Import groups

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Import groups.

Groups import provides a simple, easy way to create groups from a spreadsheet (CSV).

To import groups

  • Click the 'Import groups' button in Settings > Course administration > Users > Groups
  • Upload the CSV file (see below for file format) either by dragging and dropping into the box with the arrow (1 below) or by clicking "choose a file" and uploading from the File picker. (2 below)


  • Click the 'Import groups' button

CSV file fieldnames

The CSV file has just one required fieldname (groupname), but can include default and/or optional fieldnames

  • Each line of the file contains one record
  • Each record is a series of data separated by commas
  • The first record of the file is special, and contains a list of fieldnames. This defines the format of the rest of the file.

Required fieldnames - These fields must be included in the first record, and defined for each user


Default fieldnames - These are optional - if they are not included then the values are taken from the current language and current course


Optional fieldnames


  • Separation between the comma and the text can not be a blank.
  • Commas within the data should be encoded as &#44 - the script will automatically decode these back to commas.
  • For Boolean fields, use 0 for false and 1 for true.
  • Either idnumber or coursename can be used to identify the course. Idnumber overrides coursename. If neither is specified, the groups will be added to the current course.
  • Coursename is the course shortname.

New feature
in Moodle 2.3!

  • Group ID numbers are for matching groups against external systems. Within a course, all group ID numbers must be unique.
  • The file must be in ANSI encoding, at least not be saved in UTF-8 encoding.

Note: If a group is already registered in the Moodle database for a particular course, this script will return the group name for that group. Teachers are only allowed to upload groups in courses they are authorized to edit.

A sample file looks like this:

Team 1,Group Assignment Team 1,orange
Team 2,Group Assignment Team 2,purple
Team 3,Group Assignment Team 3,green

Note that groups import doesn't currently handle anything to do with Groupings.