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Groups are a way to collect a number of users together into a single group within a course. You can use groups at either the course or activity level. You can set the Group mode option at the course level by going to the course, then Administration > Course administration > Edit settings. Alternatively you can configure this setting for an individual activity or resource by clicking Edit settings on the activity (with Turn editing on selected), then using the Group mode setting in the Common module settings section.

Group modes

OptionDescriptionNotes
No groupsGroups are not used. All users will complete the course as a single community.Groupings will not be available if you select this setting.
Separate groupsIf the group mode is set to Separate groups, students will only see the activities they have been assigned to. Group members can only see and interact with their own group's content, for example Learners in group A would not see a forum activity assigned to group B.Trainers will see the name of the grouping in brackets after the activity name on the course page. A count of activities assigned to each grouping is kept on the groupings page.
Visible groupsGroup members can see content from other groups but can only interact with their own group's content. For example, learners in group A would be able to view a forum activity assigned to group B, but would not be able to post or comment in the forum.-

If you set up the group mode at the course level then this will be applied as default to all activities, but can be changed within an activity (unless Force group mode is set to Yes). If you enable groups only on individual activities then they will only affect those activities. 

Groups page

To access the groups interface you need to access the course or activity for which you want to set up groups, then in the Administration block navigate to Course administration > Users > Groups.

Managing groups.

Creating groups 

You can create groups manually, which allows you more control over the settings, such as using custom names (not just sequential letters or numbers) and setting an enrolment key. 

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Click Create group
  3. Configure the settings.
  4. Click Save changes

You can then repeat the steps to create as many groups as you want. Once you have created your group(s) you will need to add members to them. 

Group settings 

SettingDescriptionNotes
Group nameThe name of the group.-
Group ID numberThis can normally be left blank as it is only used when connecting the group to an external system. -
Group descriptionA description of the group, could be useful to help other trainers understand who to add into it. -
Enrolment key

If you have enabled self enrolment with an enrolment key in the self enrolment plugin then users can self enrol using the key provided. Here you can set a group enrolment key, meaning users will be added to the group when they self-enrol. If users self-enrol using the course enrolment key instead they will not be added to a group.

If you haven't set a master course enrolment key or group enrolment keys then any users can self enrol without using a key and users won't be added to groups.
Hide pictureSelect either Yes or No to hide or show the group picture. -
New pictureBrowse or drag and drop a group picture. This will be shown as 100x100 pixel square image to represent the group. -

Auto-create groups

If you want to quickly create a number of groups, without having to then manually add members you can auto-create groups. If you chose this option you won't be able to configure all of the same settings as when you create a group manually, such as enrolment keys and pictures (although you can edit the groups afterwards and configure those settings). You can configure a number of settings to ensure that groups are auto-created in the way you want. 

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Click Auto-create group
  3. Configure the settings.
  4. Click Submit

Auto-create settings 

SettingDescriptionNotes
Naming scheme

You can have groups follow a sequential letter or number pattern.

  • Enter @ for a letter pattern e.g. A, B, C
  • Enter  for a number pattern e.g. 1, 2, 3

You can also enter text to appear before the letter or number. For example Group # will create Group 1, Group 2, Group 3 etc. 

-
Auto create based on

The setting relates to the one below. Choose whether to create groups based on:

  • Number of groups
  • Members per group
-
Group/member count

This setting relates to the one above. Enter the number of groups/ member per group to create. 

For example, if you selected Number of groups above and then enter here then two groups will be created with any users that match the include criteria (set below) distributed across those two groups. 

If you selected Members per group above and then enter here then a number of groups will be created so that each has no more than three members.

-
Select members with role Choose which role you want group members to have, or select All to include everyone enrolled on the course, regardless of role. 
Select members from audience You can choose a specific audience to select group members from. Anyone not in the selected audience will not be added to any of the created groups. 
Select members from grouping You can choose a specific grouping to select group members from. Anyone not in the selected grouping will not be added to any of the created groups. 
Select members from groupYou can choose an existing group to select group members from. Anyone not in the selected existing group will not be added to any of the new groups created. 
Allocate members

Decide how to allocate group members.

  • No allocation
  • Randomly
  • Alphabetically by first name, last name
  • Alphabetically by last name, first name
  • Alphabetically by ID number
If you select No allocation then you will need to manually assign users to the groups. 
Prevent last small group

If Auto create based on is set to Members per group then this setting can be ticked to stop one group that is smaller than the others from being created. 

