The Group tool allows you to organise students into groups to collaborate on tasks, projects and assignments. Groups can be assigned groups tools such as email, discussion boards, blogs, journals, wikis, file exchange area and task lists.

You can create Single groups, multiple Single groups or multiple groups within a Group Set. There are three methods you can use to assign students to groups, Self-Enrol, Manual Enrol and Random Enrol. You also have the option of using SI-net Tutorial and Practical groups.

An additional option is to use the Bulk Group Manager. The Bulk Group Manager tool allows you to create groups and assign students to groups by uploading a CSV file.

It is also possible to allow students to create their own groups.

Student created groups

This method allows students to create Single groups that other students can self-enrol in. Students are automatically made a member of any group they create.

Teaching staff created groups

Before you begin to create groups, you need to make two decisions:

  • Are you going to create Single groups, a Group Set or use the Bulk Group Manager?
  • If using Single groups or a Group Set, which enrolment method are you going to use?

Single groups, a Group set or use the Bulk Group Manager?

Single groups

Use this method if you want students to be able to belong to more than one group or if you want different settings for each group such as different maximum student numbers or different group tools. This method takes more time to administrate as groups need to be created separately and if you need to change properties they need to be changed for each group individually.

You can use both Self-Enrol and Manual Enrol methods to organise students into single groups.

Group sets

Use this method if you want students to be a member of only one group in the set and you want all groups to have the same properties such as maximum student numbers and the same group tools. You can change the settings for all groups in the set at the same time.

You can Self-Enrol, Manual Enrol and Random Enrol methods to organise students into a group set.

Bulk Group Manager

Use this method if you already have a CSV file of the required groups and students generated from an external system or if you prefer to organise group allocations initially using a spreadsheet. This method creates multiple Single Groups and assigns all groups the same tools. Note, to add grading to the tools, you will need to change the properties of each group individually.

Enrolment methods


If this enrolment method is selected, students enrol themselves into a group using an online sign-up sheet.

Manual Enrol

Using this enrolment method instructors assign students to each group when creating single groups or a group set.

Random Enrol

If this enrolment method is selected, students will be randomly assigned to groups by Blackboard. Instructors can select either the maximum number of students to be assigned to a group or the number of groups in the group set.

SI-net groups

If SI-net groups are used, students need to be assigned to Tutorial and Practical groups within SI-net. This can either be done manually or by opening up the Class sign-on for these groups, so students can sign up themselves through mySI-set.

These groups will automatically transfer into your Blackboard course when the groups are “released”, usually during the first week of semester.