For Developing Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases engagement in learning. Sharing one’s ideas and responding to others’ improves thinking and deepens understanding. 

Creating Group Spaces in Blackboard

Blackboard's Discussion Board tool enables the instructor and students to collaborate on constructing knowledge and understanding about course content. In addition, the Groups feature allows instructors to create groups of students. These course groups have their own area in the course to collaborate using a variety of tools (e.g., blogs, discussion board, file exchange, journals, and wikis).  

When you create a single group, you have the option of allowing students to self-enroll (i.e., adding their names to a sign-up sheet) or manually enrolling students into particular groups.  

1.  Click Create Single Group, and then click either Self-Enroll or Manual Enroll. 

2.  In section 1, "Group Information," enter a name for the group. Entering a Description is optional but can help explain a group's purpose.  

3.  Select "Yes" to make the group available. 

4.  In section 2, "Tool availability," put a checkmark in the box next to each tool you want to make available to members of the group. 

5.  Self-Enroll Groups. In section 4, "Sign-up Options," enter a name for the sign-up sheet. Enter instructions for how students are to sign-up. Enter the maximum number of students that can self-enroll in the group.  

Manual Groups. In section 4, "Membership," click each student you want to include in the group (hold the Control key to select more than one student at a time). Then, click the selection arrow to Add the columns to the box labeled "Selected items." 

6.  Click Submit

When you create a manual group, students who are enrolled will automatically see a My Groups module below the course menu. Students can click the chevron to expand the module and see the groups in which they are enrolled, and what tools are available for each group. What students see will depend on the options you set when you created the manual group.