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Moodle Quickstart Guide for Faculty

Using Groups

Setting up a course in group mode can be a good strategy if you teach multiple sections of the same course but you want to use one single moodle course. Within the same course section, you might also want to have the students work in separate groups, and the group mode can help in this case as well.

Groups can be set at two levels.

  • Course level - The group mode defined at the course level is the default mode for all activities defined within that course. This option is the best when you are teaching multiple sections of the same course. To set the group mode at the course level, you have to go to the course settings and choose an option in the Groups subsection.
  • Activity level - Each activity that supports groups can also have its own group mode defined. To set the group mode at the activity level, you have to go to the activity general settings and choose an option in the Groups subsection.

 

Group modes

There are three group modes

  • No groups - There are no sub groups, everyone is part of the same course without any difference.
  • Separate groups - Each group can only see their own group, others are invisible. This option is the best for multiple sections of the same course.
  • Visible groups - Each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups (the other groups' work is read-only). This option can be helpful if you want the students in the same class to work in groups.

 

Using groups with discussion forums allow teachers to restrict interaction between students. Separate groups mean only students in the same group can see and participate in discussions within a particular forum. Visible groups allow students to see other group's discussions but only participate in their own group's discussions.

 

Creating Groups

Once you have set up the group mode either at the course or at the activity level, you have to create your groups.

  • Click on Participants on the left side menu.
  • Click on the Actions menu gear icon. 
  • Select Groups.
  • Click the Create group button.
  • Add a group name, an optional description, and the enrollment key if you want the students to be automatically divided into groups. To enable the group enrollment key, you have to make sure that the course enrollment key is already set. The group enrollment key will override the course enrollment key.
  • Click the Save changes button. 
  • Select the group to which you want to add participants, then click the Add/remove users button.
  • In the Potential members list, select the users you want to add to the group. Multiple users may be selected using the Crtl key.
  • Click the Add button to add the users to the group.

     

Restricting an Activity, Resource or Course Topic to a Particular Group

You can restrict the access to an activity, resource, or course topic to a specific group. This option is useful if you are teaching multiple sections of the same course and you have enabled the groups within Moodle.

In the settings of the activity or resource, select Restrict access, then click on the Add restriction button. In the Add restriction selection menu, choose Groups to enable the restriction by group.

Finally, select the group you would like the activity or resource to be restricted to. 

restrict access

Using Groups with Forums

Once you have groups enabled in your course, you can also use groups within a forum. There are three options:

  • No groups
  • Separate groups
    • Teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for a selected group, then only group members can reply to it.
    • Students can only start discussions for their own group.
    • Students can only reply to discussions started by other group members or discussions for their own group started by a teacher. ​
  • Visible groups
    • ​Teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for a selected group, then only group members can reply to it.
    • Students can only start discussions for their own group.
    • Students can only reply to discussions started by other group members or teachers.
Note: Single simple discussions cannot be set to separate groups. Instead, a standard forum should be used.

Need More Help?

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