How do I create groups?

Groups are useful to organize study groups, project teams, and other non-official subsets of worksite participants.  Individuals in the Instructor or Secondary Instructor role in a course site, or the Owner or Administrator role in a collaboration site can create groups on an ad hoc basis.

In course sites, each course roster functions as an automatic group.  For more information, see How do I use groups?

You may create groups in your site in several different ways:

WARNING: If an assignment or assessment has been released to groups, changing which groups have access to the assignment, or modifying or deleting a group after students have begun work on the assignment or assessment can result in the loss of submissions!

Manually create a group.

Video Guide

Step-by-Step Instructions

Go to Site Settings.

Select Site Settings from the tool menu in your site.

Select Manage Groups.

Select Create New Group.

Enter group information.

  1. Enter a Group Title.
  2. You may also add an optional Description for the group.

Select group members.

  1. Select the checkbox for Allow members to see the other members of this group if you want students to be able to see the names of their group members.
  2. You may use the Filter membership drop-down menu to filter the site member list by a group or section. For example, if you have two sections combined into one site, and you want to set up groups of students within sections, you could filter the view by section to make assigning students easier. You must have existing groups/sections for them to show up in this list.
  3. In the Available Members list, select the name(s) of the site participant(s) to add to the group.
  4. Select the right arrow (>) button under Membership controls to assign the selected members or roles to the group.
  5. Once you have indicated all of the desired group members, select the Add new group button to create the group.

Tip: You may select several members in the Assigned Members list to move as follows:

  • With a mouse:
    • To select several consecutive names, click the first name in the list to add. Then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while clicking the last name in the list to add.
    • To select select several non-consecutive names, hold down the Ctrl key (on a PC) or the Command key (on a Mac) while clicking each name.
  • With a keyboard:
    • To select several consecutive names, select the first name in the list to add using the up and down arrow keys. Then hold down the Shift key and use the arrow keys to navigate down the list of names until you have selected the last name in the list to add.
    • To select several non-consecutive names, select a name in the list to add using the up and down arrow keys. Then hold down the Ctrl key (on a PC) or the Command key (on a Mac) and use the arrow keys to navigate to another name to add. Select the next name with the spacebar.

Create joinable groups.

Go to Site Settings.

Select Site Settings from the tool menu in your site.

Select Manage Groups.

Select Create Joinable Set.

Specify the joinable set details.

  1. Enter a Set name for the set of groups. Each group's name will include the Set name followed by a number that is automatically assigned to the group. In the example pictured above, where Team is the Set name, the resulting groups will be named Team 1, Team 2, and Team 3.
  2. Enter the Number of groups to create.
  3. Specify the Max members per group.
  4. Optionally, you may select checkbox(es) for the following:
    • Allow users to see group membership before they join a group.
    • Allow members to see the other members of these groups after joining.
    • Allow members to unjoin (leave) groups in this set after joining.  
  5. Select Add to create the groups.

Note: If you plan to release assignments or assessments to any of the joinable groups, you should NOT allow members to unjoin their groups, as changes in group membership can result in the loss of submissions.

Automatically generate groups.

Go to Site Settings.

Select Site Settings from the tool menu in your site.

Select Manage Groups.

Select Auto Groups.

Select Role(s).

  1. Select one or more roles from which you would like to create groups.
  2. Select the Continue button.

Tip: Select the Select All/None checkbox to select all roles at once. Select the checkbox again to de-select.

Select Section(s).

You can choose to draw group members from specific rosters in your site or from the entire site. If your site has no rosters, then all site participants will be included.

  1. To draw group members from all site participants, select No, include all site participants in the selected roles, regardless of roster.
  2. To draw group members from specific rosters in your site, select Yes, allow me to select members in the selected roles from specific rosters. Then, select the check box for the roster(s) you would like to draw group members from.
  3. Select Continue.

Define Group Structure.

Determine if you want your groups to be created across roles and/or sections, or within roles and/or sections.

  1. Select Create groups containing a random mixture of users with the selected role(s) from the selected roster(s) to create groups randomly from all of the selected roles and sections.
  2. Or, select Create a group for each selected role containing members of the selected roster(s) to create groups that are restricted within roles or sections. For example, if you have students in multiple sections, it will only place students in groups with other students enrolled in the same sections.

    Once you have made your selection for the composition of the group, you need to choose how you want to break up the site participants.
  3. Select the Split by number of groups needed radio button to indicate the total number of groups you want.
    • Enter a Group Title. This title will serve as the basis for all of the group names. Unique numbers will be appended to the title. In the example pictured above, where Team is the Set name, the resulting groups will be named Team 1, Team 2, and Team 3.
    • Enter the number of groups desired.
  4. Or, select the Split by number of users needed per group to divide up the participants by a given number of group members.
    • Enter a Group Title. This title will serve as the basis for all of the group names. Unique numbers will be appended to the title.
    • Enter the number of participants per group desired.
  5. Select the Continue button to proceed.

Preview the groups.

  1. Preview the membership of each group.  
  2. To allow group members to see who else is in their group, select the checkbox for Allow members to see who else is in their Group.
  3. Select Create to create your groups.
  4. If you need to make a change, select Back to return to an earlier step in the process.

Bulk create groups from a CSV file or text entry.

Go to Site Settings.

Select Site Settings from the tool menu in your site.

Select Manage Groups.

Select Bulk Creation.

Provide group information.

There are two methods to create or update multiple groups at once:

  1. Type or paste the group information into the text box provided. The data should contain the group details in this order: group title, UVA computing ID or non-UVA email address. The content should be separated by a comma. For example:

    Group 1, mst3k Group 2, jdoe@yahoo.com
  2. Select the Choose File button to browse for and select your import file. Your import file should be in comma-separated (CSV) format with two columns of data. The first column should contain the group title, and the second column should contain the username of the site participant. Do not include a column header row. See the examples below.
  3. Select Continue to proceed with group creation.

Note: The UVA computing ID or non-UVA email address must already be a site participant.

Example text editor view of CSV for groups

If you are creating a CSV file to use for creating groups in a text editor, each line should contain a group title, username pair. The username will either be a UVA computing ID or an email address for a guest participant in your site.

When authoring in a text editor, be sure to save your file with a .csv at the end, for example: mygroups.csv.

Group 1,psg3a
Group 1,mai4n
Group 2,mjb5hd
Group 2,rainribbon@rainribbon.com

Example table view of CSV for groups

If you are creating a CSV file to use for creating groups in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, the first column of the table should contain the group title and the second column the username of the person to add to the group.  The username will either be a UVA computing ID or an email address for a guest participant in your site.

Each username should be on a separate row.  The table should NOT contain any column headers.

When authoring in a spreadsheet program, be sure to save your file as Comma delimited (CSV).

Group 1 psg3a
Group 1 mai4n
Group 2 mjb5hd
Group 2 rainribbon@rainribbon.com