The Groups tool allows you to create formal groups of members to collaborate on work. Once created, each group has its own space in the site to work together. You can allow individual group members to personalise their Group space with personal channels such as My Calendar and What's New. You can equip the space with an assortment of tools to assist members in collaborating.
Tools that can be made available to a group include:
- Discussion Board: Members within the group can create and manage their own forums.
- Email: Members within the group can email individual members or the entire group.
- File Exchange: Members within the group and the instructor can upload files to the group space.
- Private Blogs: Members within the group can share thoughts with each other.
- Shared Blogs: Members within the group can add entries and comments to the group blog to share ideas.
- Tasks: Members within the group can create tasks that are distributed to all group members.
- Wikis: Members within the group are provided with a collaborative space to view, contribute and edit content.
Instructors can assign graded activities to groups using the Assignments tool, and then give one grade for the group while still allowing individual grades to be overwritten.
Instructors can also use the Adaptive Release option to release different content to groups. For example, in an Astronomy class, Group 1 could be assigned a set of readings on planets, while Group 2 is assigned a set of readings on stars. Each group could use its group chat or discussion tool to discuss the readings, then report back to a course discussion board to share a report with the whole class.
There are a variety of options for creating groups
Create Single Group: create one group at a time and choose . . .
Manual Enrol: add the members yourself.
Self-Enrol: allow members to join groups themselves using a sign-up sheet, either by open enrollment or by limited enrolment (maximum number per group). Members can join as many groups that are available.
Create Group Set: create multiple groups at once and choose . . .
Manual Enrol: add the members yourself (with option to randomly enrol members evenly across the number groups created)
Random Enrol: let the system randomly distribute all members amongst the groups (a viable option for large classes)
Self-Enrol: allow members to join groups themselves using a sign-up sheet, either by open enrolment or by limited enrolment (maximum number per group). Members can join only one group from the group set in the sign-up list.
Instructors can even allow members to create their own groups. If allowed, enrolment in member-created groups is done by sign up sheet.
Instructors can manage groups by
- Viewing all groups or just group sets
- Customising a banner and colour theme for a group page
- Adding channels, such as Alerts, My Announcements, and What's New, to a group page
- Adding group modules, such as Group Tools (list of tools made available to the group), to a group page
- Emailing members of a group or group as a whole
- Editing group properties, such as group name, group availability, tool availability, and membership
- Editing settings for member-created groups
- Deleting groups