About GroupTool

The GroupTool is a new tool integrated into Brightspace for the classroom allocation and scheduling of the Brightspace course's groups through TimeEdit.

Please visit the link below for a short introduction of the GroupTool:

GroupTool - a short introduction

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.

GroupTool

A new browser tab will open with the GroupTool page.

GroupTool features

On the top center of the page, the name of the course appears for which you opened the GroupTool. 

GroupTool features

On the left side of the page, you will see a vertical bar with three features:

  1. Groups (landing site).
  2. Link Groups.
  3. Schedule.

Each feature is explained below.

1. Groups feature

This is the landing site when you open the GroupTool from Brightspace. 

To the right from the left bar you will see 4 panels with options Filter, Students, Add/Remove buttons, Legend, Brightspace groups, and Group Enrollments

Groups - Overview

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.

1. Student Filter

In the first panel, you have the option:

Student Filter -  option to apply a filter for the type of student in the course, and/or enrollment status in a group:

  • Enrollment type of student:
    • All (default)
    • Students - only those course participants enrolled in Brightspace with the role of Student
    • Re-exam students - only those course participants enrolled in Brightspace with the role of Re-exam student
  • Membership status:
    • All (default)
    • In a group - shows only those course participants that are enrolled in (any) Brightspace group
    • Not in a group - shows only those course participants that are not enrolled in (any) Brightspace group

Extra filters that can help you refine the list of students:

  • Programme - shows all available programmes. You can select among BLP, BVG, MAM, MBT, MES, MLP, MME
  • Nationality - shows the different nationalities of the enrolled students
  • Gender - shows the gender
  • Start year - shows the year that students have started with their course
  • Former education - shows students' former education. You can select among BACHELOR (HBO/WO), MASTER WO - NON DUTCH, DIPLOMA/BUITSLANDSE VOOROPLEI, VWO NIEUW

Click on the tick-box on the right side of the filter's name, to quickly deselect all the options. Then you may select only the ones that you are interested in.

Student filters

Click the rightward arrow to expand the filters options.

filter options example

It's possible to use a combination of filters (e.g. Former education & Start year)

2. Students

In the second panel, Students, the list of students depending on the filter, a list of students will appear (options described above).  Next to the title into the parenthesis,  you have an overview of students selected/all filtered students.

Apart from the student names this view also includes different icons which are explained in the Legend.

To search for a specific student, use the Search field in this panel.

 

Number of students

When you position the cursor over a student's name, their email address appears. 

Student's credentials

If you position the cursor over the grey dot next to the student's name, the group name they are enrolled in can be checked.

Student group
3. Add / Remove buttons

In the third panel, you have the option to use the Add and Remove buttons. 

It can be used to add students from Students list panel to a group or remove students from a group. Students must be first selected by clicking on the tick box on the left side of their name, in order for the options above to be available

To learn more how to add or remove students from groups in GroupTool please visit: How to add and/or remove students to/from groups in GroupTool

4. Legend

In the same forth panel, there is the Legend. It explains the icons and colours that appear next to the name of each student in the Students list panel located on the left. This icon list is standard and will appear whether the icon is used or not. The legend icons explain:

  • Brightspace group enrollment:
    • Green dot - indicates that a student is enrolled in the current group
    • Grey dot - indicates that a student is (also) enrolled in another group
  • Brightspace role:
    • Student
    • Re-exam student
5. Brightspace groups

In the fifth panel, there is the Brightspace groups section. This option allows you to select from the existing Brightspace groups in the course:

  • the group Category - using the drop-down menu
  • the Group - using the drop-down menu 
Brightspace Groups

Further options in this sections are:

  • below the Category drop-down menu
    • Settings icon button - will redirect you to the Brightspace Groups homepage, in case you need to edit the existing Brightspace groups
  • below the Group drop-down menu
    • "+" icon button - gives the possibility to add more groups from the same category
    • "-" icon button - gives the possibility to remove the added groups from the selection
    • Pencil icon button - allows to quickly edit the group’s name and/or to give a description if needed

By editing the name and/or description of the group using the Pencil icon button you will update the name and/or description of the group overall in Brightspace.

6. Group enrollments

The Group enrollments option shows the list of students enrolled in a group based on the selection applied in option Brightspace groups.

Group Enrolment

For more information about how to edit the Group enrollments in GroupTool please visit: How to Add & Remove students in GroupTool

7. Export Excel

The "Export Excel" option allows you to download an excel file that contains all categories , groups & participants. To do so;

  • Click on Export Excel
export option
8. Import Excel

The "Import Excel" option allows you to add students to the groups of your choice from an excel file. To do so;

  1. Download a template using the Export Excel option. This will contain the correct format.
  2. Adjust the file accordingly, and
  3. Save

    Then in order to upload the file ;
  4. Click  Choose file

This action will open up a new window where you can select the file.

Import option

Make sure you have already created the categories and the groups in Brightspace, before exporting the file.

3. Schedule feature

This is the site when you open the Schedule.

A calendar will appear were you have an overview of the course's reservations schedule. On the right side there is the preview area where the edit option will appear as soon as a time slot has been selected.

Schedule

For more information about how to use the schedule in GroupTool please visit: How to use Schedule with the GroupTool

Now you know how to use the basics of the GroupTool!

Please visit the following link for a concrete example of how to use the GroupTool:

Using GroupTool for efficiently assigning students according to categories