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Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle

Use Groups in Moodle, to assign a particular activity (or all course activities) to groups of students. Groups can be especially useful for activities where students interact with one another. With forums, wikis, and databases, students in the same group can post and reply only to each other. Each group member always works in their own group, but you can control whether or not they can see contributions of members of other groups.

Before you begin, please note that if you are using a Moodle Assignment activity there are two ways to use groups:

  • Each student in a group submits individually
    If you follow the instructions below for an assignment activity, each student will make their own submission(s), and will not be able to interact or see other student's postings. If you want students to be able to see each other's work, consider using a Forum, Wiki, or Database instead of an assignment.
  • A group of students works together to make a common assignment submission
    See Configure & Grade Group Assignments in Moodle if you want students in a group to make a common submission that represents their joint work. The group submission will not be visible to other groups. If you want students to be able to see each other's work, consider using a Forum, Wiki, or Database instead of an assignment.

Assign an Activity to a Grouping

Groupings are a collection of groups, and you can assign activities to specific groupings as needed.

  1. To assign a specific activity to a grouping, you must first set up the grouping. For instructions on making a grouping, refer to Create Groupings in Moodle.
  2. On your course page, click Turn editing on (top right).
  3. Add the activity you will assign to groups (see About Adding Activities to a Moodle Course), or if the activity has already been added to the course, click Edit (at right of activity), then Edit settings. The activity's Settings page will open.
  4. Click Common module settings to view and adjust group settings for the activity.
  5. In the Group mode drop-down menu, select either Separate groups or Visible groups.
    • Visible groups allows non-group members to see the work of other groups
    • Separate groups allows only group members to see work within the group
      (click to enlarge)
    For a detailed explanation of group modes, see Group Modes in Moodle.
  6. From the Grouping drop-down menu, select the name of the grouping you wish to use.
  7. Click Save and display to save and open the assignment or click Save and return to course to return to your course page.  The activity link will be annotated with the grouping name:
    Annotation in parenthesis tells grouping name

Use Restrict Access to Assign an Activity to Groups

Restrict access can be used in a variety of ways in Moodle to limit the access to your activities:

  • Restrict access can be used to assign an activity to a particular group without having to use a grouping. For example, you can create an activity for only one section of a multiple-section course, such as an honors or graduate section.
  • You can also use Restrict access to assign an activity to course members who are not in a particular group or grouping, or, by adding multiple restrictions, a mix of Groups or Groupings.

For a detailed explanation of group modes, see Group Modes in Moodle.

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on.
  2. Add the activity you will assign to groups (see About Adding Activities to a Moodle Course), or if the activity has already been added to the course, click Edit (at right of activity), then Edit settings. The activity's Settings page will open.
  3. Configure the settings for the activity but do not set Common module settings as you normally would when assigning an activity to a grouping.
  4. Under Restrict access, click Add restriction.... The Add restriction... pop-up opens.
  5. In the Add restriction... pop-up, click Group or Grouping. A new restriction will appear on the Settings page and the pop-up will close.
    Group and Grouping buttons in the "Add restriction" pop-up
  6. For Access restrictions, from the Student drop-down menu, select whether the student must or must not match the group.
  7. From the Group (or Grouping) drop-down menu, select the name of a group (or grouping).
  8. (Optional) To add an additional restriction, click Add restriction.
  9. Click Save and display to save and open the assignment or click Save and return to course to return to your course page.

Note: When using Restrict access, be careful to check Common module settings for conflicts. For example, if you select a grouping in the Common module settings, and also use Restrict access to restrict the activity to a group that doesn't belong to that grouping, no one will be able to access the activity.