This may result in a larger group being created. For example if you have 7 users eligible to be added into a group and set Auto create based on to Members per group with a Group/member count of 3, ticking this setting will mean that you end up with a group of three and a group of four, rather than two groups of three and one group with a single user. 
Ignore users in groupsTick this if you wish to only include users who are not already in an existing group. -
Include only active enrolmentsOnly include users who's enrolment is currently active (not suspended). -
Grouping of auto-created groups

If you want you can add your newly created groups to a grouping from the dropdown menu choose an existing grouping or select New grouping to create a new group (you will need to enter the name below).

Select No grouping if you do not wish to add groups to a grouping.

-
Grouping nameIf you are creating a new grouping enter the name here. -

Import groups

If you would rather create your groups via a spreadsheet, or if you have exported groups from another site then these can be imported as a text file.

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Click Import group
  3. Browse to the desired file or drag and drop it into the upload area.
  4. Click Import groups

Import file

To import records you will need to construct a text file where the first line represents the fields to be imported (like column headings) and then each row is a new import record. You will need to use commas to separate the data, like columns. Below is an example of what the file might look like.

groupname,description,enrolmentkey
Group 1,The first group,group1
Group 2,The second group,group2

Only the groupname field is compulsory all other fields are optional (description, enrolmentkey, picture, and hidepicture). 

Editing groups 

You can make any changes to groups that have been manually created or auto-created.

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Select the group you wish to edit.
  3. Click Edit group settings
  4. Configure the settings.
  5. Click Save changes

Deleting groups

If you no longer need a group then it can be deleted from the system. You can delete either a single group or multiple groups at once. If you wish to select multiple groups to delete at once then first click and hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard before selecting all the groups you want to delete. 

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Select the group(s) you wish to delete.
  3. Click Delete selected group

Managing members

Adding members 

Once you have created a group you will need to add members to it, you may also wish to add additional members to an existing group.

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Select the group you wish to add members to.
  3. Click Add/remove users
  4. Select the user(s) you wish to add from the Potential members column.
  5. Click the central Add button. 

If you wish to select multiple members to add at once then first click and hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard before selecting all the users you want to add. 

You can use the search box below the Potential members column if you want to find a particular user to add. 

Adding members to a group.

You can also add users to a group (or create a new group to add users to) when enrolling users on a course using the Audience sync plugin. Additionally, you can assign users to groups when bulk uploading users.

Removing members

Once you have created a group you will need to add members to it, you may also wish to add additional members to an existing group.

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Select the group you wish to add members to.
  3. Click Add/remove users
  4. Select the user(s) you wish to add from the Potential members column.
  5. Click the central Add button. 

If you wish to select multiple members to add at once then first click and hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard before selecting all the users you want to remove. 

You can use the search box below the Group members column if you want to find a particular user to remove. 

Groupings 

A grouping is a way of grouping a number of groups together. For example you might have groups for 'January enrolments' and 'February Enrolments' and add these to a grouping of 'Winter enrolments'. 

Creating groupings

  1. Go to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block while in a course. 
  2. Select the Grouping tab.
  3. Click Create grouping
  4. Enter the grouping name, and optionally an ID number and description. 
  5. Click the Save changes to create the grouping. 

Managing groupings

You can edit a groupings name, description or ID number by going to Course administration > Users > Groups from the Administration block and then select the Grouping tab. Click the cog icon () alongside a grouping to edit it or the cross icon () to delete it. 

To manage the groups that are part of a grouping use the grouping icon (). You can then select groups from the Potential members column and click the Add button to add them, or select groups from the Existing members column and click the Remove button to remove them. If you wish to select multiple groups to add or remove at once then first click and hold the Ctrl button on your keyboard before selecting all the groups you want to add or remove.

Groupings page.

Please note that the grouping option appears by default only in activities that support group modes. Groupings are available for all course activities and resources except for seminars.

Restricting an activity, resource or course topic to a particular group

To be able to restrict an activity, resource or course topic to a group, Conditional activities must be enabled. This will result in a Restrict access section in the activity, resource or topic settings and a group restriction can then be added.

If you are using group membership to restrict access to an activity or resource, then any users who are not assigned to any groups will not be able to view or access the activity/resource.

Groups overview

A overview of groups and groupings is available via the Overview tab in Administration > Course administration > Users > Groups.

The table may be filtered to display particular groupings or groups.

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