Reminder: Update Sections in Merged Courses

Merged courses in Blackboard are a convenient time saver. But depending on when we merge the course, the groups we create for the sections don’t always reflect the students who are in them. During Add/Drop period students switch sections and unfortunately while Blackboard can figure out which courses they belong in, the groups we create in each merged course to make grading and grade submission easier, do not update. If you are the only instructor this may not be a problem if you don’t use groups for adaptive release or to view grades by sections.

If your merged course has multiple instructors then the groups not being updated can cause problems during grade submission from Blackboard to Banner.  Due to system constraints, each instructor in a merged course must submit their own grades – so the convenient way for instructors in multi-instructor merged courses to submit grades to Banner from Blackboard is to display the grades for their section and submit those grades. If there are students in other instructor’s sections showing in their section list, the integration between the systems will generate an error.

If you use adaptive release to allow students in different sections to see content (assignments and tests are usual suspects) on different days or with different due dates, then students in a section that’s not correct will see different content/due dates than their classmates. Or worse, they won’t see the content at all if they have not been assigned to any group (which happens if they add after we merge the course).

So, if you have a need to update the groups/sections students are assigned to in your merged course, how do you make changes? It’s relatively easy to remove and add students to groups if you display the user list with groups listed.

Enter the Groups area in Blackboard from the Control Panel:
Location of groups link in control panel

In the Groups area select the All Users Display so you can see all the user and which to groups they have been added.

List by user button on Groups Page

Once you have a list of all the students and their group assignments, you can change those assignments. Hover your mouse over the student in the All Users list and an Add to Group button will pop up. In addition, if the student has already been assigned to a group, you can remove them at the same time. Click on the X next to the name of the group to remove the student from that group. Click on the “+ Add to Group” button to select a group to add the student to:
screenshot showing adding user to group

Once you have updated all the groups, students should see the correct content (if you are using adaptive release) and you should see the correct students when you are grading.

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