Groups in Moodle

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Turn on Groups in your course

You only have to do this once for each course for the whole semester.

  1. Go into your Course administration > Edit settings
  2. Under 'Groups', we recommend these group settings:
    • Group mode: Visible groups
    • Force group mode: No
    • Default grouping: None

Create and populate the groups

If the students will be doing a single group activity in the course or be doing multiple group activities in the same groups: We recommend a generic group name such as “Group Sally Singer Sam” or “Group Apple”.

If the students will be doing multiple group assignments and the group members will change: We recommend adding a reference to the activity to the group name, such as “Research Paper, Group Apple”

Don’t bother trying to set up all the groups for all the activities for the whole semester at once. Configure each assignment’s groups and group settings as it’s required.

If this is the first time you’re using groups or your skills are rusty TEST your groups: add one test student to each group and login as them to make sure each group is seeing the appropriate content.

More documentations on Moodle Docs.


Scenario 1

Problem: I plan to use case studies in my mixed mode course and will have the students in small groups of 3-4. Each group will be working on the same case study. A different case study each week. I would like the results of each group to be available to all but not until each group has completed their analysis. How do I mange this? I think a Q/A forum would work better than a general forum, is this right? Also it makes sense to me that each week should have a forum inserted into it rather than using one very big one.

Solution: If you create a weekly forum with the group setting as "separate groups" each group will be working in isolation. You could then create another weekly forum with no groups and a spokesperson from each group could post their final results to this whole class forum.

Q and A forums are useful if you want the members of the group to make their first post without seeing what the rest of the group has posted. Is this what you want? Here is more info on Q&A forums in Moodle Forums.

Scenario 2

Problem: I was hoping to set up different groups on a weekly basis with a new topic each week. I would like to allow the groups to read the discussion of other groups but not add to it. I also want to monitor the discussion for evaluation purposes. Can someone guide me about how to do this?

Solution: Set up your forum with visible, not separate, groups. This means that students only see a Reply link in their own group discussions, but can read the posts other group discussions. You must create a discussion topic for each group - choose the group from the drop down menu that appears at the top of the forum screen and type in the question (you can assign a different question to each group if you wish)

To hide course activities or resources from some students and display them to others: create a group for the students who should see the activity or resource, create a grouping and add the new group, use the Groupings setting "Available for group members only".


Scenario 3

Problem: How do I assign a forum question to a specific group? I split the class into 2 groups and labeled them Group One and Group Two. I chose Visible groups under settings. I can’t seem to find, however, how to assign a forum question to a group so they can only comment/start a thread for their corresponding question (but still see the other question – hence, visible groups).


You’re most of the way there.

  1. Create groups and assign students to the groups (done)
  2. Create a forum and in the forum settings choose Visible groups.
    Visible groups can be set at either the course or activity (e.g. forum) level, and you didn’t mention which you set.
    (While in the forum) > Settings > Forum administration > Edit settings
  3. Teacher: Go into the forum and using the Visible groups drop-down menu at the top of the page, select one of the groups. Add a new discussion topic/question for that group. Chose another group from the drop-down menu and post a topic/question for them too. You can view all the discussions/questions for all the groups at once by choosing “All participants”.
  4. Students: Go into the forum. By default, the Visible groups drop-down menu will be set to your group. You will only see the questions for your group and this is the only view where you will see the “Add a new discussion topic” button. To see the questions for another group: from the Visible groups drop-down menu choose an other group. Similarly, to see all the topics/questions, choose All participants. You will not be able to post a topic/question that other groups can see and you cannot reply to other groups’ discussions.


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