Create and Assign Students to Discussion Groups

Create and Assign Students to Discussion Groups

If a course author includes a Discussion Board in a course, the teacher typically sets it up to be used by the students in the course and starts the discussion threads. BrainHoney assigns all students to one group by default, but instructors may create custom groups and assign them manually or use one of several automatic assignment methods to assign the groups.

Note: Once discussion groups are set up, when you create a discussion post, you must select the group to whom the post will be sent. If you want to communicate to all groups through the discussion board, you must create a post for each group.

Discussion groups are set up in the Course Viewer.


To open the discussion board to which you want to add the groups, from the View menu, click the course containing the discussion board.


In the course outline, click to highlight the discussion board. The discussion board displays on the right side of the course viewer. If there have been no discussion threads started, the window will be empty except for the New Thread and Group Setup buttons.


Click the Group Setup button. The Group Setup window displays.


The names of the students display on the left. You may either specify the number of groups or the number of students per group. If you specify the number of groups, BrainHoney automatically calculates the number of students per group. If you specify the number of students per group, BrainHoney calculates the number of groups.


Select the type for the discussion group.

• Random: Randomly assigns students to groups. If this option is selected, clicking the Generate button a second time reassigns the students using a different randomization pattern.
• Round Robin: Assigns one student to each group, then repeats the assignment process until all students have been added to groups.
• Alphabetical: Assigns students to groups in alphabetical "blocks" based on their last name.
• Homogeneous by Performance: Groups students with similar grades.
• Heterogeneous by Performance: Organizes groups with a relatively equal number of students with higher and lower grades in each group.
• Heterogeneous by Performance (Top/Bottom): Organizes groups with one having a mix of the highest and lowest grade students and another group with medium level grade students. Other groups, if more than two, are in between the two.
• Heterogeneous by Performance (1st Q/3rd Q; 2nd Q/4th Q): Organizes groups by distributing students from different quartiles – some from the first and third for one group and the second and fourth for another.

Note: You may also manually assign students to groups by clicking in the grid where the row for the student intersects the column for the group.


Click the Generate Groups button. Students are automatically added to each group. You may rename the groups by clicking each name and typing a new name.

When you have completed the changes to the Discussion Group settings, click OK. To return to the board in the course viewer, click the View link.