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Faculty: Groups in Moodle

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NEW AND IMPROVED! Providing online support to students working on projects together is easy to set up in Moodle. You can also use the groups feature to identify the students enrolled in different CRN's in a combined (meta) course site. The information below offers an overview of working with groups. For more details, download this updated guide. See video tutorial below.

62950992AQRHYWPXTXQGRJX0-group3.gifCreating Groups

Groups are created by clicking on Users in the  Course administration block, then clicking on Groups. You can create groups and assign users manually, or tell Moodle either how many groups you'd like or how many students you'd like to have in each group, and have the groups created automatically. To assign specific students to a group, use the "Add/remove users" link, select each student and click on "<Add" to include them in the group.

62950991YMRHCYBQQRHPBMK0-onebit_48.pngHint: To add several students at one time, hold the Ctrl key down as you click on each name. Note that as students are assigned to groups, Moodle will indicate how many groups they belong to [i.e., (1)]. Check the list when you think you are done to make sure that every student has been assigned to a group. Click on the group name to display the students assigned to it.

Facilitating Group Sign-ups

Try using a "Choice" activity for group sign-ups. This article explains how to set up this tool.

Sharing a Group Roster

If you have Quickmail set up in your course site, students can easily find out who is in their group. Let them know that group affiliations are posted next to each student's name in the "Compose Email" screen. If you do not have the Quickmail block available in your site, click on Groups, then click on the tab labeled Overview. You'll see each of the groups listed with its members. You can take a screen shot of this list and copy it into a Word document to share with your students. (To take a screen shot, click alt+print screen, then paste in a Word document.)

Creating Work Space for Groups

Once you've set up groups, you can create a single activity (forum, chat or wiki) to create a work space for all groups. It is not necessary to create a separate activity for each group as long as you set the Group Mode to separate or visible groups. This allows each student to work exclusively within a designated group even though all students click on the same link. "Separate" allows groups to see only their own work; "Visible" allows students to see what other groups are doing, although they can only participate in their own group.

The most common work space for groups is a forum. To set up a forum for groups:

  1. Use the Add an activity...> Advanced forum function to add a Standard forum for general use for them to use as their online work space.
  2. Provide instructions to them to use the "Add a new discussion topic" to share their thoughts and files.
  3. Toward the bottom of the forum creation page, choose "separate" or "visible" groups and save the forum.

Students will be able to attach files with their discussion threads in order to create their work products.

To view what students are doing, select the name of a group from the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the forum page. That will sort the postings by the members of that group only, allowing you to track their work.

Note: Remember, it is not necessary to create a separate forum (or chat or wiki) for each group in Moodle. One link will serve all students; students will only have access to their assigned group's materials.

62950993NXWWCCMKNSXAZTH0-onebit_48.png Hint: You can also designate an assignment as a group activity. If you do, it will not restrict access to the link in any way, but it will allow you to view the members of each group within the grade book in one batch, making it easier to assign grades. This is especially helpful when grading assignments for different sections enrolled in a meta course site.

Using Groups to Manage Combined Sites

If you have a combined (meta) course site, setting up a group for each CRN makes it much easier to manage. These instructions can help!

Video Tutorial

This tutorial was created in Moodle 1.9. The main difference from our installation is that the link for creating groups is now located under Users in the Course administration block. There is no longer a separate listing for Groups in the admin block.

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