Create and Load Groups into Blackboard

How to, Resources, Strategic alignment Leave a Comment

Making Groups

Do you have separate cohorts of students in your course or program that require separate communication, management or access needs?

Student groups such as:

  • Online and Face-to-Face students (sharing the same course code)
  • VE students (different programs sharing the same course code)
  • Research students (different programs sharing the same course code)
  • Vertical studios (different course codes sharing the same course shell)

If so, you can use groups to:

  • Release content (i.e. folder access) to a selected group or groups (using adaptive release)
  • Provide group communication (i.e. group email, blog or wiki)
  • View only students in your group in the grade centre (using smart views)
  • Provide collaboration space for group work (assessment tasks and activities)


In this guide we will show you how to create and load groups into Blackboard using an Excel file ‘BB Group Maker‘ and a student list exported from iExplore.

  • Go to iExplore and login with your RMIT ID and Password
    To learn more about iExplore including guides, definition of terms and access request go to – iExplore is the SAMS data warehouse.
  • From the main side menu under the heading Student List select ‘List by Course/Class’
  • Enter search criteria for ‘Term’, ‘Subject Area’ and ‘Catalogue Number’.
    Example: Term: 1645, Subject Area: GRAP, Catalogue Number: 5295C
    For additional information about these codes please contact your admin team.
  • Then scroll down and click ‘Search’
List Course/Class in IExplore
  • Search results display a row for each class number. As we want a list of all students click on the ‘Course ID’ link from any row.
  • Click ‘Export to excel’ to download the file.
Download Course list in IExplore
Download BB Group Maker
  • Open ‘BB_Group_Maker’, when open click ‘Enable Content’ to run macros and launch the BB Group Maker window.
Enable macros
  • In the BB_Group_Maker window click ‘Select iExplore File’, locate and select your file
  • Select a student group option (eg Class)
    For additional information about the selection options please contact your admin team.
  • Click ‘Start’ to create your group files
Blackboard Group Maker
  • On completion you will receive an alert message stating that your files have been created in the same folder as your iExplore student file. Click ‘OK’ to close the alert message and the BB_Group_Maker file.
Import groups
  • In the Import Groups window
    • Under the heading Group Members click ‘Browse My Computer’ locate and select the ‘Group_members.csv’ file
    • Under the heading Import Groups click ‘Browse My Computer’ locate and select the ‘Groups.csv’ file
    • Select or deselect tool availability
    • When complete click ‘Submit’
Upload group and group membership files

NOTE: to view all groups and number of enrolled members you may need to refresh the page.

The ‘BB_Group_Maker_v2016-10-21_CL’ tool is a modification of the ‘BB Group Maker’ tool created by Warren Nageswaran.

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