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Do you dream of '''composing groups on the basis of criteria''', such as gathering students on the basis of their preference for work topics or mixing students according to their orientation ? The  
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Have you ever dreamt of '''forming groups based on criteria''', such as bringing students together based on their preference for work topics or mixing students according to their orientation? The [https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_teamup '''TeamUp'''] activity allows teachers to set up a questionnaire and compose groups taking into account the students' answers.
[https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_teamup '''TeamUp'''] activity allows the teacher to define a questionnaire and to compose groups, taking into account student responses.
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[https://podcast.uclouvain.be/xrSPa06aT4 Watch TeamUp demo video (in French)]
  
[https://podcast.uclouvain.be/xrSPa06aT4 Watch TeamUp demo video (in French)]
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The [[File:teamup.svg]] '''TeamUp''' activity first allows you to set up a questionnaire with multiple-choice questions with the possibility of restricting the answers. For example, it is possible to require the student to tick exactly 2 options from the list of available options.
  
The [[File:teamup.svg]] '''TeamUp''' activity first enables you to '''compose a questionnaire with multiple choice questions with possibility of restrictions''' on the answers .For example, it is possible to require the student to tick exactly 2 options from the list of available options.
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The questionnaire is available to students from the opening date, and they can fill it out. As soon as the closing date has passed, the teacher can start the '''composition of the groups by using 4 approaches''':
The questionnaire is available to students on the opening date and they can respond to it. As soon as the closing date has passed, the teacher can start the '''group composition using four approaches''' :
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* '''group similar individuals''' together;
* '''group similar''' individuals;  
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* '''disperse similar''' individuals;
* '''disperse similar''' individuals;  
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* '''avoid minorities''';
* '''avoid minorities''' ;  
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* '''balance the level of competence''' (based on a question with quantified options).
* '''balance''' the skill level (based on a question with numerical options).  
 
  
Several criteria can be combined to compose the groups and the tool provides a diagnosis on the number of optimal groups.
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Several criteria can be combined to compose the groups and the tool provides a diagnosis on the optimal number of groups.
  
This module was developed at [https://www.uclouvain.be UCLouvain] (Belgium) thanks to a [https://uclouvain.be/fr/etudier/lll/qu-est-ce-que-le-fdp.html pedagogical development fund].  
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This plugin was developed at [https://www.uclouvain.be UCLouvain] (Belgium) thanks to a [https://uclouvain.be/fr/etudier/lll/qu-est-ce-que-le-fdp.html pedagogical development fund].  
 
   
 
   
 
== Create a TeamUp activity ==  
 
== Create a TeamUp activity ==  
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When you create a [[File:teamup.svg]] '''TeamUP''' activity, you must specify the following parameters:
 
When you create a [[File:teamup.svg]] '''TeamUP''' activity, you must specify the following parameters:
* a name and an introduction to the activity to present this activity;
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* a name and introduction to the activity, to introduce the activity;
* an opening date from which students will be able to answer the questionnaire (as a result, the questions then can not be modified when this date is passed);
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* an opening date, Open date, from which students will be able to answer the questionnaire (from then on, the questions can no longer be modified);
* a closing date from which student responses will no longer be allowed;
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* a closing date, Close Date, from which student responses will no longer be allowed;
* the parameter "Allow updating of answers" specifies whether you allow students to modify their answers during the opening period of the questionnaire;
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* the "Allow updating of answers" parameter specifies whether you allow students to modify their answers during the questionnaire opening period;
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Feel free to invite your students to complete the questionnaire using the Moodle Announcements tool (which targets all students enrolled in your Moodle course)
  
 
== Create a  questionnaire with distribution criteria ==
 
== Create a  questionnaire with distribution criteria ==
 
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Access the ''Questionnaire'' tab to build the multiple-choice questions that will allow students to provide useful information for group composition.
Go to the ''Questionnaire'' tab to build the multiple-choice questions that will allow students to provide useful information for group composition.
 
