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  3. Blackboard: Using the Group Tool for Discussion

Blackboard: Using the Group Tool for Discussion

For small group discussions on Blackboard, you can use the Group tool. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Create a “Group Set” and assign the Discussion Board tool to the groups as you create the sets.
  2. Create a discussion forum for one group.
  3. Copy that forum into the other groups.
  1. Create a Group Set: First, create your groups using the directions outlined in this Knowledge Base article. When creating the group, be sure to uncheck all the other tools (so as not to confuse students). See image.
  2. Create a Discussion Forum: Open your first group (by clicking on it), and then click the Discussion Board in the group (not the Discussion Board in the main Course Menu). The first time you do this, you will notice that by default, you already have a forum called (Group Name) Discussion. You can either edit this forum (click on the gray circle and choose “Edit”) or you can delete it and start fresh.  See image. Enter a title for the forum (the topic to be discussed) and, if desired, enter discussion instructions in the description field. Click submit.

    For more information about forum settings, see this page.

  3. Copy the Forum to the Other Groups: If you want all groups to discuss the same topic, you can copy the forum to the other groups. Unfortunately, You can only copy one forum at a time. See image.
    1. Put your cursor to the right of the forum name until you see the gray circle.
    2. Choose the Copy option.
    3. Choose the button for copying the entire forum and highlight the name of the small group you would like to copy that forum into.

Instructor Notes
Instructor Notes

You don’t have to add yourself to any groups, by default you have access to all of them. Access them through the Group link on the control panel.  Students only have access to their own group. They see the link to their group at the bottom of their course menu.  If you are using the default Discussion Board on the course menu (the one that is available to all students), you may want to rename it (i.e., “All Class Discussion”) so that students are not confused about where to participate. 

Updated on March 31, 2020

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