Import groups

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.5. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be 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 column


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


Optional fieldnames


(Note: The field "picture" and "hidepicture" will produce a "not a valid fieldname" error when uploaded.)

New feature
in Moodle 2.5!

If the groupingname is included, the imported groups will be allocated to those groupings. The groupings will be created if they do not already exist:


  • 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.
  • 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