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How To: Create and Manage Groups and Groupings

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To learn more about Groups and Groupings, please check out: Overview: Groups and Groupings in the BFCA Education Portal.

Opening the Groups page

  1. On your course page, select Course Management, the Course Management panel will open.
  2. In the Course Administration block in the left sidebar, click on Users and then click on Groups in the submenu.
  3. There are three options for group creation.
    • Create groups manually, assigning by section
    • Auto create groups randomly.
    • Import groups can create your group from a spreadsheet.

Creating a Group at the course level

  1. On the Groups page, click Create group. The Create group page will open.
  2. For Group name, enter a name (required), and for Group description, enter a description (optional).
  3. Click Save changes to create the group. You will be returned to the Groups page where your new Group will be listed in the left column, with (0) indicating the number of students in the group.

Add & modify group members

  1. On the Groups page, under Groups(left column), click the group name. The group name will be highlighted, and the Members of… column (at right), will list any course members who have already been added to the group.
  2. Below the Members of… column (at right), click Add/remove users. The Add/remove users page will open.
  3. On the Add/remove users page, the left column lists current group members and the right column lists potential group members.
  4. To Add students to a group: In the Potential members column (at right), click a Student name to highlight it.
    •  To select multiple members, hold down the CTRL (Win) or Command (Mac)key while you click.
    •  If you don’t see the student names you’re looking for, use the search bar at the bottom of the column.
    • Once you’ve selected the names you want to add, click Add to move students into the group. The students’ names will be added to the Group members list (at left) and will no longer appear on the Potential members list.
  5. To remove students from a group: In the Group members column (at left), click student names, or to select multiple names, press CTRL – click (Win) or Command – click (Mac), then click Remove. The names will be removed from the group and returned to the Potential members column.
  6. When you are finished modifying the group members, click Back to groups.

Auto-Creating Groups

The Auto-create groups function quickly assigns your students to multiple groups and includes the option to randomize group membership.

To use Auto-create groups:

  1. On the groups page, click Auto-create groups. The Auto-create groups page will open.
  2. For Naming scheme, enter the group name you would like to use for your groups. The BFCA Education Portal will automatically generate names based on what you enter.
    • An “@” sign will generate a letter (e.g., “Group @” will generate Group A, Group B, Group C)
    • A “#” sign will generate a number (e.g., “Group #” will generate Group 1Group 2Group 3)
  3. From the Auto create based on drop-down menu, choose how you want to divide your students:
    • Number of groups will form groups based on the total number of groups you select
    • Members per group will form groups based on the number of members you want in a group
    • Use student names can be used if you are creating groups of one. Note: If you select Members per group, under the Group members settings, check Prevent last small group. If a remaining group is less than the size you set, the BFCA Education Portal will place these members into other groups (preventing a group of 1 student).
  4. For Group/member count(required), enter the number of members you would like in each group (If creating a group based on Course member names, enter 1).
  5. Under the Group members settings, from the Select members with role drop-down menu, choose whether to include only students or course members with other roles.
  6. From the Allocate members drop-down menu, select how you want group members to be assigned to groups. The default setting is Randomly. You can also sort alphabetically by First nameLast name, or ID number.
  7. (Optional) To create new groups within a Grouping (a group of groups, useful for assigning the same activity to multiple groups), under the Grouping settings, use the Grouping of auto-created groups drop-down menu. To create your groups within an existing grouping, select the name of that grouping, otherwise, select New grouping. 
  8. Click Preview to see a preview of the groups at the bottom of the page. If you are satisfied, click Submit.

Creating Groups through Import

Before you can import groups, you must first prepare a text file containing a list of groups that you want to create. The group list has required fields needed in order for the import to be successful. The file must include “groupname” as a field, and can optionally include “description”. 

Preparing the Group file

  1. Open Excel and create a new worksheet by clicking File > New Workbook.
  2. In cell A1 enter “groupname” (case sensitive).
  3. Optional: In cell B1 enter “description” (case sensitive).
  4. In the rows that follow, enter names and descriptions for each of the groups (descriptions should be short with no commas).
  5. To save your file, click File > Save As. In the Format drop-down menu, change the file format to Comma Separated Values (.csv). Enter a name for your file, then click Save

Importing the Group from a file

  1. On the Groups page, click Import groups. The Import groups page will open.
  2. Click Choose a file. The File Picker pop-up window will open.
  3. In the File Picker pop-up window, click Upload a file. Then, click Choose File to select the CSV file from your computer. Once you select the file, the name will appear next to the Attachment box. Click Upload this file. The File Picker pop-up window will close and you will see the file listed on the Import groups page.
  4. Click Import groups. The import process will begin and a confirmation page will open.
  5. If your import is not successful, check your CSV file and ensure that the column headings are correct. Also, if you included groups descriptions, considering shortening them and removing any commas.

Creating a Grouping

  1. On your course page, select Course Management, the Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click the Groupings tab. The Groupings page will open.
  4. Click Create grouping. The Create grouping page will open.
  5.  Enter a name for the grouping and description (optional), then click Save changes.  The Groupings page will open and you will see the new grouping listed.

Adding Groups to a Grouping

Before you can add Groups to a Grouping, you must first create the Groups.

  1. On your course page, select Course Management, the Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click the Groupings tab. The Groupings page will open.
  4. To add groups to the grouping, in the edit column, click the Show groups icon. The Add/remove groups page will open.
  5. On the Add/remove groups page, click the names of the group(s) you want to add to the grouping from the Potential members list. Selected names will be highlighted.  To select multiple groups at once, hold the CTRL Key (Command for Mac) and click. 
  6. Click Add to add the groups. Added groups will appear under Existing members
  7. Click Back to groupings. The group(s) you added to the grouping will now be listed in the table on the Groupings page.

Existing groupings can be edited and/or deleted using the appropriate icons in the edit column of the table on the groupings page. If you delete a grouping, the groups inside it will not be deleted.

Creating Groupings using auto-create Groups

If you use Auto-create groups, you can assign the groups automatically to groupings that already exist, or you can create new groupings at the same time as you create the new groups. 

  1. On your course page, select Course Management, the Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click Auto-create groups. The Auto-create groups page will open.
  4. Enter the information for your groups.
  5. Under the Grouping heading, for Grouping of auto-created groups:
    • To create a new grouping for the groups, select New grouping from the drop-down menu, then in the Group name field, enter a name 
    • To use an existing grouping for the new groups, select the name of the grouping you want to use from the drop-down menu
  6. Click Submit. This will create your groups and save them to the selected grouping. You will be returned to the Groups page.

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