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Moodle Q&A: Create Groups

In this Moodle Q&A series on groups, Elon faculty ask what groups are, why they should use them and how to create them.

Groups provide a way for instructors to arrange students into clusters so that assignments and grades can be allocated and accessed separately.


Q: What Are Moodle Groups?

A: Moodle groups allow instructors to organize users into clusters. There are three group modes within Moodle:

  1. No groups: All users are placed in one large community; there are no subgroups
  2. Separate groups: Users of one group cannot see the activities of other groups; they can only view their own group
  3. Visible groups: Users of one group can view the activities of all other groups through read-only access

Q: Why Should I Use Groups?

A: Groups serve several different functions. They can prove useful to both classes and organizations.

By using groups in classes, according to Moodle, you can:

  • Filter the activities or gradebook of one class
  • Filter your activities or gradebook so you do not see the students from your colleagues’ classes if you are sharing a course with other teachers
  • Allocate a particular activity or resource to just one class or set of users
  • Grant students access to email capabilities; a student cannot send an email to another student via Moodle’s email function without being placed in a group

By using groups in organizations, you can:

  • Allow all members to communicate with one another; if all members of an organization are placed in one large group, everyone in the organization can communicate with each other

Q: How do I create groups in Moodle?

A: To create groups, you must first determine if you would like to create your groups manually or if you would like Moodle to randomly generate your groups for you. Second, you must specify the sizes of your groups. Review the step-by-step instructions on our Technology wiki.

Read other Moodle Musings posts, which include FAQs and tips on how to enhance teaching and learning.

Modified image by Flickr user Saad FaruqueCreative Commons licensed BY-SA 2.0

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