  
 
[[File:question-en.png|800px]]
 
[[File:question-en.png|800px]]
  
Type your question and define the associated  '''restrictions on the possible answers''' :
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You can define different '''restrictions on the possible answers''':
* '''none''' : the student can select any number of options, or none at all;  
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* '''none''': the student can select any number of options or none at all;
* '''at least one check mark''' : the student must select at least one option;  
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* '''at least one check mark''': the student must select at least one option;
* '''exactly 1 check mark''' : the student must select one and only one option;  
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* '''exactly 1 check mark''': the student must select one and only one option;
* '''exactly 2 check marks''' : the student must select exactly 2 options;  
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* '''exactly 2 check marks''': the student must select exactly 2 options;
* '''exactly 3 check marks''' : the student must select exactly 3 options.  
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* '''exactly 3 check marks''': the student must select exactly 3 options.
 
* ...
 
* ...
  
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[[File:preview-en.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:preview-en.png|1000px]]
  
For example, your questions may include the time range for student availability for group meetings (to group them), their curriculum (to mix), their gender (to avoid minorities), their preference thematic (to group them), on their average score over the past year exam (to balance the level of the groups), ...
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For example, your questions may focus on the students' time slot for group meetings (to group them), their curriculum (to mix them up), their gender (to avoid minorities), their thematic preference (to group them together), their average score over the past year (to balance the level of the groups),...
  
If you want your students to select several options from a list, for example to choose a discussions theme, we advise you to avoid questions that require you to make hierarchical choices (first choice, second choice, ... ). This type of question has two disadvantages :
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Warning! If you want your students to select several options from a list, for example to choose the themes of a work, we advise to '''avoid questions that require you to make hierarchical choices''' (first choice, second choice, etc.). This type of question has two disadvantages:
* we can not prevent a student from making the same choice 3 times and the algorithm can only attribute this choice to him;
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* you cannot prevent a student from making the same choice 3 times and the algorithm can only assign this choice to him;
* the criteria based on hierarchical choices are very restrictive for the distribution algorithm, so that optimal groups are difficult to obtain and, therefore, an unfair distribution for the students.
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* criteria based on hierarchical choices are very restrictive for the distribution algorithm, making it difficult to obtain optimal groups, and therefore resulting in an inequitable distribution for students.
  
 
== Publish the questionnaire and collect student responses ==
 
== Publish the questionnaire and collect student responses ==
  
When your questionnaire is ready, you can change its opening date to make it accessible to students.
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When your questionnaire is ready, you can change its opening date to make it accessible to participants.  
Do not hesitate to invite your students to answer the questionnaire by using the Moodle Annoucements.
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You can see the progress of the responses via the Compose Groups tab: participants who have responded are displayed in blue while students who have not yet responded are displayed in red.  
  
You will be able to observe the answers evolution via the ''Compose groups'' tab : the students who answered are shown in blue while the students who have not yet responded are displayed in red .
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You will be able to observe the evolution of the answers via the ''Compose groups'' tab : the students who have answered are shown in blue, while students who have not yet responded are displayed in red .
  
 
[[File:reponses.png]]
 
[[File:reponses.png]]
  
If some students do not answer the questionnaire, it do not block the groups composition. They are then randomly placed to complete the groups and you can also move them manually.
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If some participants do not answer the questionnaire, they do not prevent the composition of the groups. They are then randomly placed to complete the groups and you can also move them manually.
  
 
== Generate groups ==
 
== Generate groups ==
  
When students have completed the quiz, go to the ''Group Creation'' tab to start group assisted forming. You can eliminate students who have not responded if desired.
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Once the students have completed the questionnaire, go to the ''Group Creation'' tab to start assisted group composition. You can eliminate students who did not answer if you wish.
  
'''Warning !''' Group composition is done in several attempts and iterations that are displayed in the ''Preview'' tab . The results at each iteration are partly from '''random draws'''. You will not get exactly the same result after each iteration. No groups are created in Moodle until you click the ''Create Groups button'' in Moodle at the bottom of the page .  
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'''Attention!''' The composition of the groups is done in several attempts and iterations which are displayed in the ''Preview'' tab. The results at each iteration are partly based on '''random draws'''. You will not get exactly the same result after each iteration. No groups are created in Moodle until you click the ''Create Groups inside Moodle button'' at the bottom of the page.  
  
