Printer-Friendly Version

CTools Logo

Group Management

New! Course groups in Google

In addition to using the group feature in CTools, which is described in detail on this webpage, instructors on the Ann Arbor campus can now create course groups in the MCommunity Directory based on course membership information from Wolverine Access. The groups are updated regularly as students drop and add courses. The groups are synchronized to Google UMICH and can be used for sending email and sharing Google resources.

Read more about using MCommunity/Google Groups here:

You can learn about using MCommunity/Google Groups with CTools here:


This online help page explains how to use the CTools Group feature.

Click to see:

Creating groups
The Auto Group tool
Removing a group
Using groups with the Assignments and Announcements tools
Using groups with the Forums tool
Using groups with the Resources tool
Using groups with the Messages tool


In CTools, it is possible to designate separate groups of participants or students in a project or course website. At present, groups can only be used with the Announcements, Assignment, Forums, Resources, Message Center, and messages tools.

Creating groups

Note that you can create groups more efficiently using the Auto Group tool, which is described in the section "The Auto Group tool," below.

Manual group creation

1. Open the site you would like to create groups in.

2. Click the Site Info link in the left-hand menubar.

3. Click the Manage Groups link near the top of the main window.

4. Click the Create New Group link above the words "Group List."

5. Type a title for your first group.

6. You can optionally type a description.

7. Choose a name in the Site Member List in the left-hand box by clicking it.

8. Click the Add to group button.

9. When you have added all the members you would like in the group, click the Update button.

10. If you would like to create another group, repeat the process described above.


Important note about assistants and affiliates

When creating Groups on your site, especially when using the Auto Group function, you must specifically include your assistants and/or affiliates that support your course in the Group. Otherwise, they will not receive any email notifications that are posted to that group, even if the Assistant/Affiliate posted the announcement or resource. This will ensure that Assistants/Affiliates can reference the email to verify that the notification was sent out properly or for additional troubleshooting purposes.

The Auto Group tool

1. Open the site in which you'd like to create a group.

2. Click the Site Info link in the left-hand menubar.

3. Click the Manage Groups link near the top of the main window.

4. Click the Auto Group link near the top of the main window.

5. Click a role to create a group in which all members have the same role.

6. Continue with Step #5 under "Manual group creation," above.

Removing a group

1. Open the site that has the group you'd like to remove.

2. Click the Site Info link in the left-hand menubar.

3. Click the Manage Groups link near the top of the main window.

You will see a list of the existing groups for that site.

4. To remove a group, click the checkbox next to the group.

5. Click the Remove Checked button.

6. You will be asked to confirm this. Click Remove or Cancel.


Using groups with the Assignments and Announcements tools

When you create new announcements and assignments, you fill out a form. If you have created groups in your site as described above, you will see a new checkbox ("Display to selected groups") automatically added to the new annoucement form and the new assignment form. This checkbox is near the bottom of the form. If you check it, information will appear allowing you to choose groups for your announcement or assignment.

If you have not already created groups in your site, you will need to do this first. If you have not already created groups, the "Display to selected groups" option will not appear near the bottom of the new announcement form and the new assignment form.

This is described in greater detail in the "Assignments" and "Announcements" sections (under "Using the Tools" in the table of contents) of this online help.


Are you finding what you're looking for? Please send feedback about this online help guide to Thanks! (For questions about using CTools, send email to

Using Groups with the Forums Tool

You can make forums and topics within forums group specific, and allow only a particular group editing and posting privileges to a particular forum.  You can also make topics under particular forums group aware.  To make forums and/or topics group aware, select the group you would want access to a particular forum/topic in the "role" box.  Next, select what level of permission you want this group to have under the “Permission Level” box.  The privileges of a particular permission level can be seen under the "Permission Level” box.  You can also set a customized permission setting by selecting the "custom" role. 

Note: To make a forum/topic group aware, you must set all other groups/users to “none” in the "permission level" box.  This will lock out any members of the site from a forum/topic that has been designated for a particular group. 

Using Groups With the Resources Tool

When adding a resource (folder, file, URL, etc), click on the "edit" details link.  This will give you the option to display a particular resource only to selected groups.  Please be aware that you need to first create groups on your site to be able to make resources available to particular groups. 

Using Groups with the Messages Tool

The Messages tool allows you to send a message to either all participants of a site or selected members of the site.  You can use messages to also send messages to particular groups you have created on the site.  To do so, just select the group you want to send messages to in the "To” box.  You can also select more than one group by holding down the “CTRL” button while selecting groups.