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1. Introduction

What are course groups?

Course groups provide an online space in which you can add content and communicate with a large number of students on the same course.

Course groups are ideal for managing extracurricular content, as this allows you to do everything you can do in a module, with the flexibility of reaching an entire course, or specific levels of a course. For example, you might have an all levels course group, and separate course groups for the different levels that you teach.

Types of course groups

Please note, course groups are different to sub-groups. Our guide to sub-groups provides information about this tool.

2. Access course groups

How do staff access course groups?

  • Staff may need to self-enrol on course groups in order to view and use them. 
  • Staff can find course groups on the Staff Home tab in MyBeckett.

How do students access course groups?

  • Students are automatically enrolled on course groups. The student record system (Banner) sends their course enrolment data to MyBeckett. If a student is not enrolled on the correct course group, it's because they're not enrolled on the correct course in Banner.
  • Students can find course groups on the Course tab in MyBeckett.

3. Share information

You can use course groups to share information such as:

  • General course information
  • Induction information
  • Placement information
  • Employability information

How can I communicate with course groups?

Like modules, you can send announcements and emails from within an individual course group, or use the Module and Course Group Communicator tool to create an announcement or send an email to multiple course groups at the same time. Instructions are available in our guide to sending announcements and emails.

What else can I do to share information with course groups?

You may also wish to post items of interest such as conferences and opportunities, or embed content such as slides and videos to vary your content and provide a slicker user experience.

4. Encourage interaction

You can use course groups to encourage interaction across course levels, by providing spaces in which they can connect, communicate and collaborate.

We have included a discussion boards content area in the default course group menu (in the Community section) and you may wish to set up forums for students such as:

  • A place to say hello, introduce themselves and get to know other students studying on their course
  • A dedicated place for students to buy and sell textbooks they no longer need

Some course teams have also included links to book appointments with tutors and information about email etiquette such as including student ID numbers when getting in touch.

Read the guide on creating a Discussion Board / Forums to find out more.

5. Build a sense of course identity / community

You can use course groups to help students feel like part of your course, beyond interaction on their individual modules.

Some ideas and examples from existing course groups include:

  • Add a welcome message to the Group Welcome content area. Think about defining the purpose of the course group. What is it for? How would you like students to use it?
  • Introduce your course team so that students can get to know who they might be working with during their studies. You might want to include photos, an introductory video, or your office hours.
  • Set expectations regarding facilitation and interaction. Will tutors be participating in the discussion forums or should students get in touch with questions via email?
  • Customise the look and feel of the course group. You can add a banner image and change the colour theme. 
  • Promote optional schemes, such as peer mentoring.

6. Further Resources

Further guides that you may find useful:

Communication tools:

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Page last updated: 02/03/2021

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