Bb Auto Groups Feature
Auto Groups are a set of groups which appear in every Blackboard course that you teach. A distinct group will be created automatically for every SIS course section which has been associated with your Blackboard course. When students add or drop a course section in SIS, they will automatically be added to (or removed from) the respective group in Blackboard. Auto Groups allow instructors to use Blackboard's "group-enabled" features on a section-by-section basis (e.g., for section-based grading, assignments, discussion forums, etc.).
Find the Groups
To see where the groups are in your course site, ensure your Edit Mode is on, and navigate to the Course Control Panel, then Users and Groups, and choose Groups.
Click on the Locate Users and Groups thumbnail image (left) to view.
Create / Open Smart View for Group (Groups and Grade Centre)
A Smart View in the Grade Centre will filter the rows you see in the Grade Centre to only those members in that particular group. This is helpful for grading, as you won't confuse students who aren't in that section with your grading efforts. Once you create a SmartView for the group (click the Create SmartView for Group thumbnail (left) image to view), you can also quickly open that SmartView from the same location you created the SmartView (click the Open SmartView for Group thumbnail (left) image to view). Also, you can access the SmartView from the Grade Centre list in the Control Panel as a sub-heading. From there, you can also open up the SmartView in the Grade Centre.
Click the Open SmartView for Group in Grade Centre->Groups thumbnail image (left) to view.
Adaptive Release of Course Materials by Group
When instructors set up a group and choose a set of tools for the group, those tools are only available to those group members. Some disadvantages can occur by doing this, including Discussions that students can create, edit and delete content. The Adaptive Release Membership options can alleviate those types of problems, and give the instructor control over who gets to see tools or course materials by using a set of rules (click the Adaptive Release option for course materials thumbnail image (right) to view). For groups, the Membership option can be selected, where instructors can choose one or more groups to be able to access the tool or course materials (click the Adaptive Release Membership - choose group thumbnail (right) image to view).
Communicating with Groups
Blackboard has several options to communicate with your class (Announcements, personal notification settings, Email, Course Messages, subscribing to Forums, etc.). When you have groups defined in your site, you can also utilize the Email tool more effectively by targeting an email by a particular group. You can do this two ways:
Email Group from the Groups tool
To Send an Email Message Within a Course Group
- On the Groups listing page, access a group's contextual menu and click Email Group.
- On the next page, select the recipients from the Available to Select box and click the right-pointing arrow to move them to the Selected box.
- Type a Subject and Message.
- Click Attach a file to browse for file from your computer. You can attach multiple files. After you add one file, the option to attach another file appears.
- Click Submit.
Click the Find Group Email Tool image thumbnail image (left) to expand.
- A copy of the message is sent to the sender. A receipt page appears after the message is sent listing all recipients. The receipt page does not confirm that users received the message. It only confirms that the message was sent.
The Email tool in your Blackboard site is also a group-friendly tool. Access the tool from your left menu. If it isn't added to your site, see the Adding Tools video (you will need to log in with your UWin ID to view) to add it. When you open the tool, you will see several options, including All Groups (send email to all of the Groups in the course), and Select Groups (to target which groups are to receive the email.) An important note to this tool is that a copy of the email will NOT be saved in the course site, but the sender will receive a copy in your UWin email account, that can be your record that it was sent.