 
[[File:make-groups1.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:make-groups1.png|1000px]]
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=== Define the naming scheme for your groups and the number of groups ===
 
=== Define the naming scheme for your groups and the number of groups ===
  
The naming scheme may use #, @ or * :
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The naming scheme can contain the characters #, @ or * :
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*"Group #" will create by default groups labelled "Group 1", "Group 2", "Group 3", ...
 
*"Group #" will create by default groups labelled "Group 1", "Group 2", "Group 3", ...
 
* "Group @" will create groups labelled "Group A", "Group B", "Group C", ...
 
* "Group @" will create groups labelled "Group A", "Group B", "Group C", ...
* If you use a '''criterion to group similar individuals, you can bring up the associated option in the group name by using the "*" character''' , example of recommended group naming scheme: "Group # - *". Think to set quite short options for this criterion to avoid too long group names.
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* If you use a '''criterion to group similar individuals, you can display the associated option in the group name by using the "*" character''' , example of recommended group naming scheme: "Group # - *". (Remember to define fairly short options for this criterion to avoid long group names.)
  
Choose the number of groups to have clear indications on how restrictive the criteria are for this number of groups.
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Choose the desired number of groups, you will have explicit indications on the degree of restriction of your criteria for this number of groups.
  
 
=== Define the criteria (begin with grouping) ===  
 
=== Define the criteria (begin with grouping) ===  
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When several criteria are combined to compose groups, be sure to '''place criteria of type ''Group similar individuals'' firs'''t as they are more restrictive;
  
When multiple criteria are used to compose the groups, make sure to '''first place the ''Group similar individuals'' criteria as they are more restrictive.'''
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[[File:grouming-criterion.png|1000px]]
  
When dispersing similar individuals, thik all options you want to disperse.
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When dispersing similar individuals, check all options to be distributed as fairly as possible.  
  
 
[[File:Disperse.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:Disperse.png|1000px]]
  
When avoiding minorities, if the allocation is only to be made on the basis of some of the options offered, tick these options.
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When it comes to avoiding minorities, select the options that will represent that minority.  
  
 
[[File:Minorities.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:Minorities.png|1000px]]
  
In this example, if you want to avoid minorities of man and minorities of woman, you will have to add 2 "avoid minorities" criterion, one with "man" option thicked, ans an other with "woman" option thicked.
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In this example, if you want to avoid minorities of men and women, you must therefore add 2 criteria to ''avoid minorities'', one with the option "man" checked and another with the option "woman" checked.
  
The ''Balancing Level'' criterion is only available for questions whose options are numbers (such as note for a past exam); the algorithm then tries to compose groups to have equivalent average level.
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The ''Balancing the level'' criterion is only available for questions with numerical options (such as averages in an exam); the algorithm then tries to compose groups of equivalent average level; Note that for each criterion, you have an indication of the degree of success of the distribution in the light blue block.  
Note that for each added criterion, you have a some indications about the repartition feasability in the blue block.
 
  
 
[[File:Balance.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:Balance.png|1000px]]
  
Here are all possible actions to edit criteria :
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Here are all possible actions on the criteria :
* '''reorder criteria''' through drag and drop moving,  
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* '''reorder criteria''' with drag and drop moving,  
* '''delete a criterion''' using the right above cross',  
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* '''delete a criterion''' via the cross at the top right' of the block that describes it,
* '''edit a criterion option''' while double clicking it.
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* '''edit a criterion option''' by double-clicking on it.
 
All these changes require you to click de '''''Save the questionnaire''''' button to be saved.
 
All these changes require you to click de '''''Save the questionnaire''''' button to be saved.
Note '''it is not (yet) possible to edit a criterion question'''. If you want to modify a criterion question, you have (for the moment) to delete it a to make a new criterion.
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Note that '''it is not (yet) possible to edit a criterion question'''. If you want to change a criterion question, you have (for the moment) to delete it a creat a new one.
  
=== Eliminate some participants if wanted ===
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=== Eliminate some participants from group compositon ===
If you want to eliminate some students from the groups composition ("ghost" students, dispensed, ...), click on the cross next to their name to make them disappear from the composition.
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If you want to remove some students from the composition of the groups ("ghost" students, exempted,...), click on the cross next to their name to make them disappear from the composition.  
  
