Bb Learn - Working with Groups

Working with Groups in Blackboard Learn

In this scenario, you will

Although Blackboard Learn offers a number of options to choose from when you create an assessment, the steps listed in this scenario address only a few of them. You are encouraged to explore the other options on your own.

Log in to Blackboard Learn

To log in to Blackboard Learn (if you are not already logged in), follow these steps:

  1. Go to bblearn.nau.edu.
    Screenshot: Blackboard Learn login page
  2. Click the Log in to Bb Learn button.
    Login button
  3. On the Central Authentication Service (CAS) page, in the UserID field type your NAU login ID, and in the Password field, type your password.

    (NOTE: If you have already authenticated through CAS from some other campus website, you might not have to complete this step or the next. Instead, you automatically will be routed to the Blackboard Learn My Institution tab.)
    Screenshot: Type your UserID and Password. Then click the Login button.
  4. Click the Login button.

Navigate to the Correct Course

After you have logged in, make sure you are on the My Institution tab, and then from the My Courses block, select a listed course.
Screenshot: Click the Use Case Scenarios link.

Configure Blackboard Learn for Editing

Near the upper right corner of the window, make sure the Edit Mode is button is set to ON. You click the button to toggle between ON and OFF.
Screenshot: Set the Edit Mode to ON.

Create Course Groups

The Course Groups feature allows Instructors to create groups of students within a Course. These Course Groups have their own area in the Course to collaborate. These spaces are equipped with tools that can assist in this collaborative process.

Group users may:

  • Send email
  • Exchange files
  • Enter discussion Forums
  • Enter Collaboration Sessions
  • Change the position of individual modules by dragging and dropping

Instructors can assign specific students or random groups of students to a Course Group, or they can allow students to sign up for a Course Group.

A Group Set is any collection of more than one group that has the same group title (except for a number) and were created at the same time using the Create Group Set menu.

(adapted from Blackboard Learn Help)
  1. First decide whether you are setting up a single group or mulitple groups. Think about what you would likely do in your course and watch one of the two video clips.
  • Do you expect to have a single group where you manually add individuals involved in a project?
  • Do you expect to generate multiple groups and have the system randomly assign who is in each group?
  • Review this pdf for definitions of terminology as well as an outline of steps for setting up groups.
  1. In your "practice shell" add a Group or a Group Set.

Note: Once you are on the Users and Groups > Groups page, you will notice that there are two menu or button options for setting up groups; "Create Single Group" and "Create Group Set". Any time your are creating more than one group that is following the same set of instructions, you will want to use the Group Set option.

Additionally, you can select the specific tools your students will need in order to collaborate effectively on your envisioned activities.

Group Tools

Once created, each Group has its own space in the Course to work together. The Instructor can allow individual Group members to personalize their Group space with personal modules, such as My Calendar and What's New. The Instructor can enable an assortment of tools to help students collaborate. Tools that can be made available include:

  • Blogs: In the Group area, all members of a Group can create entries for the same Blog, building upon one another. Any Course member can read and comment on a Group Blog, but cannot make Entries if they are not a member of the Group. Instructors can select the grade option for the Group Blog.
  • Collaboration: Users within the Group can create and attend Chat sessions and Virtual Classroom sessions.
  • Discussion Board: Users within the Group can create and manage their own Forums.
  • E-mail: Users within the Group can email individual members or the entire Group.
  • File Exchange: Group members and the Instructor can share files in this area. All members, as well as the Instructor, can add files. They can also delete files, regardless of who added them.
  • Journals: When used in the Group area, all members of a Group can view each others's Entries, but the Group Journal can only be viewed by the Group and the Instructor. Instructors can select the grade option for Group Journals.
  • Tasks: Users within the Group can create Tasks that are distributed to all Group members..
  • Wikis: Users within the Group can edit their Group Wiki. All Students within the Course can view a Group Wiki. The instructor can view and edit a Group Wiki and can select the grade option for Group Wikis.

(adapted from Blackboard Learn Help)

  1. You now have a group or several groups containing a collection of tools with which the students can use to collaborate on your assigned activity.