allow students to share files with each other within the group.
  5. Journals: Check this box to enable the Journal tool within the group.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.
  6. Tasks: Check this box to allow students to create tasks for group members.
  7. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: Check this box to enable students to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for realtime collaboration within their group. Additionally, instructors can choose whether or not to permit students to create and access session recordings.
  8. Content Market Tools: Check this box to enable tools provided by an external tool provider.
  9. Wikis: Check this box to enable the Wiki tool in the group environment.  Additionally, grading options can be enabled by selecting Grade.

Setting up Module Personalization Settings

Image of Section 3: Module Personalization Settings with Allow Personalization checked.

Module Personalization Settings allows instructors to permit students to personalize the appearance of the group home page.  To allow students to personalize the group home page, check the box labeled Allow Personalization.

Setting Up Group Set Options

Image of Section 4: Group Set Options with the option Create Smart View for each group in set.

Group Set Options allows instructors to create a smart view in the Grade Center for each group in the set.  A Smart View allows instructors to view the grades of the group members at a glance. To enable a Smart View, check the checkbox for the option labeled Create smart view for each group in set.

Setting up the Group Membership Options

Image of Membership with the following annotations: Determine Number of Groups By:1.Number of Students per Group: Select this option if you want to create groups with a specific number of students.2.Number of Groups: Select this option if you want to specify the total number of groups to create.Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members:3.Distribute the remaining members amongst the groups: Select this option to place remaining students within the created groups4.Put the remaining members in their own group: Select this option to place the remaining students in their own group.5.Manually add the remaining members to groups: This option will allow instructors to manually place the remaining students into groups. 6. When you are finished setting up the group information, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.  If you chose to manually assign the remaining students, you will then see a screen similar to the one below that lists the enrollments per group.

Membership allows instructors to specify how Blackboard should assign students to groups:

Determine Number of Groups By:

  1. Number of Students per Group: Select this option if you want to create groups with a specific number of students.
  2. Number of Groups: Select this option if you want to specify the total number of groups to create.

Determine How to Enroll any Remaining Members:

  1. Distribute the remaining members amongst the groups: Select this option to place remaining students within the created groups
  2. Put the remaining members in their own group: Select this option to place the remaining students in their own group.
  3. Manually add the remaining members to groups: This option will allow instructors to manually place the remaining students into groups.
  4. When you are finished setting up the group information, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.  If you chose to manually assign the remaining students, you will then see a screen similar to the one below that lists the enrollments per group.

Managing Group Set Enrollments

You will now see a screen labeled Edit Group Set Enrollments that will allow you to add members to each group within the set.

  1. Filter Available Members: Hide members already in another group in this set: Check the box here to hide members that have already been added to another group within the current set.
  2. Click the Randomize Enrollments button to randomly enroll students into each group.
  3. Name: The name of each group can be modified by changing the value in the Name field.
  4. To add members to a group, click the Add Users button. A new screen will pop up where you can select users.  See the next step for further details.  Repeat this step for each group.
  5. If you do not need a group within the group set, click the Delete Group button to remove the group.
  6. If you need to add an additional group, click the Add Group button at the bottom.
  7. When finished with setting up the group enrollments, click the Submit button and the groups will be created.

Selecting Students

You will now see a screen labeled Add Users:

  1. Search: Use the search bar and the criterion selectors to search for a specific user to add and click Go to search.
  2. Show all Users Regardless of Role: Check this option to list users with roles other than student.
  3. The list of course users will appear here.
  4. Check the checkboxes to select the users you wish to add.
  5. Use the page navigation buttons to navigate between multiple pages.
  6. Click the Show All button to show all users on one page.
  7. Click the Edit Paging button to manage how many users are listed per page (maximum: 200 per page)
  8. When finished, click the Submit button to add the users to the group.  

After clicking Submit, you will then be returned to the Edit Group Screen, and the students will have been added to the list of group members.