Groups | How to use Brightspace Groups

You can use groups to organize users’ work on projects and assignments, or you can create special work areas for users with different learning needs (Source: D2L)

What are Groups in Brightspace?

Using Groups allows you to divide students who take the course into smaller groups for administrative or content purposes. You are able to divide all students into groups, or just a part of the students. Students can be part of various different groups within the same course. 

Using  Groups,  you are then able to:

  • Let students work together on an assignment (such as a presentation or paper)
  • Make subgroups in large groups (for example tutorial groups for Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Make groups for students with different educational needs (for example an advanced group, or a group that needs extra support)

Each group can be provided with:

You can check the best practices for setting up groups provided by D2L.

The Manage Groups homepage

On the Manage Groups homepage, you will have an overview of the existing Group Categories and their groups. From this page, it is possible to create new groups, adjust or delete the existing ones, view which students are assigned to a certain Group, or even send an email to a group.

Manage groups
1. New Category button

To create a new Category, click New Category and follow the steps mentioned above.

2. View Categories

Click in the field where a category name is visible to view the list of created group categories in your course. From the drop-down list click the one you want to see in the overview table (number 4).

3. Email and Delete

Using the button Email you can email the selected Group or the entire Group category. Students will be placed in Bcc for privacy matters.

Using the button Delete you can delete the selected Group or the entire Group category.

4. Group category overview

The overview of the selected group category (as explained in number 2)  is presented in a form of a table. The first row will indicate the Group category name.

Click the arrow next to the name of the Group category to:

  • Edit Category - Edit a category setup, add for example Discussions or add a Locker
  • Add a group - to add additional group(s) to the created Group Category
  • Enrol Users - Enroll students on groups

The overview table then organizes the groups and connected activities and functions in the following columns:


[Name] of the group. You can click the [group name] to rename it and also give the group a description.


Indicates the number of members in a group.

Click the number in blue letters to see the students enrolled in the group.


If an assignment in Brightspace is linked to a group it will be indicated in this column with a number.

Click the number in blue letters to see the list of assignments linked to the group.

For more on Assignments, please visit: How to use the Assignments tool


If there is a discussion forum and topic created for the groups, this will appear in the column as a clickable link. Otherwise, the cells are empty. The cell will not indicate the discussion topics that were assigned to groups through the Discussion tool.

Click the [name of the discussion] in blue letters to access the discussion topic.

For more on Discussions, please visit: Discussions tool in Brightspace


If you decide to give the possibility of a Locker for the groups, this column will show a link in blue letters Group Files.

For more on Group Locker, please visit: How to use a Group Locker


You now know how to use Groups in Brightspace!


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