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Groups

Summary

Use Groups to manage teaching and administration activities in your course. There are various ways to assign members to groups.

Video Steps

Below is an embedded video showing how to set up Groups in Ultra. Alternatively, you can open the video in a new browser tab.

Why use groups?

Groups can be used in many ways to manage different teaching and administrative activities in your course. Common uses of groups include:

  • facilitating collaborative work (eg. group projects or assignments).
  • restricting course content visibility (eg. provide separate Discussions for each seminar group).
  • managing assessment workflows (eg. identify students with deadline extensions).

Administrative staff managing assessments, may wish to follow the guide: Setting up Groups to manage extensions, glagging and multiple markers using CSV files.

Group Sets

Groups are organised within Group Sets, which is a 'group of groups' for a specific purpose. For example:

  • a Presentation group set to allocate students for a group presentation.
  • a Marking group set to assign submissions to different markers.

Within a group set, students can only belong to one group; Presentation group 1 OR Presentation group 2. Across group sets, students can belong to multiple groups; Presentation group 1 AND Marking group 2.

Group set visibility

Each group set can be hidden from (default) or visible to students depending on the set's purpose. If the group set is visible, students will only see their specific group.

For example, the Presentation group set should be visible so that students can see their group details, but the Marking group should be hidden as students don't need access to this information.

There are two ways to set group set visibility:

  • On the Course Groups page: the visibility drop-down menu appears under each group set name.
    Presentation group set on Course Page with visbility shown under name
  • Within a specific group set: the visibility drop-down menu appears in the top right.
    Visibility drop-down menu showing default hidden from students setting

Create a group set

  1. Click Groups in the top navigation pane. Here you can view and manage all of the group sets you have created.
    Selecting Groups from the top navigation pane
  2. Click New Group Set with the plus icon in the top right (on a small screen you'll only see the plus icon).
    Selecting New Group Set in the Course Groups pane
  3. Click the default 'New group set' name and input your desired name, e.g. "Presentation groups".
    Changing the group set name from default
  4. Click Save or create groups and assign students now using one of the methods below.

Assign students to groups

There are numerous ways to assign students to groups:

  • random assignment
  • custom (manual) assignment
  • self-enrol
  • reuse groups
  • import groups and assignments

For each method, start by opening the Group Set: under Details & Actions, click Course Groups and select a group set. If you don't have a group set yet, follow the steps above.
Selecting the Presentation groups set on the Course groups page

Then follow one of the methods below.

Custom (manual) assignment

Manually choose which students are assigned to each group.

Below is an embedded video showing how to manually assign students to Groups in Ultra. Alternatively, you can open the video in a new browser tab.

  1. Next to Group students, select Custom from the drop-down menu (this is the default option).
    Custom is the first option in the group students drop down menu
  2. Under the student names, click the plus icon to create groups. Alternatively, you can create groups later.
    Purple plus icon to add groups
  3. For each group, click the default 'New group X' name and input your desired name, e.g. "Presentation group 1". Add a description if you wish.
    Default group name shown - click to edit
  4. In the Unassigned students area, select the students to add to the first group.
    Three of ten students names selected
  5. Click the three dots icon next to one of the student's names and select the group to add students to. If you didn't create groups in step 2, you can create a new group here.
    Click three dots then choosing a group from the drop-down list that appears
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to assign all students to a group.
  7. Click Save

Random assignment

Randomly assign students to evenly-sized groups.

Below is an embedded video showing how to randomly assign students to Groups in Ultra. Alternatively, you can open the video in a new browser tab.

  1. Next to Group students, select Randomly assign from the drop-down menu.
    Randomly assign is the second option in the group students drop down menu
  2. Next to Number of groups, select your desired number of groups from the drop-down menu. Each option shows the resulting group size.
    Number of Groups drop-down with four group size options, eg. 3 groups, 3-4 per group
  3. For each group, click the default 'New group X' name and input your desired name, e.g. "Presentation group 1".
    Default group name shown - click to edit
  4. Add a description for each group if you wish.
    Area to add or edit group description
  5. Click Save.

Self enrol

Students choose which group to join (eg. the project topic they want to do).

Below is an embedded video showing how to randomly assign students to Groups in Ultra. Alternatively, you can open the video in a new browser tab.

  1. Use the visibility menu in the top right to make the group set visible to students.
    Visibility drop-down menu showing default hidden from students setting
  2. Next to Group students, select Self-enrolment from the drop-down menu.
    Self-enrolment is the third option in the group students drop down menu
  3. In the Advanced options section that appears:

    • add Description with instructions for students
    • add enrolment start and end dates
    • adjust the maximum members per group if desired (make sure this gives enough capacity for all students to join a group).
      Advanced options area showing the fields described in text
  4. A number of self-enrol groups are then automatically created. You can add or delete groups as needed to give your desired amount.
    Purple plus icon to add groups

  5. For each group, click the default 'New group X' name and input your desired name, e.g. "Presentation group 1". Add a description if you wish.
    Default group name shown - click to edit
  6. Click Save.

