Learn@Illinois Moodle - Groups and Groupings Help

Learn@Illinois allows instructors to divide students who are enrolled into their course into groups and groupings. The groupings feature also allows activities to be restricted to a particular grouping.

For a permanent link to this information, please use: http://go.illinois.edu/MoodleUnderstandingGroups


A grouping is a collection of groups. For example, you create several discussion groups (e.g., Group A, Group B, and Group C). After creating them, you place them in a grouping (e.g., Discussion Groups). When you want to use groups in your forum (or other activity), you then select Discussion Groups as the grouping.


In addition to the section groups automatically created based on information in Enterprise, instructors can manually create groups of students.

There are four methods for putting students into groups:

  • Manually
  • Automatically
    Note: Instructors can rename automatically created groups and add or delete students from them.
  • Group Choice
  • Enrollment key
    Note: Using a group enrollment key only works if the students are not yet enrolled in the course.

Using Groups and Groupings in Activities

Instructors can set up new or existing activities to use groups. When creating or editing an activity, instructors can enable groups under the “Common module settings” heading of the editing page. Instructors can choose between having no groups, separate groups, and visible groups.

  • No groups will mean that there are no separations by group in the activity, and in interactive activities students will see the contributions of every class member.
  • Separate groups will separate students into groups, and will limit them to contributing to their group and viewing only their group member’s contributions.
  • Visible groups allow students to see other groups’ work, but still limit students to contributing only to their group. For example, in a forum, students will be able to add new discussion topics and respond to others for their group. When they choose another group from the drop-down menu in the top left hand corner of the page they will still be able to see the existing discussions on the page but they will see a message telling them that “adding discussions to this forum requires group membership.”

If the correct grouping is already set, instructors can toggle through the three options by clicking the person icon to the right of the activity without going into the settings. See Using Groups with Forums for an example of this.

Instructors can also restrict access to an activity by using either groups or groupings (e.g., only a particular group of students can see a particular assignment).

Groups behave differently for different types of activities. 

  • With individual activities like Assignment or Quiz, groups are just for sorting (e.g., TAs will be able to view only their students).
    Note: Assignment can be set up in Group submission mode, but that’s its own section of settings (not the Common module settings).
  • With collaborative activities like Forum and Workshop, groups affect the student view.
  • Glossary is a notable exception in that it is a collaborative activity that can’t be separated by group (only restricted by group). 

Related Topics

Moodle.org Documentation

Keywords:activities, enrollment, no groups, separate, visible, grading, group assignment, boost   Doc ID:72179
Owner:ATLAS-TLT .Group:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Created:2017-03-30 11:45 CDTUpdated:2019-08-22 10:55 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
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