Supporting Group Work in Moodle

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One of the strengths of Moodle is the potential for student interaction, especially when activities are used in combination with Moodle’s group functionality. This post explores two new features in Moodle 3 to support group work – a bulk enrolments plugin and post a copy to all groups functionality in Forums.

1. Quickly add students to groups

The Bulk enrolments plugin enables you to add students to groups using a CSV file upload.

2. Posting one message to all groups on a Forum

On the collaborative Moodle activities, Forum and OU wiki, you can use groups to create collaboration spaces for students. This can support student communication and collaboration, especially when teaching large groups of students.

If you have a message that is relevant to all groups on your Forum, you can use the new setting Post a copy to to all groups.

Post a copy to all groups

Post a copy to all groups

 

You can use the Group scenarios with Forums table to help you identify how to set up Forums to meet different requirements around student interaction and collaboration.

Group scenarios with Forums

Scenario Settings
  • Students are working on group projects. You want them to communicate with only their Project Group using a Forum to help them plan and co-ordinate their work.
  • You want the groups to be random.
  • There are no groups in use on the module and you do not plan on using Groups for any other activities.
  • Go to Settings>>Users>>Groups.
  • Click Auto create group.
  • Follow the instructions to create your Groups.
  • Under Common module settings on the Forum set Group mode to Separate Groups.

 

  • Students are working on group projects. You want them to communicate with only their Project Group using a Forum to help them plan and co-ordinate their work.
  • You want to order the groups.
  • Groups are already in use on the module and all students are a member of a Tutor Group.
  • Go to Settings>>Users>>Groups.
  • Click Create Group and follow instructions to create your Groups.
  • Create a Group for each Project Group.
  • Create a Grouping called Project Grouping.
  • Add all of the project groups to the Project Grouping. If you do not use Groupings, students will have an option of posting to two different Forums (one with all members of their Tutor Group and the other with all members of their Project Group!)
  • Under Common module settings on the Forum set Group mode to Separate groups.
  • Set Grouping to Project Grouping.

 

  • Students are working on group projects. You want them to communicate with their Project Group using a Forum to help them plan and co-ordinate their work.
  • You want students to be able to view the posts of all Project Groups, but they can only participate in their own Project Group Forum.
  • You want the groups to be random.
  • There are no groups in use on the module and you do not plan on using Groups for any other activities.
  • Go to Settings>>Users>>Groups.
  • Click Auto create group.
  • Follow the instructions to create your Groups.
  • Under Common module settings on the Forum set Group mode to Visible Groups.

 

Guidance

Guidance on adding users to groups in bulk and on creating group Forums will be available on the edtech guidance site from 28th June.

This post is part of a series exploring what’s new in Moodle 3.

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2 Responses

  1. Jason Bennetto

    July 21, 2016 9:53 am

    Hi Olivia, I teach on the Magazine MA and want to set up three groups of about 15 students per group. Then allow each student to upload a word doc assignment that everyone in the group can download/read. Could you advise me whether this is possible/how to do this. To avoid doubling up – i’ve just spoken to IT who said they would pass on my query, but i noticed your post above which sounds along a similar theme.
    Best
    Jason (Bennetto)

    Reply
  2. Olivia Fox

    July 21, 2016 12:11 pm

    Hi Jason,

    Yes this is possible in Moodle. Moodle has group assignment settings that enables one member of a group to submit the assignment and all members of the group to review and download the assignment. A Quickstart guide on setting up a group assignment is available from the Edtech guidance site https://sleguidance.atlassian.net/wiki/display/Moodle/Group+Assignment+Quickstart+Guide. Steps 6 & 7 are where the assignment set-up differs from a standard Moodle assignment.

    It is important that you set up your groups and groupings in advance of the submission otherwise students not in a group are added to a default group and group submissions made by a student who is in the default group become visible to all students in the default group: https://sleguidance.atlassian.net/wiki/display/Moodle/Adding+Groups+to+your+module

    If you need any help or advice with this, log a query in ServiceNow and we are happy to meet up to discuss or help further.

    Kind Regards

    Olivia

    Reply

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