DePaul University Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Tools > Groups > Creating Groups

Creating Groups in D2L

In D2L, small groups are organized in categories. For example, if you want to divide students into groups for a final project, you would create a category called "Small Groups," then set the number of groups it should have.

You can set up multiple categories with groups in your course if you want to have more than one set of groups. For example, you might divide students into small groups for weekly discussions, but you might set up different groups for each discussion so that all of the students in your course are able to interact with one another.

Create a new set of Groups

  1. Click the More link in the course navigation bar, then select Groups from the dropdown menu. The Manage Groups page will open.

    Groups link in the D2l navigation bar
  2. Click the New Category button at the top-left side of the page.

    New Category button in D2L's Groups area
  3. Enter a name for the category.
  4. Select an option for how students will be added to the groups from the Enrollment Type dropdown menu.
    • Select # of Groups - No Auto Enrollments if you want to manually add students to groups yourself.
    • Select Groups of # to select the maximum number of students in each group and have D2L automatically enroll them.
    • Select # of Groups to select the number of groups and have D2L automatically enroll students in them.
    • Select Groups of # - Self-Enrollment to set the maximum number of students in each group and to let students enroll themselves.
    • Select # of Groups - Self-Enrollment to define the number of groups and let students enroll themselves.
    • Select # of Groups, Capacity of # - Self-Enrollment to define both the number of groups and the maximum number of students per group and to let students enroll themselves.

      Enrollment type options for groups in D2L
  5. Enter the number of groups to create, the number of students per group, or both based on the enrollment type option you selected. (The appropriate text boxes will be displayed below the Enrollment Type dropdown menu once you have selected one of its options.)
  6. Select boxes from the Groups Options list (only required if D2L will be automatically enrolling students in groups):
    • Select Auto-Enroll New Users if you want students who join your class in the future to be added to groups automatically.
    • Select Randomize Users in Groups if you want students to be placed in groups randomly. If this option is not chosen, users are added to groups in alphabetic order.
  7. Select Set up discussion areas and/or Set up dropbox folders if you want to set up new ones for the groups you're creating now (see the sections below for more information on these processes).
  8. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

    Advanced properties options for groups in D2L

NOTE: D2L does not automatically re-balance enrollments across your groups when students withdraw from your course, even if your groups are set up for automatic enrollment. We recommend that you check your group enrollments and manually change them if necessary.

Create group-restricted discussion topics

If you select the Set up discussion areas option when you create a new group category, you will be automatically prompted to create or select a discussion forum, and D2L will automatically add new group-restricted discussion topics to that forum.

  1. Select a forum on the Create Restricted Discussion Areas page.
    • if you have already created a discussion forum that you want to use, (A) select it from the drop-down list.
    • if you want to create a new forum for the groups category, (B) click the New Forum link. A New Forum pop-up window will open. In it, enter a title for your new discussion forum, then click the Save button. The window will close.

  2. Click one of the three buttons at the bottom of the page.
    • If you only need to create one discussion forum, click Create and Next.
    • If you want to create another group-restricted discussion forum, click Add Another, then repeat step 1.
    • If you decide you don't want to create group-restricted discussion topics, click Skip.
  3. Click the Done button.

Create group-restricted dropbox folders

If you select the Set up Dropbox folders option when you created your groups category, the Create Dropbox Folders page will open automatically. View the Creating Dropbox folders page for information on settings options for dropbox folders. 

NOTE: When you're done selecting options for your new group-restricted dropbox folder, you'll see the see the same three options listed in steps 2-3 above. 


You might need to enroll students in groups manually or provide students with instructions for self-enrolling in groups. See the Adding Students to Groups guide for more information.
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