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Create Groupings in Moodle

Just as a Group is a collection of users, a Grouping is a collection of groups. Groupings can be used to organize groups, assign activities, distribute materials, and/or maintain forums. For more information on assigning individual activities to a group without groupings, see Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle.

Using Groupings

If you plan on using multiple sets of groups in your class, groupings allow you to keep certain groups together, depending on what kinds of activities you want the students in those groups to do. This is ideal for when you want students to be in multiple groups throughout the semester.

Chart explaining groupings in Moodle(Click to enlarge)

The chart above explains a few different ways you can use groupings. Groupings make it easier to manage groups when individual students are in multiple groups. You may also want to use differently sized groups, depending on the type of activity (e.g., larger groups for a Forum and smaller groups for a Wiki). When you add an activity to your Moodle course, you can assign the activity to a grouping, and therefore, the groups within.

Groups and groupings can be helpful when you're teaching multiple class sections within a single Moodle course. By using the automatically created Moodle groups for sections or creating your own groups and groupings, you can keep activities and forum discussions between sections separate. You can also use groups and groupings to restrict access to material specific to a single section. If you plan on using additional groups within a class section (e.g., assigning a group project), you would want to create groupings to organize this new set of groups.

Finally, there may be times when you want to create an activity that's intended for only part of the class (e.g. a make-up assignment). Since you can assign an activity to a grouping, but groups within the grouping do not have to contain every student in your class, only students contained in that grouping can see the activity and participate. For more, see Assign an Activity to a Group or Grouping in Moodle.

Create a Grouping

  1. On your course page, select the Course Management button (black gear icon Course management button (black background, white gear icon), top right). The Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click the Groupings tab. The Groupings page will open.
  4. Click Create grouping. The Create grouping page will open.
  5.  Enter a name for the grouping and description (optional), then click Save changes. The Groupings page will open and you will see the new grouping listed.
    Creating a Grouping (Click to enlarge)

Note: When you create a new grouping it will be empty. After creating a grouping, you will need to manually add groups. For instructions, see below.

Add Groups to a Grouping

Before you can add Groups to a Grouping, you must first create the Groups. See Create & Modify Groups in Moodle.

  1. On your course page, select Course Management (black gear icon Course management button (black background, white gear icon), top right), the Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click the Groupings tab. The Groupings page will open.
  4. To add groups to the grouping, in the edit column, click the Show groups icon (Show groups icon). The Add/remove groups page will open.
  5. On the Add/remove groups page, click the names of the group(s) you want to add to the grouping from the Potential members list. Selected names will be highlighted. To select multiple groups at once, hold the CTRL Key (Command Mac command key for Mac) and click. 
    Add/remove groups to grouping(Click to enlarge)
  6. Click Add to add the groups. Added groups will appear under Existing members
  7. Click Back to groupings. The group(s) you added to the grouping will now be listed in the table on the Groupings page.

Existing groupings can be edited and/or deleted using the appropriate icons in the edit column of the table on the groupings page. If you delete a grouping, the groups inside it will not be deleted.

Creating Groupings Using Auto-Create Groups

If you use Auto-create groups, you can assign the groups automatically to groupings that already exist, or you can create new groupings at the same time as you create the new groups. 

  1. On your course page, select the Course Management button (black gear icon Course management button (black background, white gear icon), top right). The Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under User Links, select Manage groups. The Groups page will open.
  3. Click Auto-create groups. The Auto-create groups page will open.
  4. Enter the information for your groups. For more on this, see Auto-Create Groups in Moodle
  5. Under the Grouping heading, for Grouping of auto-created groups:
    • To create a new grouping for the groups, select New grouping from the drop-down menu. Then, in the Group name field, enter a name 
    • To use an existing grouping for the new groups, select the name of the grouping you want to use from the drop-down menu
  6. Click Submit. This will create your groups and save them to the selected grouping. You will be returned to the Groups page.