Moodle - Creating Groups

Tags PSU

First let's define what Moodle means by "Groups" versus "Groupings":

  • Group -- A combination of individual students working together on the same project/assignment in a collaborative model.
  • Grouping -- A collection of groups. A Grouping also provides a way to segregate Groups from each other within the same course or activity so their interaction is restricted or non-existent. A grouping can also be assigned to a particular assignment. We recommend organizing groups into groupings immediately after they are created.

Steps - Creating Groups

  1. In the Course Administration block in the left sidebar, click on Users and then click on Groups in the submenu.
  2. There are three options for group creation.
    • Create groups manually, assigning by section (Useful for META courses).
    • Auto create groups randomly.
    • Import groups can create your group from a spreadsheet. Please see the Moodle Import Groups page for directions.

Steps - Creating Groups Manually

  1. Click on the Create group button.
  2. Add a group name (e.g. Group 1, Group A.)
  3. Add a group description and click Save changes.
  4. Repeat this process for as many groups as desired.
  5. To add users to a group, select the group name from the left column and then click on Add/Remove Users underneath the right column.
  6. Select the students to add to the group, Add to move them into the left column.
  7. When you are done selecting student names, click the Back to groups button located below the left column.
  8. Repeat the above steps as necessary to fill the groups you have created with students.
  9. On the main Groups page, there is an Overview tab, where you can view "Students not enrolled in a group" as a check.

Steps - Auto-creating Groups

  1. Click the Auto-create groups button.
  2. Specify either a number of groups, or the number of students in a group from the dropdown menu.
  3. The naming convention includes @ (for Groups A, B, C, etc.) or # for numeric group names
  4. When you are done, click Submit.
  5. Note: if students were not enrolled in the course when groups were auto-created, they will need to be manually enrolled in a group at a later date.

Steps - Creating A Grouping

  1. Beginning at your course's home page, look in the Course Administration block in the left sidebar, click on Users and then click on Groups in the submenu.
  2. You are now looking at the list of Groups you have already created. If you have not created any Groups, please refer to the previous steps in this article on Creating Groups.
  3. Notice at the top of the window there are some small tabs that say Groups, Groupings and Overview. Click on the Groupings tab.
  4. Click on Create Grouping at the bottom of the window.
  5. Name your Grouping and in the description field put in any content you feel is appropriate.
  6. Click on Save Changes to complete this process.
  7. Now you are looking at a list of the Groupings in your course. To add Groups to the Grouping, look to the far right column of the Grouping name and click on the icon that looks like little people.
  8. Now you are looking at the Add/Remove Groups page. Select what Groups you want to add from the right column and click Add to move them to the left column.
  9. Click on Back to groupings to complete this process.


Applying Groups to an Assignment


  1. If you would like students to submit work as a group (and receive one grade for the entire group) in the Assignment settings, under Submission Settings:
  2. Set Students submit in groups to "Yes"
  3. Require group to make submission can be left on "No"
  4. Require all group member to submit depends on your assignment requirements, but mostly can be set to "No"
  5. Grouping for student groups *Select appropriate Grouping - this is one of the most important steps.

Applying Groups to a Forum


  1. In the Forum Settings, under Common Module Settings, set Group Mode to separate or visible groups (see below for descriptions)
  2. Set the Grouping to the Grouping created for the forum or set of forums in your course.


Examples - What do you want to accomplish?

Create a discussion forum with one topic:
You want to break students into multiple groups to discuss the exact same topic? (for example both Group 1 & Group 2: Discuss net sales)
Do you want students to able to view the posts of the other group?

  • If Yes, choose Visible groups.
  • If No, choose Separate groups.

Create a graded discussion forum with multiple topics:
Do you want to break students into multiple groups to discuss different topics? (for example, Group 1: Pro Automobile Transportation, Group 2: Pro Bicycle Transportation)

To accomplish this goal, first create a single Forum, and then post/create multiple topics within that forum and in the process assign each topic to a particular group. A single forum with multiple topics allows you to have a single item/assignment in the Gradebook. An alternate way in which to have multiple topics is to have multiple forums and assign each forum to a group. The downside of this is that you will have (for example) two forums but since the class participants are divided into two groups, half the class will receive a grade in Forum 1 only and the other half of the class will receive a grade in Forum 2 only. This leaves students with a grade of "0" in one of the course assignments which can be confusing from the student's point of view. For this reason we suggest that if you are grading the Forum, you create a single Forum and then multiple topics inside the forum so you have technically speaking one line item in your Gradebook. Steps:

  1. Follow the steps for creating groups either manually or automatically later in this help article.
  2. In your topic/week area, select Forum from the Add an activity menu.
  3. Create your forum - it may be helpful to refer to our Forums page.
  4. Now, enter into your Forum and in the upper left hand corner you will see a drop down menu that has all your Group names in it.
  5. Click on a Group name in the drop down menu and then in the center of the page, click on Add a new discussion topic.
  6. The discussion topic that you create now will be assigned to the group that you have just selected in the previous screen. Click on Post to forum when you are done.
  7. Now select another group from the dropdown menu and create another discussion topic. Repeat for as many groups as you have.


Article ID: 2631
Fri 10/2/20 5:08 PM
Sat 10/17/20 1:25 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Plymouth State University (PSU)