Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Groups.


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The Groups feature allows a teacher to assign teachers and students to one or more groups. This can be on the course or on the activity level.

Using groups on the course or activity level will allow the teacher to:

  • Completely isolate groups of students by sight and activity from each other.
  • Partially separate groups, where one group can see other groups and each groups' activity, but not interact with the other group(s).
  • Identify each group with an icon.

The groups feature can allow different cohorts of students (and their teachers) to take the same course asynchronously without creating a "new" course. Or it allows 1 course with a large student enrolment to place students into sections, each section having their own teacher. Or it allows 1 course that is used by different departments.


Groups must be enabled in the Course_settings. After it is enabled a group icon will appear in the Course administration block.

The Group.gif icon links to the Groups screen. There are 3 tabs on this screen:

  • Groups - create/edit a group, add/subtract members,
  • Groupings - create groups of individual groups
  • Overview

Groups tab

This screen changes depending upon the edit button which is selected below the "Groups" and "Members of" lists. You will find buttons for: Show members of group, Edit group settings, Delete selected group, Create group, and Auto create group.

Create a group

Select the Create a group button. Give the group a name and a description. The enrolment key field will allow a user to enter the course and will automatically make them a member of this group. Uploading a group icon, will place the icon on the participants listing, forum posts by those group members and other places. The Save button takes you back to the Group tab screen.

TIP: For the enrolment key to work you will need to define a separate course enrolment key in your 'course settings').
TIP: To assign a group icon, you will need to have permission to add a picture to your profile.

Add or remove group members

After creating a group, highlight a group and click the "Add members" button below the "Members of" list. The screen will change. Next you will see the add and remove buttons between 2 lists.

Highlight members you wish to add or remove. Remember you can use the Crtl key to select more than one person.

Auto-create groups

From the groups tab, it is possible to automate the creation of groups. Auto creation is a powerful tool which can allocate members to groups by several methods (alpha or randomly), set maximum number of members, create a unique group name and even assign the new group to a grouping.

See Auto-create groups for more information.

Adding/subtracting people in a group

To add a member(s) to a group you need to select the group name in the left column, then select the participants (use shift or ctrl for multiple selections), from the right column. Click the "Add" button to move them to the selected group..

To remove participants from a group, select the appropriate group to view members, select the participants to remove and click the "Remove selected members" button.

Groupings tab

Groupings allow you combine individual groups, which then become a group itself.

See Groupings for more information.

Overview tab

The overview tab shows course groupings, and membership of each group.

See Groups overview for more information

Using groups in course or activity

A group or grouping can be used on two levels:

  • Course level - the group mode defined at the course level is the default mode for all activities defined within that course. This is determined in the course settings.
  • Activity level - each activity that supports groups can also have its own group mode defined. If the course setting "Force group mode" is set to "Yes" then the option to define the group mode for individual activities is not available.




There are three group modes:

No groups

There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community.

Separate groups

Each group can only see their own group, others are invisible.

Visible groups

Each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups. (The other groups' work is read-only.)

Groups in older Moodle versions

Groups in 1.8

Edit groups screen in Moodle 1.8

Please note, in Moodle 1.8 onwards, groups are created and users are assigned on separate pages.

Groups pre -1.8

Groups in Moodle 1.7

In Moodle 1.6 and 1.7, the Groups edit page has three columns:

  • People in the course - both assigned and unassigned participants.
  • Groups - A list of groups available for this course.
  • Members of selected group - When you select a group this column will display the members of that group

Underneath each column are the options for that column.

See also