This article explains the following items.
- Group creation and modification
- Assign groups to objects
- How discuss tool functions with groups
- An example of using groups
1. Group creation and modification
Click on the Groups icon from the top blue bar to launch the Groups view. Only when a section has students registered, this icon will appear. You should be able to create groups by dragging students to the group container. The group will auto name itself, but it can be renamed by clicking on the name. If a student is added to a group, there will be a checkmark displayed on their profile picture. You can always add students to more than one group, and remove them by dragging them out of the group.
More details for a group can be viewed by clicking on the View Details button. It gives more information, such as, name of the student, and objects that the group has been added to.
The students will be able to view all the groups that the instructor has created, but they won’t be able to make any modifications to them.
2. Assign groups to the learning objects
On the groups view page, toggle the option from Groups to Objects. You will see a view which looks very similar to a course home page, but this view only displays the published learning and class communication objects. If there are groups created, then they display on the right side of the page.
You can select one or more groups and drag them over to an object. So, this will assign a group to an object. The same can be achieved by dragging an object over to a group on the right.
Also, a nice added feature is that when you hover over a group, it highlights the objects the group has been added to.
3. How discuss tool functions with groups
Now that the object has group(s) added, the discussion comes with a public/private setting. Only an instructor or admin has the ability to edit this setting. By default, the discussion is set to be private, which means, that only a member of the group is allowed to see the posts of its own group members.
If the setting is changed to public, then the posts from each private group and any new posts made after that, will become public to all members of the groups assigned to the learning object.
If a student is not a member of any group that is assigned to an object, then the object disappears from the student’s course view page.
If a student is removed from a group or moved to a different group, or if the group is no longer assigned to an original discussion object, any discussion data made prior to the change will be kept in the original object.
4. An example on using groups
Let’s say, you have a class of 20 students, and you want to make 4 groups with 5 students each. Click on the Groups icon on the top blue bar, and drag students into the group container.
Now when you toggle from Groups to Objects view, select all the groups that you created, and drag them over to the Discussion object.
All the groups have been assigned to the Discussion learning object.
Click on the Discussion object and then on the list view to be able to make the discussion public or private.
You can have the group discuss within themselves and let one person post on behalf of the group. This will reduce a lot on commenting and makes it easier for the instructor to read through the posts, especially if it’s a fairly huge class.
Or, you can make the discussion private. This option can help to bring in their original thoughts and not get biased by readying other student’s post.