Blackboard allows instructors to create groups importing specially formatted CSV files. Additionally, instructors can modify existing groups offline by exporting those groups and importing the modified CSV files into Blackboard. This guide will demonstrate how to import groups to Blackboard.
Accessing the Groups Tool
Log into Blackboard and go to the Control Panel.
- Click on Users and Groups.
- Then click on Groups.
You will now see the Groups page in Blackboard. To import groups or group sets, click the Import button at the top of the page.
Importing Group Members
You will now see a screen labeled Import Groups. The first part of the process is to import the group members from a specially formatted CSV file. To import the file, click the Browse My Computer button. Please refer to the step below for formatting information.
Formatting a Spreadsheet for Importing Group Members
This above screenshot shows how the spreadsheet should be formatted for importing:
- Group Code: The first column should be given the header Group Code. The Group Code indicates which group the users should be assigned to. Group Codes should be entered with underscores for spaces and should correspond with the Group Code column in the Groups spreadsheet.
- User Name: The second column should be given the header User Name. The User Name corresponds to each user's UTAD username.
Once you have entered the group memberships in a spreadsheet, you would need to save the spreadsheet as a .csv file. To save as a CSV file, click on File>Save As, and using the Save As Type dropdown menu, select Comma-Separated Values Windows (.csv) and save the file.
Importing Group Parameters
The second spreadsheet to import contains the group parameters. To import the group parameters, click the Browse My Computer button under Import Groups.
Formatting a Spreadsheet for Group Parameters
The above image shows how the spreadsheet for importing group parameters should be formatted. To format the spreadsheet, use the following headers and type in the appropriate information. Note: All column headers must be provided in order to successfully import the group parameters.
- Group Code: The Group Code is used by Blackboard to identify which members belong to each group. When formatting Group Codes, use an underscore for spaces.
- Title: Enter the title for the group in the second column.
- Description: Enter a description for the group in the third column.
- Group Set: If you wish to organize groups as part of a set, enter the Group Set name for each group you want to be part of a group set. When formatting the Group Set name, use an underscore for spaces. The Group Set name is entered in the fourth column.
- Available: To make a group visible to students, enter Y in the fifth column for each group. To make the group invisible to students, type N in the fifth column.
- Personalization: To allow group members to personalize the appearance of the group home page, enter Y in the sixth column. Otherwise, type N to prohibit students from changing the group home page.
- Self Enroll: To allow students to enroll themselves in the group, type Y in the seventh column. If you do not wish students to enroll themselves, type N in the seventh column.
- Max Enrollment: To set a maximum number of students who can enroll in a single group, type the desired maximum number in the eighth column. For instructor-managed groups, or if you do not wish to have a maximum, leave this column blank.
- Show Members: For self enrolled groups, if you wish to allow students to see who has already signed up to a group, type Y in the ninth column. To hide the list of members who already have signed up, type N in this column. For non self enrolled groups, you can leave this column blank.
- Sign up from Group List: If you wish to allow students to sign up from the group list, type Y in the tenth column. If you wish to link the signup sheet in another content area, type N in this column. For instructor-managed groups, you can leave this column blank.
- Sign up Name: For self enrolled groups, type in the name of the sign up sheet in the eleventh column. For non self-enrolled groups, you can leave this column blank.
- Sign up Instructions: For self enrolled groups, type in instructions for the sign up sheet in the twelfth column. For non self-enrolled groups, you can leave this column blank.
Once you have entered the group parameters in a spreadsheet, you would need to save the spreadsheet as a .csv file. To save as a CSV file, click on File>Save As, and using the Save As Type dropdown menu, select Comma-Separated Values Windows (.csv) and save the file.
Setting up Group Tool Availability
After importing both CSV files with the group members and the group parameters, scroll down to the section labeled Tool Availability. On this page, check the checkboxes next to each tool you wish to give the groups access to:
- Academic Materials
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
- Discussion Board
- File Exchange
When finished, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to queue the creation of the groups. You will receive a confirmation message that the groups have been queued for creation.