[[File:delete.png]]
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[[File:delete.png|200px]]
  
Some filters also enables you to eliminate participants that did not answer the questionnaire, to restrict composition to some existing group, ...
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Filter menus can also help you eliminate participants who have not answered the questionnaire, restrict the distribution to students in an existing group,...
  
 
[[File:filters.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:filters.png|1000px]]
  
 
=== Iterate some previews ===   
 
=== Iterate some previews ===   
Launch a preview of the groups and consult the report on the number of optimal groups; the composition of the groups is based in part on a random draw, which is why we suggest you to repeat preview several times to get an idea of ​​what's possible with your criteria.
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Launch a group preview and consult the diagnosis on the optimal number of groups (in green); the composition of the groups is based partly on a probability draw, that's why we suggest you restart the preview several times to get an idea of what is possible with your criteria;
  
 
[[File:preview-anim.gif]]
 
[[File:preview-anim.gif]]
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=== Optimize groups ===
 
=== Optimize groups ===
When your groups are approaching an ideal composition, you can try different actions to optimize them :
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As your groups approach an ideal composition, you can try different actions to optimize them:
* '''optimize''' : generates some moves to improve compliance with the criteria;
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* '''optimize''': generates a few trips to improve compliance with the criteria;
* '''equalize''' : rebalances the group size after moves;
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* '''equalize''': rebalances the size of groups after travel;
* '''move manually''' : trough simple drag and drop, you can also move a student from one group to another;
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* '''move manually''': via a simple drag and drop, you can also move a student from one group to another.
Do not hesitate to repeat these operations several times if necessary: ​​if the obtained composition is not satisfying, you can empty the groups and start again by clicking on the reset button .
 
Nothing is registered until you click the ''Create groups'' button.
 
  
 
[[File:optimize-anim.gif]]
 
[[File:optimize-anim.gif]]
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To help you make timely manual trips, see the ''Summary'' section where you can view a report of sub-optimal groups.
 +
 +
[[File:non-optimal-groupes.png|800px]]
 +
 +
Feel free to repeat these operations several times if necessary: if you are not satisfied with the composition obtained, you can empty the groups and start again by clicking on the reset button. Nothing is saved until you click the ''Create groups inside Moodle'' button.
  
 
=== Create groups ===
 
=== Create groups ===
IMAGE
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When you get a group composition that you find satisfactory, press the ''Create Groups inside Moodle'' button; you must associate a group, i. e. a serial name for these groups; the grouping allows you to easily create Moodle activities targeting the associated groups. This is essential as soon as the students are divided into several groups.  
When you get a satisfying group composition, press the ''Create Groups'' button; you must associate a grouping name, that is, a series name for these groups; grouping allows you to easily create Moodle activities targeting the associated groups, it is mandatory as soon as the students are divided into several groups series.
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[[File:create-groups.png|600px]]
  
 
=== Control your groups  ===
 
=== Control your groups  ===
You can verify that the group composition has been done by accessing the ''Overview'' tab of the page ''Course Administration> Users> Groups''.
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You can check that the group composition has been completed by going to the ''Overview'' tab of the page ''Course Administration> Users> Groups''.
  
 
[[File:groups-overview.png|1000px]]
 
[[File:groups-overview.png|1000px]]
  
Through this same page, you can delete a series of groups created by mistake. If you are testing multiple group compositions, make sure you change the group definition scheme (Group #, Group @, ..) at each test to easily delete the desired groups. After composing groups, you can download a report containing the groups and student responses through the TeamUp activity ''Group Creation'' tab, clicking on the above [[File:spreadsheet.png|36px]] spreadsheet button.
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Via this same page, you can delete a series of groups created by mistake via the ''Groups'' tab (select the groups and click on the "Delete" button). If you are testing several group compositions, be sure to modify the group definition scheme (Group#, Group @, ...) at each test to easily delete the desired groups.
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After composing groups, you can download a report containing the groups and student responses via the ''Group Creation'' tab of the TeamUp activity. Click on the [[File:spreadsheet.png|36px]] spreadsheet button at the top to get it.
  
