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Creating Groups in Brightspace

Many times, students will work in groups to do a project. Brightspace allows you to set up groups in a variety of ways. You can also set up group discussion boards that are only available to group members. Groups can also submit a single assignment that you can then assign a group grade. This guide will show you how to set up your groups.

To learn about Group Discussions click here.


Updated August 2021
Click here for a printable version

Setting up Groups

  1. Go to Activities & Assessment and select Groups. To set up your groups, click on New Category.
  2. On this screen you will give the group Category a meaningful name. Include a Description that will be visible to the students. Select which type of Enrollment you would like to use:

Enrollment types with description:
  • # of Groups – No Auto Enrollments – set the number of groups, and the instructor will manually assign students
  • Groups of # – set the group capacity, i.e. “groups of 4”
  • # of Groups – set a group limit, i.e. “7 groups total”
  • Groups of # – Self Enrollment – set the group capacity and allow students to self-enroll
  • # of Groups, Capacity of # – Self Enrolloment – set the group capacity and number of groups, and allow students to self-enroll
  • Single user, member-specific groups – set up groups of 1


Depending on which type of Enrollment you chose, you will have fields to fill in regarding number of groups, number of users, and other enrollment-related options.

  1. Decide which Additional Options you would like:
  • Set up Discussion areas – This will set up a Discussion Item that only group members can use. The instructor can also view and participate in the discussion
  • Set up lockers – We advise against using Lockers for sharing files. Instead use Vanderbilt’s Box system for file sharing and collaboration.
  • Set up assignment submission folders – This allows you to immediately create an Assignment that will be associated with these groups. This assignment will allow a group submission. You can also create a group assignment later following these instructions.


  1. Click Save when you are finished.

If you indicated that you would like to set up discussion areas or assignment submission folders, you will be presented with screens to set up those items.

Once you are completely finished you will see your groups on the Groups page.