Reuse groups

Copy groups and student assignments from existing group set.

  1. Next to Group students, select a group set under Reuse groups from the drop-down menu. You'll only see this option if you have at least one other existing group set.
    Reuse groups is the final option in the group students drop down menu
  2. Groups and student assignments will be copied from the selected group set. Edit as needed.
  3. Click Save.

Manage groups & members

Start by opening the Group Set: under Details & Actions, click Course Groups and select a group set to manage.

Tip

Editing groups or assignments here will affect all places where that group is used: Discussions, group assignments etc.

Add a group

  1. Click the plus icon in the list of existing groups.
    Purple plus icon to add groups
  2. Click the default 'New group X' name and input your desired name, e.g. "Presentation group 1".
    Default group name shown - click to edit
  3. Add a description for each group if you wish.

Delete a group

  1. Click the three dots across from the group name and select Delete group.
    Using delete group option
  2. On the 'Are you sure' prompt, click Delete again. Note: this can't be undone.
  3. Students from the deleted group are returned to the Unassigned students section.

Move or unassign individual students

  1. Select the student(s) to move and click the three dots next to their name.
  2. Select an option from the drop down menu that appears: create a new group, unassign from the current group or move to an existing group.
    Drop-down menu under a student's name with the options described in text

Unassign students in bulk

  • Unassign all students from all groups in a group set: Click Unassign All near the top right of the group set page.
    Unassign All text below visibility menu in top right
  • Unassign all students from a single group: click the three dots across from the group name and select Unassign members.
    Using unassign members option to remove all students from a single group
  • Unassigned students are returned to the Unassigned students section.

Import groups or members

You can upload group and/or member information from CSV files (in separate stages). It's possible to import to multiple group sets using the same CSV file.

Tip

It can be very fiddly to prepare the CSV files in the right format, so unless you have a lot of groups and/or enrolments it's likely easier to set up and assign members to groups using one of the methods above.

Import groups

Recommended only for importing a large amount of groups. In most cases it will be quicker and easier to create groups manually.

  1. Create and save a group set and then reopen it, or the import icon won't appear.
  2. Click the import box/arrow icon near the top right. If you hover over this icon, the text 'Import groups or Members' will appear.
    Import icon (box with vertical arrow coming out the top) shown under visibility menu in top right
  3. On the Create groups tab, click Download groups template.
  4. Open the downloaded file and fill in the group information:

    • Group Code (mandatory): an alphanumeric code for each group, eg. g1. These are only used to import group assignments, so can be anything.
    • Title (mandatory): the group title that will be visible in the course, eg. Presentation group 1.
    • Description (optional): a description for the group that will be visible in the course.
    • Group Set (mandatory): the name of the group set, with words separated by gc, eg. Presentation groups becomes Presentation_gc_groups.
    • Self Enroll (mandatory): Y or N, depending on whether the groups should be self-enroll.
      Example csv file to import groups with group 1 info: g1, Presentation group 1, Topic: Starfleet history, Presentation_gc_groups, N
  5. Save the file in csv format (NOT .xls or .xlsx).

  6. On the Create groups tab, upload the CSV file and click Import.
    Create groups tab with drag and drop space to upload CSV file
  7. Click Save.

Import assignments/group members

  1. Create and save a group set and then reopen it, or the import icon won't appear.
  2. Click the import box/arrow icon near the top right. If you hover over this icon, the text 'Import groups or Members' will appear.
    Import icon (box with vertical arrow coming out the top) shown under visibility menu in top right
  3. On the Assign members tab, click Download members template.
  4. Open the downloaded file and fill in the group information:

    • Group Code (mandatory): the alphanumeric code for the relevant group, eg. g1. This is the code created in the import groups step.
    • Username (mandatory): the student's username, eg abc123.
    • StudentID (optional): leave blank.
    • First Name (optional): leave blank.
    • Last Name (optional): leave blank.
    • Group Set (optional): if assigning members to 1 group set, leave blank. If assigning members to 2+ group sets, the name of the group set, with words separated by gc, eg. Presentation groups becomes Presentation_gc_groups.
      Example csv file to import members with student 1 info: g1, abc123, other cells blank
  5. Save the file in csv format (NOT .xls or .xlsx).

  6. On the Assign members tab, upload the CSV file and click Import.
    Assign members tab with drag and drop space to upload CSV file
  7. Click Save.

Group Spaces

Students can access their assigned groups on the groups tab. From there, students can view all student members of their group.

Student view of Groups page with two group sets

To access a Group Space, students should select the group's name. Students can access all assessments aligned to their group.

Student view of group assignment details