== Perfect composition is not always possible ==
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== Perfect repartition is not always possible ==
Note that, depending on student responses, it may happen that no group composition is perfectly optimal. Manual adaptations can sometimes help to balance groups, but in some cases it is impossible to obtain all criteria validation. Then save a partially optimal composition or possibly test another composition with less restrictive criteria.
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Note that, depending on student responses, '''it may happen that no group distribution is perfectly optimal'''. Manual adaptations can sometimes help to balance the groups, but in some cases it is not possible to obtain validation of all criteria. Then save a partially optimal composition and possibly test another composition by reducing your criteria.

Latest revision as of 07:43, 27 June 2019

Have you ever dreamt of forming groups based on criteria, such as bringing students together based on their preference for work topics or mixing students according to their orientation? The TeamUp activity allows teachers to set up a questionnaire and compose groups taking into account the students' answers. Watch TeamUp demo video (in French)

The teamup.svg TeamUp activity first allows you to set up a questionnaire with multiple-choice questions with the possibility of restricting the answers. For example, it is possible to require the student to tick exactly 2 options from the list of available options.

The questionnaire is available to students from the opening date, and they can fill it out. As soon as the closing date has passed, the teacher can start the composition of the groups by using 4 approaches:

  • group similar individuals together;
  • disperse similar individuals;
  • avoid minorities;
  • balance the level of competence (based on a question with quantified options).

Several criteria can be combined to compose the groups and the tool provides a diagnosis on the optimal number of groups.

This plugin was developed at UCLouvain (Belgium) thanks to a pedagogical development fund.

Create a TeamUp activity

params-en.png

When you create a teamup.svg TeamUP activity, you must specify the following parameters:

  • a name and introduction to the activity, to introduce the activity;
  • an opening date, Open date, from which students will be able to answer the questionnaire (from then on, the questions can no longer be modified);
  • a closing date, Close Date, from which student responses will no longer be allowed;
  • the "Allow updating of answers" parameter specifies whether you allow students to modify their answers during the questionnaire opening period;

Feel free to invite your students to complete the questionnaire using the Moodle Announcements tool (which targets all students enrolled in your Moodle course)

Create a questionnaire with distribution criteria

Access the Questionnaire tab to build the multiple-choice questions that will allow students to provide useful information for group composition.

question-en.png

You can define different restrictions on the possible answers:

  • none: the student can select any number of options or none at all;
  • at least one check mark: the student must select at least one option;
  • exactly 1 check mark: the student must select one and only one option;
  • exactly 2 check marks: the student must select exactly 2 options;
  • exactly 3 check marks: the student must select exactly 3 options.
  • ...

When your questionnaire is finalized, you can preview it via the Preview Questions tab .

preview-en.png

For example, your questions may focus on the students' time slot for group meetings (to group them), their curriculum (to mix them up), their gender (to avoid minorities), their thematic preference (to group them together), their average score over the past year (to balance the level of the groups),...

Warning! If you want your students to select several options from a list, for example to choose the themes of a work, we advise to avoid questions that require you to make hierarchical choices (first choice, second choice, etc.). This type of question has two disadvantages:

  • you cannot prevent a student from making the same choice 3 times and the algorithm can only assign this choice to him;
  • criteria based on hierarchical choices are very restrictive for the distribution algorithm, making it difficult to obtain optimal groups, and therefore resulting in an inequitable distribution for students.

Publish the questionnaire and collect student responses

When your questionnaire is ready, you can change its opening date to make it accessible to participants. You can see the progress of the responses via the Compose Groups tab: participants who have responded are displayed in blue while students who have not yet responded are displayed in red.

You will be able to observe the evolution of the answers via the Compose groups tab : the students who have answered are shown in blue, while students who have not yet responded are displayed in red .

reponses.png

If some participants do not answer the questionnaire, they do not prevent the composition of the groups. They are then randomly placed to complete the groups and you can also move them manually.

Generate groups

Once the students have completed the questionnaire, go to the Group Creation tab to start assisted group composition. You can eliminate students who did not answer if you wish.

