Office of Information Technology

OIT HomeAbout OITGetting StartedTrouble Tickets

Helpdesk: ECS 020 / 410-455-3838 / Email: helpdesk@umbc.edu

Managing a Blackboard Course with Multiple Sections

As part of the course auto-creation process, many courses with multiple sections have had only one course created. Students are automatically enrolled in the course with the lowest section number. For example, if you are teaching BIOL100, section 0101, but are also teaching sections 0201, 0301, 0401, and 0501, the students enrolled in these sections are all enrolled in 0101.

As an instructor teaching multiple sections, dividing students by section can be extremely convenient. Rather than updating five or six different sections, an instructor will only have to update one section with content. In this case, the Groups feature in Blackboard may be the solution for you.

This function is very effective whether you have numerous sections within your course or if you simply want to divide your class up into smaller groups for specialized assignments.

To create groups:

1. From Inside your course site, go to Control Panel.

2. Under User Management, click Manage Groups.

3. Click Add Group.

4. Fill in the group name and a description of the group.

Note: Naming the group according to the sections that the students are enrolled in may alleviate some confusion. Remember, simply putting the student's names in the description does enroll them in the group. To enroll them continue to step 7 below.

5. Check the appropriate boxes for the resources that you want the group to have and select yes/no under visibility.

6. Click Submit. (It may take a few minutes to complete)

Repeat this process for as many groups as you need.

Now that your groups have been created you have the opportunity to add your students to the group.
Note: Remember that before you can place students in their groups they must first be enrolled in the Blackboard

7. Click Modify to access the Manage Group - Section 1 page that allows you to enroll students and modify the group properties.


8. The Section - 1 page gives you the various options that you need to manage your groups. Students can be added or deleted, you can modify the group options that you had previously assigned and you can list the users in the group.

9. Congratulations!! You have created your groups, enrolled your students and you are ready to continue the learning process.

Note: While the groups feature can save you a lot of time and effort, it will not create a group structure within your Blackboard gradebook. All of the students will appear alphabetically in the Blackboard gradebook, not by section.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bob Armstrong at 410.455.3885 or rarmstro@umbc.edu or blackboard@umbc.edu.


Office of Information Technology • Main Office: ECS 125 • Phone: 410-455-3838 • Email: oit@umbc.edu