Groups can be used to help manage your course while also providing students with an opportunity to work in a team.

Users can be enrolled in any number of groups within the course, allowing instructors to create as few or as many groups as are necessary to complete the course work. Each group can have it's own discussion forum(s) and topics as well as dropbox folders to work in. Members of groups can be graded as a team or individually.

Understanding how Groups are set up

Before setting up groups you should know how you want them to be organized. A number of things can affect how users are enrolled in groups:

  • Were groups set up before or after you enrolled users in the course?
  • Are groups being created based on another group in the course like a lecture, lab or tutorial section?
  • Are users auto-enrolled in groups?
  • Are course participants placed in groups randomly?
  • Can users self-enrol in groups?
  • What enrolment type did you choose?

Notes:

  • It is usually better to set up groups after the majority of users are enrolled in your course. The add period ends approximately 2 weeks after the start of classes each term.
  • Using Groups of # with auto enrol will only populate students added to the course after the groups are created.
  • In order for users to be enrolled in groups automatically the ‘Can be auto-enrolled’ option must be enabled.

Types of Groups:

  • # of Groups – No Auto Enrolments
    • A specified number of groups are created, which you can add any number of users to through the Enrol Users page.
  • Groups of # - (Auto enrol enabled, but not indicated)
    • The minimum number of groups needed to place users in groups of a specified maximum size are created. More groups are created when they are needed to accommodate users.  
  • # of Groups - (Auto enrol enabled, but not indicated)
    • A specified number of groups are created and any users added to the course will automatically be added to a group. (Note: users already in the classlist will not be enrolled in a group and will need to be manually added).
  • Groups of # - Self enrolment
    • The minimum number of groups needed to accommodate users in groups of a specified maximum size are created automatically. Users choose the group they want to enrol in from their Available Groups page, accessible from Connect > Groups.
  • # of Groups – Self enrolment
    • A specified number of groups are created, which users enrol in from their Available Groups page, accessible from Connect > Groups.
  • # of Groups, Capacity of # - Self Enrollment
    • A specified number of groups of a specified # of students, which users enrol in from their Available Groups page, accessible from Connect > Groups.
  • Single user, member-specific groups
    • A group is created for each student using the first and last name of the student as the group name. A new group will automatically be created for a new student when they enroll in the course.

How to Create a Group

See the Types of Groups to determine the options available and what will best suit your needs before creating groups.

image of the connect dropdown menu with an arrow pointing to Groups

  • Select Connect then Groups from the navbar.
  • Select New Category to begin creating groups.

image of the New group page

  • Enter the title of the group category e.g. presentation group.
  • Choose the Enrolment Type.
  • Fill in the Number of Groups/Number of Users depending on the type of group you are creating.
  • The three Self-Enrolment group types have Groups Options for setting a Self Enrolment Start Date and/or Expiry Date. If an expiry date is set, there is an additional option to Allocate unenrolled users after the Self Enrolment Expiry Date.
  • If your groups will be created based on another, already created group like a lecture or lab section, choose the parent group from the Restrict Enrollments to dropdown menu.
  • Choose the corresponding workspace(s) you would like to create by checking the box beside Set up Discussion areas or Set Up Dropbox folders.
  • Click Save.

Enrolling users in Groups

Users are enrolled in groups based on the enrolment options selected on the Manage Groups page. Use the Enrol Users page to:

image of the enroll users page with a red arrow pointing to the Enrol users dropdown menu

image of the enrol users page with red arrows pointing to the group checkbox and with a red box around the Save button

  • Manually enrol users in groups.
  • Manually change which group a user is enrolled in.
  • Add users who enrolled late to a group.

Modify or add enrolment

  • From the Manage Groups page, click the down arrow to the right of the group category and choose Enrol Users.
  • Select whether you want to Display ‘All Groups’ or a specific group.
  • Enter information in the Search For field to search for a specific user.
  • Enrol users or adjust enrolment using the check boxes in the enrol Users grid.
  • Click Save when you are finished.

Note: Manually enrolling users allows you to exceed the enrolment limit for a group.

What happens when you move a user to a new group?

  • Discussion messages remain in the old group and do not count towards a user’s grade if the forum or topic is associated with a grade item. The user must satisfy the discussion message requirements in the new section. You can override a grade using the Grades tool.
  • Dropbox files submitted for the old group remain with the old group. The user receives the grade achieved by the new group on any group assignments. You can manually change the user’s grade back to the original group’s mark in the Grades tool.

Delete a user from a group

  • When a user is deleted from a group, all of their files remain in the system, including: Discussion messages and Dropbox folders.
  • From the Enrol Users page, clear the check box for the group beside the user’s name.
  • Click Save.

What users see in the Groups Tool

Course participants access the Groups tool by selecting Connect then Groups from the course navigation bar.

From the Groups page, users can:

  • Click on View Available Groups and then select the Join Group link in the Actions column to enrol in a new group.
  • Click on the number in the Members column to view the Member List for a group.
  • Click on a dropbox folder to view its contents.
  • Click on a discussion forum to view its postings.
  • Click the Email Group icon to email all of the members of a group.

image of the group enrollment page from a student perspective