Thursday, June 9, 2016

Using Wikis and Groups in Blackboard

There are many tools in Blackboard that allow student collaboration. Below is a breakdown of wikis and groups.

Wiki - A wiki is a collaborative tool within Blackboard that can be used for the entire class, or you can divide the students into groups. The entire class or group can edit the wiki to display pictures, links, text, and files. A wiki is the only tool which allows multiple students to edit text in one space.
You have the option to set the wiki to closed to editing so only students can view or you can set a wiki to open to editing which allows group members to all edit the wiki. You also have the option to set the wiki to grading or no grading.  

Here is an image of what a wiki will look like after one person has posted.

If you would like to watch a tutorial or learn more about wikis, you can visit the Blackboard Help - Wikis.

Groups - The group feature allows you to divide your class into small groups to work on projects and communicate. A student will see which group they are enrolled in by clicking to tools > groups or by looking at the bottom of the navigation panel in their Blackboard course. You have the option to create a self-enroll group or a manual enroll group. With manual enroll, you select from your list of students and submit them to the group. Self-enroll allows you to put a maximum number of enrollment on one group. 

Below is an image of what students will see when they are enrolled in a group: 

Once you create the group,  you will have many options. Do I want the group visible to students? Yes, this way they can communicate with their group. Unless you are using the groups feature for your own reference, but do not plan to use it within Blackboard. 

To enroll students into your group, you will need to select "add users" - a list of names will appear. Check the students you would like enrolled in the group and select submit. You will need to select submit again at the bottom of the screen to save your group.  

You will see a long list under Tool Availability which gives you the options of adding blogs, discussion boards, emails, file exchange, journals, tasks, academic materials, content market tools, and wikis. This is all related to which tools you want the group to have. In other words, if you have a group blog or group discussion board, you select it under these settings. Please keep in mind if you add a discussion board called “group discussion board” under content to specify where students should post. You can visit Blackboard Help - Groups to learn more about how to create and use groups in your course.

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