Using Groups in Blackboard

You can create groups of students in your Blackboard course. This can be useful for facilitating group work, providing different materials to different students, or dividing your class up for administrative purposes.

Collaboration and group work

Setting up Groups in your Blackboard course gives students a space in which to collaborate and work together at their own pace. Students will be able to see a Group Homepage for each group they are a member of. It will list their fellow group members and the tools they can use.

Group tools


Students can use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. A single Group Room is set up, accessible only by members of the group. Students will have Presenter permissions in the room, and if you have allowed it in the Group options, will be able to record. They can therefore use this room for their group meetings, discussions, or recording a group presentation.

File Exchange

Students can share files by saving them to this space. Note this is simply a shared storage folder, and does not allow students to collaborate on a single document.

Group Blog, Journal, Discussion Board and Wiki

These tools allow students to work together on a collaborative resource. This may be as part of the process towards a final assessment, or it may be an assessed task in itself. You will be able to see individual students’ contributions.

Group Tasks

A simple planning tool where students can create a list of tasks and set a priority, due date and completion status for each.

Send Email

Students can email other group members (individually or the whole group) without knowing their email address. They can select the recipients by name from a list of group members.

Administrative use

You may wish to use Blackboard Groups to help you divide up your class for more administrative purposes, such as creating tutorial groups so that each tutor can contact their group without having to send a message to the whole class. Or you may be doing project work where students work individually, but choose from a list of topics. You can use Adaptive Release to make certain course materials available only to certain topic groups. Or you may want to continue to make assessment materials available to those with extensions, resits or reasonable adjustments while removing it from the rest of the class.

For some of these scenarios (such as tutorial groups) you may want to allow the collaborative aspect of the groups. For others, you may wish to remove the options for collaborative tools. You can also customise the group homepage so that it does not show a list of members.

Setting up Blackboard Groups

You can set up groups manually or import the information from a .csv file (Comma Separated Values, easily produced from an Excel spreadsheet).

Full instructions on setting up and managing Groups are available on the Blackboard help site. If you have any problems, you can contact for technical help with Blackboard, or for advice on using Blackboard Groups on your module.


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