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Add a Group Self-Selection Activity in Moodle

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Set up a Group self-selection activity to allow students to join a group in the course. Instructors must specify which groups are available for the activity, and can place a limit on the number of members in each group.

Create Groups for Your Students to Choose From, and Add the Groups to a Grouping

  1. Create the groups for students to select from.
    Before students can sign up to join a group, you must first create the groups for them to choose from. For easy reference, we recommend you name the groups to match the name of the activity (e.g., "Midterm Project Group A," "Midterm Project Group B," "Midterm Project Group C," etc.).
    For details on creating groups, see Create & Modify Groups in Moodle.
    Note: If you will be restricting the number of students who will be allowed in each group, be sure to create enough groups for the class.
  2. Put the groups in a Grouping.
    The groups to use in the Group self-selection activity must be added to a grouping. For easy reference, we recommend you name the grouping to match the name of the activity (e.g., "Midterm Project Groups"). This will help you to organize and keep track of the groups created for specific activities on your Moodle course. For details on adding groups to a grouping, see Create Groupings in Moodle.

Add the Group Self-Selection Activity

Set up the activity to allow students to join a Group from the Grouping you previoulsy created:

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (pencil icon, green pencil icon). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the section where you want the resource to appear. If the section is collapsed, select the arrow icon above the Section name to expand the section.
  3. At the bottom of the section, select + Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open showing a tile for each available resource or activity.
    Note: By default, the panel opens to All and shows all resources and activities. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To only view activities, at the top of the pop-up, select Activities.
  4. (Optional) On the Group self-selection tile, for information, select the information icon (information icon). If you frequently add Group self-selection activities, select the star icon (Favorites icon (solid star)) to add this resource type to the Starred tab.
  5. Select the Group self-selection icon or Group self-selection link. The Adding a new Group self-selection page opens.
  6. Configure settings for the Group self-selection activity. For more information on these options, see Configure Group Self-Selection Options (below).
  7. (Optional) Under Common module settings and Restrict access, adjust settings to control how students access the Group self-selection activity. For more information on these settings, see Control Access to Resources and Activities in Moodle.
  8. After setting the configuration options for the Group self-selection activity, select Save and return to course to return to your course page.
  9. To preview how your students will see the Group self-selection activity, from the User menu (top-right, your name and profile picture), select Switch role to.... The Switch role to... page opens. On this page, select Student, then open the Group self-selection activity you just set up.
    Note: Students will be able to see the names of other students who have already joined groups.
    screenshot of Student view of the Group Self-Selection activity (click to enlarge)
  10. To switch to your normal role, select Return to my normal role from the User menu.

Configure Group Self-Selection Activity Options

General

Important!  Because students can only be a member of one of the groups in the grouping, the groups should be empty. If a student is already in a group involved in the Group self-selection activity, they will not be able to participate in the Group self-selection activity.

  • Name (required)
    Enter a title for the Group self-election activity. The name you enter will display as the link to the activity on your course page
  • Description (optional)
    Enter a brief description explaining the purpose of the Group self-selection activity (e.g., "Sign up to join for a midterm project group. Sign up is first-come-first-served. Sorry, you cannot change groups once you have joined a group.").  Select the Display description on course page option to display the description underneath the assignment link on your course page. (This works best if the description is very concise).
  • Open from, Open until (default disabled)
    To make the activity available between certain dates, select the Enable checkbox and select dates.
  • Select groups from grouping (default all groups)
    Select the grouping you set up for the activity or select all groups.
  • Min members per group
    Sets minimum number of members per group, and adds notifications for members of groups which are under this limit.
  • Max members per group
    Sets a limit for group sizes. The default is set to 0, meaning there is no limit on group size.
  • Maximum number of groups to participate in
    Sets the maximum number of groups to participate in. A value of 0 means that no participation is possible.

screenshot showing the General section of Adding a new Group self-selection to Topic. Two callouts note that a grouping must already be set up and that the groups within it need to be empty. The other callout notes that it is a good idea to limit the number of groups a student can belong to.
 

General permissions

  • Participants can join groups.  If enabled, participants can join groups.
  • Participants can leave groups.  If enabled, participants can leave groups.
  • Participants can create groups.  If enabled, participants without a group (in the selected grouping) can create groups. The role capabilities can be set further over permissions.
  • Participants can set the name of new groups.  If enabled, participants can set the group name for new groups.
  • Participants can set and edit group description.  If enabled, participants can set a group description when creating a group, and group members can edit the description.
  • Participants can set passwords for joining groups.  By default, this option is set to No. If enabled, participants can set an enrollment key for joining groups.

Miscellaneous settings

  • Hide full groups from the main view.  By default, this option is set to No. If enabled, all groups that have reached the max member per group will be hidden from the main list view (excluding the user’s own group). This option is useful when the activity has a lot of groups.
  • Hide suspended students.  By default, this option is set to No. If enabled, suspended students will be removed from user count and group lists.
  • Hide group members for students.  By default, this option is set to No. If enabled, all group members will be hidden for students.
  • Show message, if the open until date is reached.  Displays a message when the due date is reached.
  • Delete group when last student leaves.  Automatically deletes a group if the last student leaves it.

Changing Group Membership

Once students join a group, they cannot change group membership themselves. The instructor must first remove the student from the group he or she has already joined.

  • Once the student is no longer a member of any group involved in the Group self-selection activity, the student can return to the Group self-selection activity and join a different group.
  • Alternately, the instructor can move students in and out of groups at any time.

For details on modifying group membership, see Create & Modify Groups in Moodle.