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Learn about Google Course Groups - Knowledgebase / Teaching Learning and Research / Google Course Groups - OIT Service Center

Learn about Google Course Groups

Google Course Groups allows instructors to create an Google network for their course. Group members receive email at a general (rather than personal) address.  Email sent to the address is redirected to one or more individuals at their personal addresses, and not held in a central mailbox. Google Course Groups can also be used to assign permissions within Google, such as the ability to view a Google Calendar, Document, or Site.

In a Google Course Group, student enrollment is kept up-to-date based on Banner registration for the course, and additional members, including those who do not have addresses, can be added.


Google Course Groups enables faculty to:

  • Send emails to all group members simultaneously
  • Facilitate the sharing of collaborative work amongst instructors, teaching assistants, and enrolled students using Google applications.
  • Easily assign and manage permissions to Google Documents and/or share Google Site access so students can collaborate online.
  • Add non-Brown account users to collaborative projects. Faculty who co-teach with faculty at other institutions, or who have RISD or other students enrolled in the course, can add anyone to the Google Course Group with just that persons' email address

Getting Started

Faculty should request a Google Course Group site using

Faculty and students can access Google Groups by visiting or by clicking the Groups link from the Google Apps icon when logged into your Google account.

Learn more about requesting a Google Course Group.

Information for Students

Send a message to a group

Instructors must enable permissions for students to send messages. Once student permissions are enabled, students do not need to log in to your Group's page to send a message. Simply send an email to the email address associated with your group (e.g.,

Technical Requirements

By default, the course instructor is also the Google Course Group manager. Managers have the ability to add group members, send messages to the group, set member permissions, change member roles, and remove members from the group. Instructors can set other groups members as co-managers.

There are two important settings that instructors are not able to change and must request:

  1. Whether your group emails are archived on the group page. If you would like to save a copy of messages on the Google Course Group page, please submit a request to change this setting. 
  2. Who can be a member of your group. 
    • There are two choices: members of the domain only, or anyone.  By default, only members of the domain can be added to your group. If you would like to include people outside of the Brown domain, you will need to request to change this setting. 

Learn more about managing Google Groups.

Note: As with all Google Apps, web browsers must have Javascript and cookies enabled to use Google Course Groups.


Where do I request this service?

Where can I go to learn more about this service?

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