GroupTool | About GroupTool
The GroupTool is a new tool integrated into Brightspace. It allows a straightforward management of your course's groups; their allocation and scheduling through TimeEdit; and the possibility for those courses not included in the Study Handbook to bulk enrol students.
In this article you will learn about:
Introduction video to GroupTool
The difference between the Brightspace Groups and GroupTool
Brightspace Groups allows instructors to create groups for their courses' activities built in the Brightspace environment such as Assignments, Discussions and for settings on course activities such as Release conditions.
GroupTool on the other hand is an add-on option that serves to allocate existing Brightspace Groups into classrooms connected to TimeEdit schedule.
This new tool creates a personalised calendar for the student and automatically communicates any changes that might occur to always keep them up to date.
How to access the GroupTool
Navigate to the course. In the green navigation bar,
1. Click Communication, a drop-down menu will appear.
2. Click GroupTool.
A new browser tab will open with the GroupTool page.
On the top center of the page, the name of the course for which you opened the GroupTool appears.
On the left side of the page, you will see a vertical pane with three tabs:
- Groups (landing page).
- Link Groups.
Each tab is explained below.
This is the landing page when you open the GroupTool from Brightspace. It will automatically show the Groups tab as highlighted on the left (see picture below).
Next to the tabs pane, the are four additional panes going from left to right where the following Groups' features are shown: Student filter, Students, Add/Remove buttons, Legend, Brightspace groups, and Group enrollments. At the bottom of the page you will find two extra features: Export Groups Excel and Import Groups Excel.
|1. Student filters||option to apply one (or multiple) filter(s) defining the students in the course
|2. Students||showcases the list of students according to the active filters|
|3. Add / Remove buttons||buttons used to add or remove selected students to or from a group|
|4. Legend||explains the icons and colours appearing next to the name of each student in the Students list|
|5. Brightspace groups||section used to select from existing categories and groups|
|6. Group enrollments||showcases list of student enrolled in a group selected through the Brightspace groups feature|
|7. Export Excel button||button that allows to download an excel file containing all categories, groups and participants|
|8. Import Excel button||button that allows to add students to the groups of choice from an excel file|
To learn more about each of the above mentioned Groups' features visit the article GroupTool | About Groups features
2. Link Groups
This feature will help you in easily connecting the groups that have been created in Brightspace with TimeEdit.
In the tab Link Groups, you will see two panes:
- Brightspace groups, displaying the list of all the groups that have been created in the course;
- TimeEdit groups, where the timetable of each activity is available.
For more information about how to link groups in GroupTool, please visit: GroupTool | How to use the GroupTool To Link and/or Unlink Groups in TimeEdit
In order to use the GroupTool for scheduling of the course's groups, groups need to be created beforehand (or have them made) via the Brightspace Groups.
Click on Schedule in the left side pane to access the scheduling tab. In the Schedule tab you will be able to see:
- A Calendar providing you with an overview of the course's reservations schedule
- In the bottom left the Legend box offers a description of the available scheduling options for a course activity
Once a time slot has been selected, on the right side of the page you will find an area containing:
- The Information of the selected activity of that specific time slot (course code, type of activity, date and time, group involved)
- Comment section where you can edit didactical information
- A List of the didactical information provided for the selected activity (location, room capacity, equipment)
For more information about how to use the schedule in GroupTool please visit: GroupTool | How to use the Schedule with GroupTool
Now you know how to use the basics of GroupTool!
Check out a Showcase example of this tool of one of your fellow teachers:
Using GroupTool for efficiently assigning students according to categories