There may be times when you want to place students into groups so they can work together on a project. You may also want to use groups to combine students with IEPs, GIEPs, or Section 504 forms to provide them with alternative assignments.

Groups can contain one or more students. Groupings are a collection of groups and can help you organize your groups. You can assign an activity to one group or to multiple groups that are placed in a grouping. Click here to learn more about Moodle groups.

There are three group modes.

~ No groups – there are no sub groups; everyone is part of one big community.

~ Separate groups – each group can only see their own group; others are invisible.

~ Visible groups – each group works in their own group but can also see other groups.

Here are two options you can use to create groups.

~ Option 1: Create group creates a single group.

~ Option 2: Auto-create group lets you set parameters to automatically create multiple groups and have Moodle assign students to the groups either randomly or alphabetically by first or last name.

Option 1: Creating a single group

NOTE: Students need to have logged into your course at least once for their names to appear in the Participants list.

After navigating to your course in Moodle, click Participants from the left Navigation panel.

From the right side of the page, click the Actions menu (gear icon) and then click Groups.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Create group.

Group name and description: Enter the group name.

Since the group name will be visible to all group members, be respectful in naming the group. For example, if you are creating a group for students with IEPs, use a more generic group name like Group A or Section 1.

If desired, enter an optional group description, which will be displayed above the list of members on the Participants page. Again, be respectful if you choose to enter a description.

Group messaging: If enabled, group members can send messages to others in their group using the Moodle messaging system. The default setting is No.

Click Save changes.

Adding group members

From the Groups page, select the group to which you want to add participants. Any existing members will appear in the right column under Members of: [Group name].

Under the right column, click Add/remove users.

In the Potential members list, select the users you want to add to the group and then click Add. You can select multiple users by holding down the CTRL key (PC) or Command key (MAC) as you select each user.

Deleting a group

From the Groups page, select the group you want to delete.

Click Delete selected group.

Click Yes to confirm you want to delete the group.

Option 2: Using Auto-create groups

You can use this option ONE TIME to automatically create multiple groups of currently enrolled students. Once any additional students are enrolled into your course, you will need to manually place them into existing groups.

NOTE: Students need to have logged into your course at least once for their names to appear in the Participants list. Also, when using Auto-create groups, each group name must be unique and cannot already exist in your course.

After navigating to your course in Moodle, click Participants from the left Navigation panel.

From the right side of the page, click the Actions menu (gear icon) and then click Groups.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Auto-create groups.

Naming scheme: Enter your naming scheme, which consists of a word and either the @ symbol or the # symbol.

~ The @ symbol is used to create groups with names containing letters. Group @ creates Group A, Group B, Group C, … and Section @ creates Section A, Section B, Section C, ….

~ The # symbol is used to create groups with names containing numbers. Group # creates Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, … and Section # creates Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, ….

Auto create based on: Select either Number of groups or Members per group.

Group/member count: Enter the group or member count.

Group messaging: If enabled, group members can send messages to others in their group using the Moodle messaging system. The default setting is No.

Select members with role: Leave the default role set to Student.

Allocate members: Select how you want the members allocated in the groups – Randomly (default setting), Alphabetically by first name, last name or Alphabetically by last name, first name.

Prevent last small group: If selected, this setting prevents the last group that gets created from being smaller than 70% of the expected size. Instead, Moodle will place additional members into existing groups rather than create a new group with few members.

Ignore users in groups: If selected, Moodle will ignore users already placed into a group.

Include only active enrollments: If unchecked, this option allows you to include both active and suspended users.

Grouping of auto-created groups: If desired, select New grouping if you would like to create a grouping of your auto-created groups. You can leave this option defaulted to No grouping.

Grouping name: Enter a grouping name if using the option above.

Click Preview to see how users will be distributed in the groups. If satisfied with the results, click Submit.

To learn more about restricting an activity or resource to a specific group, review Topic 12: Restrict Access (Conditional Activities) in the Moodle course, New eAcademy Teacher Training 2021/22.

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