1. What are the benefits of setting up groups?
  2. Create Groups
    1. Create a Group Category
    2. Assign Students or TAs to Groups
    3. Change Group or Category Names
    4. Add a Group to a Category
  3. Enrollment Type Options
  4. Manage your Groups
    1. View your Groups Categories and Groups
    2. Create New Categories
    3. Edit Categories or Groups
    4. Check Which Students are Enrolled in What Group
    5. Delete Categories or Groups
    6. Send an Email to all Students in a Specific Group
  5. Setting Up Group Lockers
    1. Set up a Group Locker

Groups are smaller clusters of students within a larger class. Groups allow students to work collaboratively on projects/assignments and to share files. Students can belong to multiple groups within a course and can see all the same content that other learners in the course see. Group members are also visible to all members of the same group. There is no way to make group membership private or confidential in Brightspace. To set up PMC Accommodations, use the Classlist, not groups.

What are the benefits of setting up groups?

Setting up groups allows for additional functionality in the course such as:

  • Assigning TAs to different clusters of students
  • Sharing work spaces, such as Discussions and Group Lockers in smaller clusters of students
  • Releasing content to specific groups within the course

→Best Practices for Setting Up Groups

Create Groups

NOTE: Groups have a maximum enrollment of 200 users. If there are more than 200 students in a course, you can create new group categories; there is no limit to the number of group categories within a given course.

TIP: Before creating a set of groups in your course, consider the enrollment type options available in Brightspace:

No Auto Enrollment – Instructor manually enrolls groups members

Auto-Enrollment – Brightspace automatically enrolls groups members.

Self Enrollment – Students enroll themselves as group members.

You can use categories to organize and manage related groups in your course. For example, you can have a category for Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Seminars, etc.

Create a Group Category

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector icon , then select your course from the menu.
  3. In the navbar at the top of your course page, click Tools.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Groups. You will be taken to the Manage Groups page.
  5. Click the New Category button.                                             
  6. Enter a name for the category.
  7. Select an Enrollment type from the drop-down menu. See a description of the enrolment type options in the table below.
  8. Enter the number of groups to create and/or the number of students per group.
  9. To apply a distinctive prefix to each group name and code in the category, enter it in the Group Prefix field. If you do not fill in this field, the prefix defaults to “Group”.
  10. Under Advanced Properties, you have the option to make category and group descriptions visible to group members.
  11. Under Additional Options, you have the option to setup a discussion area workspace,  group lockers, or a dropbox folder for each group to submit their assignments in.
  12. Click Save to save your settings and return to the Manage Groups page.

Assign Students or TAs to Groups

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector icon , then select your course from the menu.
  3. In the navbar at the top of your course page, click Tools.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Groups. You will be taken to the Manage Groups page.
  5. Select a group category from the View Categories drop-down list to view all groups within that category.
  6. Click the drop-down arrow next to the category name in your groups table, then select Enroll Users.
  7. On the Enroll Users page, scroll down to the table listing all users enrolled in your course.
    • To add a user to a group, check the box for that user in the appropriate group column.
    • To remove a user from a group, uncheck the box for that student in the appropriate group column.
      TIP: Search for a student’s name in the search field to jump to a specific student, or click Show Search Options to access more search filters, including the options to view all users who are currently not enrolled in a group.
  8. Click Save to save your enrollments and return to your Manage Groups page.

Change Group or Category Names

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector icon , then select your course from the menu.
  3. In the navbar at the top of your course page, click Tools.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Groups. You will be taken to the Manage Groups page.
  5. Select a group category from the View Categories drop-down list to view all groups within that category.
  6. In your groups table, click the group name that you want to edit. To edit a category name, click drop-down arrow next to a category in your groups table, then select Edit Category.     
  7. Enter a new name in the Group Name or Category Name field.
  8. Click Save.

Add a Group to a Category

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector icon , then select your course from the menu.
  3. In the navbar at the top of your course page, click Tools.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Groups. You will be taken to the Manage Groups page.
  5. Select a group category from the View Categories drop-down list to view all groups within that category.
  6. In your groups table, click the group name that you want to edit. To edit a category name, click drop-down arrow next to a category in your groups table, then select Add Group.   
  7. In the Add Group window, enter a name for the group.
  8. Click Save.

Enrollment Type Options

Watch the video tutorial or review the enrollment type options in the table below.

