Group Properties

Name and Description

Provide a name for your group or group set. If you are creating a group set, the individual group names will default to your group name with a number. This means, if we create a "Final Project" group set, the individual group names (which the students see) will default to "Final Project 1," "Final Project 2," and so on. This can be changed, if you would like to give the groups a more descriptive name later.

Group name field


Providing a group description is optional.

Tools and Tool Availability

Under the TOOL AVAILABILITY heading, choose which tools you would like the group members to be able to use.

The following table, excerpted from Blackboard's Groups help page, outlines each of the tools and how it is used in the Group context.

Tool Description
Collaborate Ultra You and members of a group can share content and use the whiteboard, as well as create recordings.
File Exchange You and group members can use this tool to upload documents to the group area, and delete files, regardless of who added them. This tool is only available to groups.
Group Blog In the group area, all members of a group can create entries for the same blog and build on each entry. All course members can read and comment on a group blog (via the course Blogs tool), but they can't make posts unless they are members of the group. Instructors can choose to grade group blogs. All group members receive the same grade.
Group Discussion Board Group members can create and manage their own forums and discuss topics with other group members only (e.g., group discussion is not visible to the rest of the class). Instructors can choose to grade group discussions, but each member is graded individually.
Group Journal In the group area, all members of a group can view each other's entries. Only group members and instructors can view a group journal. Instructors can choose to grade group journals. All group members receive the same grade.
Group Task Members of a group can define and separate the workload into tasks and distribute the list to the entire group. Each task has a status and a due date to help keep members on track. Group members can view the group assigned tasks in the group tasks tool or in the course tasks tool. Instructor(s) and other course members won't see tasks for groups they aren't enrolled in when viewing the course tasks tool.
Group Wiki Group members can edit and view their group wiki. Instructors can view and edit group wikis and choose to grade group wikis. All group members receive the same grade.
Send Email Group members can email individual members or the entire group.


Module Personalization

This option lets group members select a color and banner for the group. 

module personalization setting

Group Sets Only -- Create Smart View

Smart views are a part of the Grade Center that let you narrow your view to a subset of rows (and sometimes columns).

create smart view option

When enabled, you will be able to click the FILTER button in the upper right of the Full Grade Center 

top of grade center spreadsheet, filter button highlighted

You can then select a group from the CURRENT VIEW list:

current view list with groups included

This will narrow the Grade Center view to show you all the columns for only the students in the group you've selected.

Group Set Name

On the Group Set page, give your group set a name by replacing the New Group Set (DATE) text in the upper left.

renamed group

You will use this Group Set name to identify the set, should you choose to use it when:

  • assigning a Blackboard activity (discussion, test, assignment) to groups,
  • using Blackboard groups in a Collaborate session,
  • or setting release conditions to make content available to a specific group

While students will see the Group Set name on their Groups page, they generally will see the specific group names rather than the Group Set names.

For example, if we create a Final Project group set that contains a Red Team and a Blue Team. If we assign this group set to a Group Presentation assignment, a student in the Red Team will see Red Team (not Final Project) on the item in their Course Content list.

Group Presentation item in Course Content list\

When the student clicks on this item, they'll see their Group Assignment and their Group Members on the assignment's Details & Information panel. The Group Set will not appear.


Group assignment details

Group Students

The Group Students list lets you decide what type of group you're creating.

Group Students list

Choose Custom if you want to add and enroll groups yourself.

Choose Randomly assign if you wish to decide on a number of groups and let Blackboard assign the students itself.

Choose Self-enrollment if you wish to add the groups yourself and let the students enroll themselves in the group of their choice. 

Choose Reuse groups if you have already created a group set and wish to apply it to another activity. For example, if you have created a "Discussion Groups" set and want to use the same set for all the course discussion activities, each time you created a discussion activity you would choose "Assign to Groups," then select Discussion Groups from the Reuse groups heading.

Group visibility

You can set the Group Visibility on this page via the pulldown list in the upper right. Groups that are not visible to students can only be used in the Release Conditions panel (to make content available only to members of a specific group). They cannot be re-used / applied to activities (discussion, tests, assignments) until they are made visible to students.

group visibility pulldown

As a result, if you have reached the group properties page by clicking "Assign to groups" under an activity, the visibility pulldown will be locked to the "Visible to students" position.