Instructors can create formal groups of students to collaborate on work, and create these groups one at a time or in sets. To add students to the group pages, instructors can manually select group members or allow students to self-enroll. Each group has its own space, or homepage, with links to tools to help students collaborate. Only the instructor and the group members can access the group tools.

To create groups:

  1. On the Control Panel menu, click to expand the Users and Groups section.  
  2. Next, click the Groups link on the expanded menu.

Two creation options are presented.  Instructors can choose to create a single group or group set.

Creating a Single Group

  • Manual Enroll - You select and add each member to the group manually.

  1. Hover over the Create button, and then choose Manual Enroll on the drop-menu.

  1. Give the group a name and set availability.
  2. Select which tools will be available within the group. Group tools are exclusive, only accessible to group members and the course instructor.  Any activity taking place within the group discussion board, blog, journal, or wiki will be inaccessible to students in other groups.
  3. Assign members to the group. To do so, click on Add Users. This will bring up another window to allow you to select the desired users for this group.

  1. In the new window, left-click the checkboxes next to the user’s name you wish to add into the group. Do this for each individual user you wish to add.

  2. Click Submit on the lower-right corner of the screen to select the individual users for the group.
  3. The Add Users popup window will disappear, and the users that you have selected should show up on the page under the Membership heading. Ensure all the settings are correct for this group, and proceed to the next step.
  4. Click Submit to create the group and assign members.

  • Self-Enroll - Allows students to self-enroll in groups you have created.  This is useful when each group discusses a unique topic, as it allows students to easily select the group they are most interested in.

  1. Hover over the Create button, then select Self-Enroll on the drop-menu.

  1. Give the group a name and set availability. If each group will be assigned unique topics or tasks, use the Description area to summarize subjects and responsibilities to help students choose between groups.
  2. Select which tools will be available within the group. Group tools are exclusive, only accessible to group members and the course instructor.  Any activity taking place within the group discussion board, blog, journal, or wiki will be inaccessible to students in other groups.
  3. Provide a name for the Sign-up Sheet.  The sign-up sheet name should relate to the name of the group.  
  4. Set the Maximum Number of Members.  Once this number has been reached, sign up is closed for this group.
  5. Show Members - When checked, this allows students to see which classmates have already signed up for a group.
  6. Check the box to Allow Students to sign-up from the Groups listing page.

  1. Click Submit to create the group.

Creating Group Sets

  • Random Enroll - Creates a set of groups with students automatically enrolled at random.

  1. Hover over the Create button, then choose Random Enroll on the drop-menu.

  1. Give the group set a name.  The system will automatically number each group within the set for you.  For example, a set named “Team” will create groups named “Team 1,” Team 2,” etc.
  2. Select which tools will be available within the group. Group tools are exclusive, only accessible to group members and the course instructor.  Any activity taking place within the group discussion board, blog, journal, or wiki will be inaccessible to students in other groups.
  3. There are two options for determining the size and number of groups.


Number of Students per Group - Set the maximum number of students per group and the system will automatically create groups to accommodate them.  For example, if you have 24 students and select 4 students per group, the system will create 6 groups.

Number of Groups - Sets the number of groups and fills them proportionally.  If you have 30 students and set 5 groups, the system will assign 6 students randomly to each group.

  1. Finally, set the setting for how the system should distribute remaining members when the number of groups do not divide evenly among the number of students.  

For example, if there are 26 students and the number of students per group is set to 4, Blackboard will create 6 groups with two remaining students leftover.  Remaining students can be distributed among the groups (some groups will have more than the set number of students), be put into their own group (an extra smaller group will be created), or the instructor can manually add them to a group.

Note:  Random group assignment applies only to students currently in the course.  Any students adding the course late must be manually enrolled in a group later.

Modifying a Group

  1. Click to expand the Users and Groups section on the Control Panel, then select the Groups link.

  1. This brings up a list displaying all of the groups you have created.  Click the options button to the right of the group name, then choose Edit from the drop-menu.

  1. Modify options as needed.  Group name, tool availability, sign-up sheets, and member settings can all be modified at any time.

Removing a Group

  1. Click to expand the Users and Groups section on the Control Panel, then select the Groups link.
  2. Click the Options button to the right of the group name, then choose Delete on the drop-menu.