→Best Practices for Group Enrollment

Enrollment Type Option Description
# of Groups – No Auto Enrollments Selecting this option creates a specified number of groups, for which you can add any number of users using the Enroll Users page.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you know how many groups you want to create and which users you want in each group.
Groups of # Selecting this option creates the minimum number of groups needed to place users in groups of a specified maximum size. More groups are created when they are needed to accommodate users. In the Members column of the Groups table, capacity markers display in the form x/y, where x is the number of enrolled students and y is the capacity.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you know how many users you want in each group. Select this option when you have assignments that require work to be divided between a specific number of users, or when you can only accommodate a set number of users in a lab or work area at one time.
  • If you also enable the Auto-enroll new users option and all of the existing groups reach their maximum size, new users are added to a new group. Because there is no way to know how many new users will join, all new users are added to the same group until it is full.
  • If users are enrolled after groups are set up, users are added to groups using a bucket-filling algorithm because there is no way for the system to determine how many groups in total are needed. For example, if a maximum group size of 5 users is chosen for a class in which 23 users eventually enroll, the first five users are added to Group 1, the sixth through tenth user to Group 2, and so on. After 23 users are enrolled, groups 1-4 have 5 users and Group 5 has 3 users.
  • If the Can be auto enrolled into groups option is cleared, the minimum number of groups needed to create groups under the specified size are created with no users enrolled in them. If no users are enrolled in the course, one group is created. You can enroll users using the Enroll Users page.
# of Groups Selecting this option creates a specified number of groups.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you know how many groups you want to create, but want the system to place users in groups for you.
  • If the Can be auto enrolled into groups option is enabled, users are added using a brick laying algorithm, regardless of whether they enrolled before or after the groups were created. For example, if a class has 23 users and 5 groups, the first user is added to Group 1, the second to Group 2, and so on. The sixth user returns the enrollment sequence to Group 1. Groups 1, 2, and 3 have 5 users and Groups 4 and 5 have 4 users. If a new user enrolls later, they are put in Group 4.
  • If the Can be auto enrolled into groups option is not enabled, the specified number of groups are created with no users enrolled in them. You can enroll users using the Enroll Users page.
Groups of # – Self Enrollment Selecting this option creates the minimum number of groups needed to accommodate users in groups of a specified maximum size automatically. Users choose the group they want to enroll in from the Groups page. In the Members column of the Groups grid list, capacity markers display in the form x/y, where x is the number of enrolled students and y is the capacity.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you know how many users you want in each group, but you want to allow users to choose their own groups. By default, users cannot self-enroll in more than one group.
  • If there are no users enrolled in your course at the time of creation, then only one group is initially created. You can use the Edit Category page to add additional groups.
# of Groups – Self Enrollment Selecting this option creates a specified number of groups, which users enroll in from the Groups page.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you want to make a specific number of groups available for users to join. Select this option when you want to organize groups on specific topics. By default, users cannot self-enroll in more than one group at one time.
# of Groups, Capacity of # – Self Enrollment Selecting this option creates a specified number of groups with a specified number of enrollments per group. Users choose the group they want to enroll in from the Groups page. In the Members column of the Groups table, capacity markers display in the form x/y, where x is the number of enrolled students and y is the capacity.

Note that you can increase or decrease the capacity for self-enrollment groups after they have been created, and prior to the group sign-up expiry date and time. Decreasing a group size to an amount smaller than has already signed up for a group will not re-allocate users to other groups, so you must assign those users manually to other groups.

When to use:

  • Use this enrollment type when you know how many users you want in each group, you want to allow users to choose their own groups, and you want each group to have a maximum number of users.
Single user, member-specific groups Using this option creates a group with a single user where the first name and last name of the learner is the name of the group. When a new learner is enrolled in the course a group is automatically created for them.

When to use:

  • Select this option when you want to create journal type groups with a single member.

Manage your Groups

You can view, edit, and manage your groups from your Manage Groups page.

To access your Manage Groups page:

Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.

View your Groups Categories and Groups

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
  2. View your Group categories and Groups in the table. Group Categories are indicated with an arrow.

Create New Categories

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
  2. Click New Category.
  3. Follow the instructions above.

Edit Categories or Groups

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
    • To Edit a Category:
      1. Click the drop-down arrow next to a category in your groups table, then select Edit Category.
      2. Make your changes on the Edit Category page, then click Save.
    • To Edit a Group:
      1. Click on the name of a group in your groups table.
      2. Make your changes on the Edit Group page, then click Save.

Check Which Students are Enrolled in What Group

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
  2. Under the Members column in your groups table, click on the number indicating how many students are enrolled in the group.
  3. You will see a pop-up window displaying a list of group members.

Delete Categories or Groups

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
  2. In your groups table, click the checkbox to select the group or category you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.

Send an Email to all Students in a Specific Group

  1. Click Tools in your course navbar, then select Groups in the drop-down menu.
  2. In your groups table, click the checkbox to select the group you want to email.
  3. Click Email.
  4. A Compose New Message window will open. Compose your message, then click Send.

Setting Up Group Lockers

When setting up the Groups, there will be options to create Lockers, Assignment area and/or Discussion area workspaces. The Assignment and Discussion areas allow for only the students within the Group to see the posts and files. Lockers are a way for students to share files with one another. This is particularly useful for group projects.  

Set up a Group Locker

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector icon , then select your course from the menu.
  3. In the navbar at the top of your course page, click Tools.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Groups. You will be taken to the Manage Groups page.
  5. Select a group category from the View Categories drop-down list to view all groups within that category.                                                                                                     
  6. In your groups table, click drop-down arrow next to a category in your groups table, then select Edit Category.
  7. Scroll down to the Additional Options heading, then select Set up lockers.
  8. Click Save.
  9. On the Manage Groups page, you will now see a column titled Locker. If you click on Group Files you will see any files people in that Group have shared. You can also add files to this area for specific groups by clicking Group Files

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