Blackboard has released new features and tools that are available for the Fall 2013 semester. This post is the sixth in a series that explores each new feature. You can find links to all posts in this series at the bottom of the page.
If you have questions about any of the new features or Blackboard in general, get in touch with any member of the Instructional Design team. We are happy to go over them with you!
Group Management Tools
If you use groups in your Blackboard courses, you may have found that it is difficult to track which students are in the different groups and move students to another group. Both of these tasks are made easier with the improved group management tools.
Now when you visit the Groups area underneath the Users and Groups section of your Control Panel, you will see a new tab in the upper right corner called All Users (see screenshot below).
From this tab, you can quickly see which students are in each group. You can also administer the group membership from here. Hover your mouse over any student’s name to add or remove him or her from a group. Use the checkmarks along the left side of the screen to select multiple users and then click Add Multiple Users to Groups to add those users to an existing group.
Another update to the group management tool is an improved way to view and change the tools that students have access to in their groups. First, make sure that you are on the All Groups tab (found at the top right of the screen). Then, if you select Show Tool Availability from the View Options drop down menu (shown in the screenshot), the Blackboard tools that are enabled for each group will be shown using checkmarks and x’s. You can click on any of the checkmarks or x’s to turn each tool off or on for each listed group (shown below).
Finally, it’s now easier to track group members’ performance in the Grade Center by quickly creating group-based Smart Views. While on the All Groups tab, click on the drop down edit menu for any group and click on the option to Create Smart View.
Once your Smart View is created, click once again on the drop down edit menu for the group and click to Open Smart View. This will take you to a view of the Grade Center that just includes the members of the selected group. This Smart View can make it faster to grade group work and allows you to compare performance across group members.