Learn@UW - Managing Groups

This document describes how course instructors can create and manage groups.

Overview of Group Categories

Groups are created and managed through the Groups tool. Only students can be added to groups. Instructors have access to all groups.

Groups reside inside objects called Group Categories. There are three methods of group creation:

  1. No Automatic Enrollment

    This method will create a Group Category that will initially contain a specified number of empty groups. The instructor will then have to manually enroll the students in each group. The instructor may also later add groups to or delete groups from this group category. If students are enrolled in the course after the creation of these groups, the instructor will need to manually add these students to a group.

  2. Automatic Enrollment

    With this method, groups will be created with the students assigned to the groups randomly. You may specify either the number of groups or the group size limit, that is, the maximum number of students each group may contain.

    If you specify a number of groups, students will be distributed among groups as nearly equally as possible.

    If you specify a group size limit, as many groups as necessary will be created so no group size will exceed this limit. The last group may be much smaller than the other groups.

    Instructors have the ability to override the group assignments by later adding students to or dropping students from the groups.

    When new students are enrolled in the course, groups will need to be updated to include these new students.

  3. Self-Enrollment

    With this method, empty groups will be created in which students may later enroll themselves in. You may specify either the number of groups or the group size limit, that is, the maximum number of students each group may contain. You may also specify both.

    If you specify a group size limit, as many groups as necessary will be created so all students can self-enroll without any group size exceeding this limit. A student who attempts to enroll in a group will see a group as full when the group size limit is reached, however, the instructor can still add more students into such groups and is not bound by the group size limit.

    An instructor can then either populate these groups manually or allow students to choose to which group they wish to belong. Once group membership is chosen, students cannot change their group membership.

Creating Group Categories

  1. Enter your course and select the Groups tool if on the course navigation bar (or in a Link Group) or select Edit Course and then the "Groups" link from "Course Administration".
  2. Press the New Category button near the top of the "Manage Groups" interface.

    New Category
  3. Enter a Category Name and (optionally) a Description.

  4. Choose the Enrollment Type.

    To create a group category
    using this method:
    Select this enrollment type.
    No automatic enrollment # of Groups - No Auto Enrollment
    Automatic enrollment with
    group size limit
    Groups of #
    Automatic enrollment with
    specified number of groups
    # of Groups
    Self-enrollment with
    group size limit
    Groups of # - Self Enrollment
    Self-enrollment with
    specified number of groups
    # of Groups - Self Enrollment
    Self-enrollment with
    both group size limit and
    specified number of groups
    # of Groups of # - Self Enrollment
  5. Enter the Number of Groups and/or Number of Users as either the specified number of groups and/or the group size limit, depending upon the enrollment style selected above.

  6. For automatic enrollment groups, if you want new users enrolled in the course to automatically be enrolled in a group, check the "Auto-Enroll New Users" box under "Advanced Properties".  If checked, a new user will be assigned to a group containing the fewest number of users.

  7. For automatic enrollment groups, If you want users to be randomly assigned to groups, check the "Randomize Users in Groups" box under "Advanced Properties".  If unchecked, the assignment will be determined by the order of the students in the Classlist.

  8. If desired, you can create a discussion area for each group.  To do so, check the "Set Up Discussion Areas" box under "Additional Options".

  9. If desired, you can create a shared locker area for each group.  To do so, check the "Set Up Locker" box under "Additional Options".

  10. If desired, you can create a dropbox folder for each group.  To do so, check the "Set Up Dropbox" box under "Additional Options".

  11. Press the Save button.

    Category Information

Enrolling / Unenrolling Students in Groups

  1. Within the "Manage Groups" interface, select the desired group category from the list by "View Categories" near the top.

    Group Category
  2. Select Enroll Users from the drop-down by the group category just below "Groups". 

    Enroll Users

    This brings up the "Enroll Users" interface (below).

  3. Enroll students in a group by checking the box for each student you want added to a group.

  4. Unenroll students from a group by unchecking the box for each student you want removed from the group.

  5. Click the Save button in the lower left corner when done.

    Group Enrollment

Specifying Group Names

When groups are initially created in a group category, by default, they are assigned the names "Group 1", "Group 2", "Group 3", etc. You may specify more descriptive names to the groups.

  1. Within the "Manage Groups" interface, select the desired group category from the list by "View Categories" near the top.

    Group Category
  2. Click the link of the group you want to rename under the "Groups" header. This brings up the "Edit Groups" interface.

    List of Groups

  3. Enter a new Group Name and (optionally) a Group Code and Description.

  4. Click the Save button. This returns you the main "Manage Groups" interface.

    Edit Group
  5. Repeat these steps to rename another group.

Adding Groups

  1. Within the "Manage Groups" interface, select the desired group category from the list by "View Categories" near the top.

    Group Category

  2. Select Add Group from the drop-down by the group category name just below "Groups".

    Create Group

    This brings up the "Add Group" interface (below).

  3. In the "Add Group" window that appears, Enter a Group Name and (optionally) a Group Code and Description.

  4. Press the Save button.

    Add Group

    This returns you to the "Edit Category" screen.

    New Group
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to add another group in this category.

Deleting Groups

  1. Within the "Manage Groups" interface, select the desired group category from the list by "View Categories" near the top.

    Category Chooser
  2. Check the box(es) by the group(s) to delete below the group category name.

  3. Click the Delete (trash can) icon.

    Select Group

  4. In the confirmation dialog, press Delete Groups / Categories (or Cancel to back out).

    Confirmation

Deleting Group Categories

  1. Within the "Manage Groups" interface, select the desired group category from the list by "View Categories" near the top.

    Group Category
  2. Check the box by the group category just below the "Groups" header.

  3. Click the Delete (trash can) icon.

    Choose Category
  4. In the confirmation dialog, press Delete Groups / Categories (or Cancel to back out).

    Confirmation

Making Discussion Topics Private Based on Group Membership

You can make discussion topics in forums residing in the Discussion tool private based on group membership.

The procedure is described in Learn@UW - Applying Group Membership Access Restrictions to Discussion Topics.

See Also:




Keywords:brightspace learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn manage group category categories discussion topic enroll student membership forum   Doc ID:2507
Owner:Joan W.Group:Learn@UW Utility
Created:2004-01-27 19:00 CDTUpdated:2016-05-24 14:31 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison, Learn@UW Utility
Feedback:  1   0