How do I create groups of students in my course?

You can place students in groups in the course and then enable the group options for various activities.

Creating Groups Manually

  1. Login to Moodle and enter the course in which you wish to set-up the groups.
  2. From the main page of your course, in the left column (the one with the purple background), click on the “Participants” link. Note: If you do not see the left column with the purple background, click on the menu icon with the three lines in the upper left corner of the screen to expand the left column.
  3. On the “Participants” page, click on the gray “Edit” gear wheel in the upper right corner of the main section.
  4. From the drop-down menu which appears, click on the “Groups” option.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the “Groups” page. Click on the “Create Group” button.
  6. On the “Group” page, give the group a name. You do not have to provide any additional information though you can if you would like.
  7. Scroll down and click the “Save Changes” button.
  8. This will bring you back to the “Groups” page.

Adding Members to the New Group

  1. On the “Groups” page, click on the name of the group to which you wish to add group members.
  2. Once that group is highlighted, click the “Add/Remove Users” button at the bottom of the right box labelled “Members of.”
  3. Click on the name of the student you wish to add to the group. Then click the “Add” button. You can select multiple items in a row by clicking on the first, holding the shift key down, and then clicking the last. You can also select random items by holding the ‘Ctrl’ key down (on PCs) or the ‘Cmd’ key (on Macs).
  4. When you have added all of the students to the group, scroll down and click the “Back to Groups” button.
  5. Back on the “Groups” page, you can click on the group name to see its members. The number of members in the group will be listed next to the group’s name.

Creating Groupings

If you are going to use groups for multiple assignments and the group members will not be the same, you can create sets of groups called ‘groupings.’

  1. From the “Groups” page, click on the “Groupings” tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the “Create Grouping” button.
  3. Give the grouping a name. You can provide a description if you want, but you do not need to.
  4. Scroll down and click the “Save changes” button.
  5. When back on the “Groupings” page, locate the icon in the far right column that looks like the outline of two people, one standing behind the other. Click on this icon.
  6. This is the section where you would add or remove groups from the grouping. Like when you added specific students to the groups, select the groups you wish to add to the grouping, and then click the “Add” button to move them from the right column to left column.
    When done, scroll down and click the “Back to groupings” button.
  7. Back on the “Groupings” page, you will see the “Groups” now a part of the “Groupings” listed.

Auto-Creating Groups

If you do not already have pre-determined groups, you can have Moodle automatically place students in groups. You can do this by specifying how many groups you would like or how many students you would like in each group. To auto-create groups:

  1. From the “Groups” page, click the “Auto-create groups” button.
  2. Decide how you would like Moodle to name the groups.You do not need to have the word ‘group’ in the name, if you want some other nomenclature:

    The at symbol (@) may be used to create groups with names containing letters. For example, Group @ will generate groups named Group A, Group B, Group C…
    The hash symbol (#) may be used to create groups with names containing numbers. For example, Group # will generate groups named Group 1, Group 2, Group 3…

  3. Select whether you would like the groups set up based on total number of groups or total number of members in the group. For instance, in a class of 6, auto-creating by the number of groups with the number of groups desired as 4, two group will have two members and two groups will have one member.
    Note: If you want to create activities where only you and a single student could access the student’s content, you can tell the system to auto-create groups with ‘1’ student in each group.
  4. You can also tell Moodle to select students from a subset or tell Moodle to assign students randomly or alphabetically.
  5. You can also tell Moodle to create a new Grouping for this set of automatically generated groups.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click the “Preview” to see how Moodle will set up the groups. If you are satisfied with the groups, click the “Submit” button. Otherwise, scroll back up and continue to adjust the settings. Preview and submit.
  7. Once you have auto-created the groups, you will now see the groups with the previously created groups.
  8. You can also see the auto-generated “Grouping” if you click on the “Groupings” tab.

Groups Enabled in the Activity Settings

Three different modes for groups in Moodle activities:

  • No Groups – There are no sub groups; everyone is part of one big community
  • Visible Groups – Each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups. (The other groups’ work is read-only.)
  • Separate Groups – Each group can only see their own group, others are invisible.

Example: Submitting in a Group for an Assignment Activity

Update the “Group submission settings” to require the students submit in groups and indicate which grouping (the group of groups) the system should use.

Indicate which group mode you wish to use.

Save & display and you’ll see that the settings indicated in the assignment activity:

As well as indicating on the main course page:

Example: Creating Individual Forums for Blog-like Posting

When setting up the forum, make sure the ‘Group mode’ is separate, and the Grouping is the one with groups with only one student in each.

Save & display and you’ll see that the settings indicated in the forum activity:

You can tell the group mode when your editing is turned on on the main page of your course: