Instructor Support for Educational Systems

How can I use Assignments for groups?

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This article explains how you can use Assignments for groups.

Start with Group Categories

If your students are working together on an assignment, you can enable group submission(s) by setting up a group assignment. If you have not created groups yet, be sure to read the article "How do I use groups?" before proceeding. 

There are two ways you can create group assignments: 

  1. Via Assignments: if you have already made the group(s) and/or given them an assignment. 
  2. Via Groups: if you want to enable new groups access to assignments. If you have already given an assignment to a group category, you cannot use this option.


If you have many different groups in your course and you want to give each of the groups a different assignment then you must add them to separate Group Categories, because assignments can only be connected to Group Categories and not to the individual groups within them. If you have not made any groups yet and/or want to add a new Group Category, follow the instructions for How do I create Groups?  (and under Additional Options tick Set up Assignments). After having done that, you can proceed with the instructions below for how to create Assignments.  

Create Group assignments via Assignments

  • Navigate to Course Tools in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Assignments.
  • Click New Assignment
  • Give the assignment a name: this is the name that will be displayed on the Assignments homepage. Pick a name that clearly shows that it concerns a group assignment. You can provide more information on the assignment with a short instruction in the html-editor.
  1. Go to the Submission & Completion tab.
  2. Identify under Assignment Type that it concerns a group assignment (Group Assignment).
  3. Select the Group Category - the set of groups you want to give an assignment to.

Follow further instructions for creating an assignment and adding restrictions and click Save and Close (or on Save and New to create another assignment).

Do not forget to publish the assignment! When an assignment has the status draft, students will not be able to see the assignment and therefore cannot submit anything either. You publish an assignment via the Assignment quick-menu, and the More Actions menu on the Assignments homepage.  

Create Group assignments via Groups (only possible if there is no assignment linked yet)

  • Navigate to Course Tools in the navbar of your course and click on Course Admin
  • Click Groups. You will land on the Groups homepage.
  • In this instruction, an assignment is made for an existing group. If you haven't made any groups yet and/or want to add a new group and want to attach an assignment to it directly, first follow the instruction How do I create Groups? and then the instruction Create Assignments below.
  1. Use the drop-down menu under View Categories to select the Group Category to which you want to attach one or multiple assignments (above you will see that the Group Category "Werkcollege Maanddaggroep" (= Seminar Monday group) has been selected and that it consists of 4 groups: Werkc-ma-1 t/m Werkc-ma-4). 
  2. Click the arrow next to the name of the group and then click Edit Category.

3. Scroll down and tick Set up assignments (under Additional Options). Then identify in the drop-down menu what kind of submission type it concerns (File submission, Text submission, On paper submission of Observed in person).

4. Click Save. You will be navigated to the Create Assignments page.

  1. Give the assignment a name (preferably pick one that clearly indicates that it concerns a group assignment)
  2. Under Assignment Type you can see that it is a Group assignment for a certain group and under Submission type you can see that it concerns an assignment for which the groups need to hand in a file in Brightspace to complete it. The settings you have selected for this are automatically filled in.
    Fill in the rest of the fields as you do when you create an assignment. 
  3. Click Create when you are done with creating the assignment for the groups within this group category. 
  4. Click Add Another if you want to add another assignment (For example: if you want each group to hand in a new assignment each week, in a separate assignment, you need to add a new assignment for each week). 

You will now see a summary of the choices you have just made. 

5.    Click Done.

You will land on the Edit-Category page again. At the bottom of the page you will see the new heading Existing Workspace and below it the assignments you have created. In the example above, one assignment has been added: Groepsopdracht: Actuele betekenis vier Dada-kunstwerken (Group assignment: Current meaning four Dadaist works of art).

  1. Tick under Additional Options:
    • Set up discussion areas to create a group discussion topic. Note: this way each group will have their own discussion topic to work on together, for example during a group assignment. 
    • Set up lockers to also give the group(s) their own locker: a shared digital place where files are archived. 
  2. Click (one of) the link(s) to navigate to the content of the assignment(s). 
  3. Click Save to return to the page of the group category under Manage Groups.

In the middle column (Assignment) you will now see that you have attached an assignment to the group(s). Click the link to view the submitted assignments. If there is a question mark icon instead of a link, it means that a group has not handed in any assignments.  

Do not forget:

  • Add students to the groups (if you have indicated you wanted to do that manually when you created the groups). To do so, click the name of the group and then Enroll Users OR click the arrow next to the name of the group category and then Enroll Users;
  • Publish the assignments, so that they are visible for students and they are able to submit their assignments.
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