Attention! The composition of the groups is done in several attempts and iterations which are displayed in the Preview tab. The results at each iteration are partly based on random draws. You will not get exactly the same result after each iteration. No groups are created in Moodle until you click the Create Groups inside Moodle button at the bottom of the page.

make-groups1.png

Define the naming scheme for your groups and the number of groups

The naming scheme can contain the characters #, @ or * :

  • "Group #" will create by default groups labelled "Group 1", "Group 2", "Group 3", ...
  • "Group @" will create groups labelled "Group A", "Group B", "Group C", ...
  • If you use a criterion to group similar individuals, you can display the associated option in the group name by using the "*" character , example of recommended group naming scheme: "Group # - *". (Remember to define fairly short options for this criterion to avoid long group names.)

Choose the desired number of groups, you will have explicit indications on the degree of restriction of your criteria for this number of groups.

Define the criteria (begin with grouping)

When several criteria are combined to compose groups, be sure to place criteria of type Group similar individuals first as they are more restrictive;

grouming-criterion.png

When dispersing similar individuals, check all options to be distributed as fairly as possible.

Disperse.png

When it comes to avoiding minorities, select the options that will represent that minority.

Minorities.png

In this example, if you want to avoid minorities of men and women, you must therefore add 2 criteria to avoid minorities, one with the option "man" checked and another with the option "woman" checked.

The Balancing the level criterion is only available for questions with numerical options (such as averages in an exam); the algorithm then tries to compose groups of equivalent average level; Note that for each criterion, you have an indication of the degree of success of the distribution in the light blue block.

Balance.png

Here are all possible actions on the criteria :

  • reorder criteria with drag and drop moving,
  • delete a criterion via the cross at the top right' of the block that describes it,
  • edit a criterion option by double-clicking on it.

All these changes require you to click de Save the questionnaire button to be saved. Note that it is not (yet) possible to edit a criterion question. If you want to change a criterion question, you have (for the moment) to delete it a creat a new one.

Eliminate some participants from group compositon

If you want to remove some students from the composition of the groups ("ghost" students, exempted,...), click on the cross next to their name to make them disappear from the composition.

delete.png

Filter menus can also help you eliminate participants who have not answered the questionnaire, restrict the distribution to students in an existing group,...

filters.png

Iterate some previews

Launch a group preview and consult the diagnosis on the optimal number of groups (in green); the composition of the groups is based partly on a probability draw, that's why we suggest you restart the preview several times to get an idea of what is possible with your criteria;

preview-anim.gif

Modify the criteria if they are too restrictive.

Optimize groups

As your groups approach an ideal composition, you can try different actions to optimize them:

  • optimize: generates a few trips to improve compliance with the criteria;
  • equalize: rebalances the size of groups after travel;
  • move manually: via a simple drag and drop, you can also move a student from one group to another.

optimize-anim.gif

To help you make timely manual trips, see the Summary section where you can view a report of sub-optimal groups.

non-optimal-groupes.png

Feel free to repeat these operations several times if necessary: if you are not satisfied with the composition obtained, you can empty the groups and start again by clicking on the reset button. Nothing is saved until you click the Create groups inside Moodle button.

Create groups

When you get a group composition that you find satisfactory, press the Create Groups inside Moodle button; you must associate a group, i. e. a serial name for these groups; the grouping allows you to easily create Moodle activities targeting the associated groups. This is essential as soon as the students are divided into several groups.

create-groups.png

Control your groups

You can check that the group composition has been completed by going to the Overview tab of the page Course Administration> Users> Groups.

groups-overview.png

Via this same page, you can delete a series of groups created by mistake via the Groups tab (select the groups and click on the "Delete" button). If you are testing several group compositions, be sure to modify the group definition scheme (Group#, Group @, ...) at each test to easily delete the desired groups.

After composing groups, you can download a report containing the groups and student responses via the Group Creation tab of the TeamUp activity. Click on the spreadsheet.png spreadsheet button at the top to get it.

Perfect repartition is not always possible

Note that, depending on student responses, it may happen that no group distribution is perfectly optimal. Manual adaptations can sometimes help to balance the groups, but in some cases it is not possible to obtain validation of all criteria. Then save a partially optimal composition and possibly test another composition by reducing your criteria.