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Group Modes in Moodle

Instructors can use Group modes to control how groups of students interact with an activity and what students can see from other groups.

Group Mode Options

Moodle has three Group modes available for individual activities, or as course-wide settings. The chart below illustrates how each mode works.

  • No groups - There are no groups. In collaborative spaces such as Forums or Wikis, all class members can participates in the activity.
  • Visible Groups - Group members interact with their own group, but can also view work from other groups (e.g, students can read, but not reply to another group's Forum posts).
  • Separate Groups - Group members can only see activity made within their own group. 

Schematic drawing for group modes (Click to enlarge)

Set a Default Group Mode for Your Course

Instructors can set the default group mode for activities within the course in the course settings. When you set the default for the entire course, each activity will show the default mode, however you can still change the group mode for individual activities.
Note: To view your gradebook filtering by group, you must choose either "Visible Groups" or "Separate Groups" as your default Group mode. (See Sort the Moodle Gradebook Using Groups.)

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select the Course Management button (gear icon Course Management button looks like 3 gears). The Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under Course settings, select Edit course settings. The Edit course settings page will open.
  3. Scroll down and select Groups to view and adjust group settings. 
  4. From the Group mode drop-down menu, choose a default group setting: No groups, Separate groups, or Visible groups.
  5. (Optional) To always use the same group mode for every activity in the course, set the Force group mode drop-down menu to Yes. 
    Important! If the Group mode is forced, the mode is applied to every activity in the course, and Group mode settings for individual activities will be ignored. Only force the group mode if you are certain you will use the same group mode for every activity.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.