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Creating a group category

Categories are a way of organizing and managing related groups. For example, you could have a different category for Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Seminars, Remedial Help, and Book Reviews.

If you want to create a new set of groups you need to set up a category and create restricted work areas for the groups first.

Create a category

  1. From the Manage Groups page, click the New Category icon New Category icon.
    New Category screenshot
  2. Enter a Category Name.
  3. Enter a Description of the category.
    Category Name and Description screenshot
  4. Select an Enrollment Type. See Enrollment Types for more information on enrollment types.
  5. Specify the Number of Groups to create or the Number of Users per group depending on the Enrollment Type you chose.
  6. Select Auto-Enroll New Users if you want users to be enrolled in groups automatically. (Option only available for "Groups of #" or "# of Groups").
  7. Select Randomize users in groups if you want users to be placed in groups randomly. If this option is not chosen, users are placed alphabetically based on the classlist. (Option only available for "Groups of #" or "# of Groups").
  8. Select Set up Discussion Areas if you want to associate discussion areas with the groups in the category.
  9. Select Set up Locker if you want to create a shared locker area for each group in order to share files with each other.
  10. Select Set up Dropbox if you want to associate dropbox folders with the groups in the category.
  11. Click Create.
    Create Group screenshot

When you create a new category with the Setup Discussion Areas option checked, you are automatically taken to the Create Restricted Discussion Areas page. From this page you can create a separate topic for each group within an existing or new forum.

When you create a new category with the Setup Dropbox option checked, you are automatically taken to the Create Dropbox page. From this page you can create a Dropbox for each group.

Create group restricted discussion areas

When you create a new category with the Setup Discussion Areas option checked, you are automatically taken to the Create Restricted Discussion Areas page. From this page you can create a separate topic for each group within an existing or new forum.

  1. Select the Forum you want from the drop-down list if you have already created a forum in the Discussions tool.
  2. Click the New Forum link to create a new forum for the category. (See Creating a discussion forum.)
  3. Click Add Another if you want to add more than one discussion forum.
  4. Click Create or Create and Next when finished.
    Create Restricted Topics screenshot

Note: Clicking the Skip button takes you to the next page in the groups setup process without creating any restricted discussion areas.

Create restricted dropbox

If you select the Setup Dropbox option, you are automatically taken to the Create Dropbox folders page. Creating a folder from this page creates a folder for each of the groups in the category.

  1. Enter a Name for the dropbox folder.
  2. Select if the checkbox for Plagiarism Detection, if desired.
  3. Assign the folder to a Category, if desired.
  4. Associate the folder with a Grade Item if you want submitted assignments to be tied to an item in your grade book.
    • Click New Grade item link to create a new grade item for the assignment.
  5. If you have associated a Grade item, enter the amount of points in the box next to Out of:
    • Note: You must still enter points here even though you already did in the Grade Item and the amount of points must be the same as the Grade item selected.
  6. Add any instructions about submitting the assignment Custom Instructions text box.
  7. Select whether you want users to be able to include dropbox submissions as artifacts in the ePortfolios.
  8. Attach any files that you want to make available to users from the dropbox folder ( for example, a sample lab report)
  9. Click Add Another if you want to add more than one dropbox folder for this group category.
  10. Click Create when finished.
    Create Dropbox Folder screenshot

Note: Clicking the Skip button takes you to the next page in the groups setup process without creating any shared dropbox folders.

Create group restricted locker areas

If you select the Setup Locker option, locker areas are automatically created for each group in the category.

Workspace Summary page

The Workspace summary page lists how many groups, discussion forums, lockers, and dropbox folders were created for the category. Click Done.

Workspace Summary screenshot

Edit group enrollment in restricted discussion areas

You can edit group enrollment in restricted discussion forums and topics from the Groups tool. To add, edit, or delete forums or topics restricted by group you must use the Discussions tool. (See Setting group and section restrictions for a discussion forum or topic, for more information.)

  1. From the Manage Groups page, click the name of the category that contains the discussion forum you want to edit.
    Name of Category screenshot
  2. From the Edit Category page, click the Edit Discussion Restrictions link.
    Edit Discussion Retrictions screenshot
  3. Select the Forum you want to make changes to in the Forum drop-down list or select to edit multiple forums at once.
  4. Use the check boxes in the Edit Restrictions grid to modify group enrollment in discussion forums and topics.
  5. Select Automatically create restricted topics if you want to add topics to the forums.
  6. Click Save.
    Restrict Forums screenshot

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