Blackboard Tools For Group Work & Collaboration

Mike Blum & April Lawrence, Academic Technologists

The William & Mary Collaborative Writing Project handbook focuses on the ability to utilize Blackboard as a "one stop shop" for tools that support collaboration.

Blackboard, then, has the potential to support a long-term collaborative writing project. What distinguishes Blackboard from the other entry points we have covered is the ability to manage groups and group work in one location.

Available group tools in Blackboard:
  • Blogs: shared reflections, project logs.
  • Collaboration: live chat
  • Discussion Boards: exchange and discuss information, share readings, make decisions.
  • Email
  • File Exchange: store and share documents.
  • Tasks: to do lists, track progress.
  • Wikis: collaboratively authored web content.

Blackboard Tools Affordances and Constraints Chart

You will find the "Groups" tool under the default menu items in your Blackboard course. You can automatically enroll students, or you can have students self-enroll into groups you create.


You can select which tools you would like to make available for your groups.


You can allow students to customize their collaboration space (change the color).


Blackboard Sample Long Term Project Assignment

Blackboard Sample Short Term Project (Current Events) Assignment and Rubric