Illustration of what groupings are in Moodle

December 10, 2021, by Helen Whitehead

Advent Calendar #10: Groupings in Moodle

Getting together is traditional at this time of year, and getting together in groups is also used a lot in learning activities. Groups can be so useful in Moodle. They can be used for group activities such as:

  • Assignments submitted one per group (e.g. presentation)
  • Working together in a group e.g., in a forum or wiki
  • Allowing resources/activities to be visible only to certain students (by putting them in a group)
  • Allocating markers for groups of students
  • Creating a group as a sample for external examiners or external accreditation

As you can see from the example, it’s entirely possible for several types of groups to be created in the same module for different purposes.

This means that each student can be in two or more groups. If they are doing something in a group, Moodle needs to know which of those groups is the relevant one for the activity. Otherwise, the groups won’t work. See for example the students marked in red/blue in the diagram, who are each in two different groups.

Illustration of what groupings are in Moodle

Moodle can’t know which group to use. It assumes all groups are eligible. If Red submits a presentation to a group assignment, should this be attributed to Group B or Group X?

To keep everything in good order, we use groupings.

Illustration of what groupings are in Moodle

When setting up the Assignment activity, we tell Moodle to use the Assignment grouping, i.e. the eligible groups are Groups A, B and C. It will ignore any other groups.

When setting up the wiki activity, we tell Moodle to use the Wiki grouping, i.e. Groups X and Y. It will ignore any other groups.

There’s even a group – Accreditation group – which isn’t in any grouping, and can be used independently, e.g., to sort individual submissions. If it were part of a group activity for students, it would need to be in its own grouping.

The important thing is that every activity which is set up as a group activity, particularly assignments, also has a grouping.

Help on how to set these up and use them in various ways can be found at More information on using groups and groupings.

Advent  Calendar 2021

Posted in Advent CalendarGroup workLearner experienceLearning designMoodle