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Moodle: What are Groups and How You Might Use Them

Grouping Your Learners

Using groups is a great strategy for collaboration and differentiation. In Moodle, you can arrange your users into distinct groups.  By assigning users to groups, you can allow them to work collaboratively in a closed (group members see only their group’s work) or open (group members see others group’s work) environment.  Using groups also makes the teacher’s job of organizing, reviewing, and assessing their work easier to manage.  You have the option of setting groups at the course level and/or for each individual activity or resource.  Students may belong to more than one group.  These settings descriptions apply whether they are set at the course or activity level.


Enabling Groups

To use groups in your course, it can be enabled in the course settings first.  If you set groups at the course level, then all activities will start with that group setting. You will find this setting further down the page on the course settings page.  You will see three different choices.  This is what any activity that allows groups will have as its default value.  No groups allows all learners to access the activity as one big community.  They can see each other if the activity allows it, that is forums and chats.  Separate groups creates different views of that activity for each group.  Learners can’t see each other if they are in different groups nor can they see each other’s work in the case of wikis and forums, for example. The last group setting is Visible groups.  Here, pupils can see what is happening in the activity for the other group, but cannot edit or contribute to it.  Remember to use the ? to access specific directions for each group setting.  Force group mode is only set at the course level.  Note:  Be careful. If you force the group mode at the course level you cannot make changes for individual activities or resources.

End-User Support for Moodle course instructors is available through our Moodle Reference Desk.

Sandra Orwig

[email protected]

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