Group Creation in Ultra


This article will assist instructors in creating groups.


This guide pertains to Ultra Course View.

If your course is in Original Course View, see the Original Course View tutorial collection.


About Groups

Collaborative learning offers many benefits over traditional instruction. Studies show that when students work as a team, they develop positive attitudes, solve problems more effectively, and experience a greater sense of accomplishment through the real-life application of teamwork.  You can create groups to use for graded assignments, tests, and discussions. You can also create groups for activities other than graded work such as volunteering or field trips or to create a sign-up sheet for students to select a topic for a presentation or paper.
Students can access course groups from the upper navigation tabs and they can view members of the groups they belong to on the Groups page. Groups can be tied to assessments but can also be created independently of assessments to encourage collaboration.

Types of Groups

  • Self-Enrollment:  Each student selects which group they wish to join. Students receive a course announcement and an activity stream notification about groups they need to join.  You can also add an enrollment period. Students are notified when the enrollment deadline approaches. When the enrollment period ends, students can no longer join groups, and they’re enrolled automatically.
  • Custom: The instructor determines which group a student is placed into.
  • Randomly Assigned:  Students are randomly assigned by the LMS to the number of groups you choose. This option assigns students quickly and without preparation. You need at least four students so the system can randomly assign two students to at least two groups.
  • Reuse Groups:  Reuse an already-created group.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page.

Watch this Create Course Groups video that explains how to create course group sets.  

Course Groups vs Assignment Groups

Groups can be created through one of (2) Methods:

  1. Assessment Groups:  Groups created through a specific assignment, are tied only to that assessment and are not accessible through the Groups tab but through the assessment they are attached to.   Said differently, students cannot see which group they belong to from the Groups tab if the group has been created by way of the assignment settings panel. For this reason, it is a recommended best practice to first create the group from the Groups tab and then add the group to the assignment in the assignment settings panel accessed by the Gear Icon on the assignment.
  2. Course Groups:  Groups created through the Groups tab are available for use throughout the course and can be added to any graded activities in the course.  

Students can view only the group to which they are a member.

Creating Assessment Groups

NOTE: Students cannot see which group they belong to from the Groups tab if the group has been created by way of the assignment settings panel.

From the assignment where a group is desired, click the gear icon to edit assignment settings > Additional Tools section > Assign to groups:Assign to Groups - Assignment Settings

When creating a group directly from an assessment, Assign to Groups takes the instructor directly to creating a group.  You do not have the ability to create Group Sets, which would be creating multiple groups/group types in the course.  If this is desired, create groups from the Details & Actions panel. 

To complete group creation see Creating a Group.











Creating Course Groups

Group Set vs Groups

Definition of Group Set:  A Group Set contains a specific subset of groups.  The Group itself is what the student is a member of. The Group Set page is only accessible through the Details & Action | Course Groups link. In the example below, there are (2) sets of groups (shown in red box) and within those two Sets, are (6) different groups (shown in blue box)
Group Sets vs Groups

Creating Course Groups

From the upper navigation tabs select Groups, select Create and Manage Groups. If groups have already been set up in the course then select View Sets & Groups link.

If groups have not yet been created in the course, no Group Sets are displayed:

Empty Group Set


If groups have already been created in the course, the Group Sets are displayed.  In the below example, there are (2) different Group Sets (Presentation Group and Project Topic Sign Up Group).

Group Sets Available

Group Set Page

Next, select New Group Set on the Course Groups page.

You can create as many course groups as you want, with any number of students in each group. To remove a Group Set, click the 3 dots to the right of a group > Delete.

Creating a Group

Regardless of the access method to a group (whether through the Groups tab or from an assessment), the process for creating the actual group is the same.

1.  Give your Group a Name.

2.  Select the type of group desired (e.g. Custom, Random Assign, Self-Enroll or Re-Use an existing group)

3.  Set the visibility of the group to students

4.  Click the purple plus to add the desired number of groups.

Depending on the type of group created, students will either select their own group to be in (self-enroll group), be assigned to a group by the instructor (custom group), or be automatically assigned to a group by Blackboard (randomly assigned group).  To learn more about adding students to a group, see the tutorial for the specific group type.

Group Creation Steps

You can reuse an existing course Group or Group Set.

If you make changes to a Group Set you've reused, those changes affect any group assignments and discussions based on that Group Set. 

  1. In the Group Students drop-down menu, select a title from the Reuse Groups section. Groups with no members also appear in the list.
  2. Provide a name at the top of the page, edit the individual group names, and add optional group descriptions that are shown to group members. You have no limit on the number of characters.

The same students are added to your new Group or Group Set. You may need to add new students added to your course to your new groups.

See also Managing Groups.

See Also: Grading Group Assignments.



Article ID: 36870
Mon 11/28/22 10:59 AM
Mon 4/29/24 2:56 PM