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Blackboard Help

Course Groups

Group work improves critical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, and communication.

row of students

By increasing students' interactivity with each other in task-oriented ways, they construct, rather than acquire, knowledge.

The groups tool allows instructors to create groups of students within a course. These course groups have their own areas in Blackboard Learn to collaborate on course work. These spaces are equipped with tools to assist in the collaborative process.

Your course groups may only meet in their group areas to discuss course content or trade files. But, you might also create assignments that you want students to collaborate on. Students can access all their group assignments on their group homepages.

Groups in Action

group creation steps: create group, determine settings and members, create group assignment, group submits group assignment, grade group assignment

Student Experience

Research1 has shown students can benefit from group work in several ways:

  • Students retain information longer than with other teaching methods.
  • Perspectives from group members offer another opportunity to learn new material.
  • Students have a positive feeling about the course material.
  • Students who establish good relationships with their peers have a more positive learning experience.
  • Successful group work leads to students feeling better about themselves.
  • Students increase their social and communication skills.
  • Students increase their critical thinking skills.

Access Student Topics

You can access topics in the student section of Blackboard Help and view groups as a student does. The student point of view can influence your decisions for group settings and what you include in your instructions.

To see the student view and a list of some of the questions students have, see Groups.

When you access the folder listed, you are viewing information in the student section of Blackboard Help. When you are finished, select the instructor role in the drop-down list at the top of the page to return to viewing instructor topics.

Best Practices

To learn more about using the groups tool in your course, visit the following topics:

Best Practice: Group Collaboration

Discover how the benefits of collaborative learning far outweigh any obstacles that you must deal with when implementing group activities.

Best Practice: Presenting Groups

You can deliver groups to students in different areas of your course, exactly where your students need them. View the examples to determine which method helps you accomplish your goals.

Best Practice: Group Membership

Learn how the number of students in your course and how well you know them can influence how you select members for group work and collaboration.

Best Practice: Group Assessment

You may find it challenging to determine individual grades for a group project. Learn about peer assessment, rubrics, and progress reports and how they can help you assign group grades.

Source: 1 "44 Benefits of Collaborative Learning." gdrc.org n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2009.