Separate Groups in Moodle Forums

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Teacher requires students to submit a weekly journal or notes concerning a weekly activity. The teacher will give the student feedback on the journal entries. The students should NOT be able to see each others' journals. The whole semester's journal may receive one grade, or not be graded at all.


We suggested using a forum, set to separate groups, with each student in their own group. The teacher will only have to visit one forum to view each students' journal entries, and can offer feedback in the form of a forum reply. In turn, the student can reply to the teacher's comments. All journal entries and comments will be in one place for easy referral. Here's how:

Step 1. Create a group for each student

  1. From the course homepage > participants > Cog/Wheel icon > Groups
  2. Under the left box, choose "Auto-create groups"
  3. In the 'Auto-create groups' page:
    • Choose a 'Naming scheme'
    • Auto create based on: Members per groups
    • Group/member count: 1
    • Select members with role: Student
  4. Click 'Submit'

This will create a list of groups called "Group A", "Group B", "Group C" etc, with one student in each group.

Step 2. Rename group

  1. Select one group
  2. Click on "Edit group settings" button under the left box to rename the group with the student name by changing the Group name.

In the screenshot below, Singer Student is in Group A. I want to change the name of the group to "Singer". Repeat for each group.


Step 3. Add a new forum

  1. Go back to the course homepage.
  2. Turn editing on
  3. Add an activity > Forum
  4. In the Forum Settings:
    • Type in Forum name and Descriptions
    • Select Forum type: "Standard forum for general use"
    • Under 'Common module settings'
      • Group mode: Separate groups
  5. Click 'Save and display' when finished

Your forum has been created with a separate display for each group. Because there is only one student in each group, only that student and the course teacher will be able to see the postings in each area.

Step 4. TEST it!

  1. Use "Login as" to login as a student.
  2. Make a posting in the forum.
  3. Go back to being the teacher and reply to the student posting.
  4. Use "Login as" a different student and visit the same forum.

You should not be able to see the posting made by the first student.

Housekeeping: Login As the first student again and delete the test posting.
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