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Create Groups and Groupings

Why Do This

You can use groups in a variety of ways within Cougar Courses. For example, if students are creating projects within groups, setting up a group Assignment allows students to submit and be graded as a group. Also, breaking up students into smaller groups within a Forum can help increase participation and interaction. Beyond having students working within groups, you can also use groups to restrict access to resources and activities to particular sets of students. Groups can either be auto-created by the system, manually created, or students can create and self-select their own groups. You can have as many sets of groups in a course as you want; however, you will need to create Groupings to distinguish between these sets of groups.


Auto-Create Groups

Even if you are manually adding students into their groups, you can still use the auto-create feature to bulk create the empty shells.

  1. Click on the Administration settings drpdown  at the top right( gauge icon)block in your course, select  Users and then Groups.

 administration settings dropdown, users expanded, groups selected

  1. Groups already created will be listed in the Groups box. Group shells are copied over during the Import process, so you might need to delete any unused and unwanted group shells. The number in parenthesis is the number of members in that group.

 Groups tab and Groups box

  1. Click the Auto-create Groups button.

 auto-create groups button

  1. For Naming scheme, use # to name groups numerically or @ to name groups alphabetically. For example, “Project Group #” will result in groups called Project Group 1, Project Group 2, etc., while “Project Group @” will result in groups called Project Group A, Project Group B, etc. You can always change the individual name of a group once the groups are created.

 General settings

  1. For “Auto create based on” setting choose “Number of Groups” if you know the total number of groups you wish to create, or choose “Members per group” if you know how many students you want per group.
  1. In the Group/member Count box, depending on what you set for the previous setting, enter in either the number of groups to be created or the number of students per group.
  1. Set “Select members with role” to Student.

 Group Members section settings

  1. Optional: The two settings “Select members from grouping” and “Select members from group” allows you to create groups with enrollments based on an already existing Grouping or Group. For example, if you have a combined container you might already have each section in their own Group. With this setting you can create groups from each of these section groups so that students are only in groups with other students in their section. Otherwise, keep the default None.
  1. For Allocate Members, choose “No allocation” if you want the shells to be created, but you will be manually adding students. Choose “Randomly” if you want the system to randomly add students to the groups. You can also choose to have them automatically added based on first name, last name, or ID number.
  1. Check the box for “Prevent last small group” to ensure you don’t end up with a group of only a few students. For example, if you have your 31 student course divided up into groups of 6, this setting would place that leftover student into one of the other groups, rather than into their own group of just one.
  1. Optional: If you are only creating groups for students that are not yet in a group, you can check the box for “Ignore users in groups” to prevent the system from adding students who are already in a group.
  1. If you are going to have more than one set of groups in your course (for example, one set of groups for Project 1 and a different set of groups for Project 2), you will need to use Groupings to distinguish between the two sets of groups. If you have already created the Grouping for this set of groups, choose it from the dropdown for “Grouping of auto-created groups.” If not, select “New Grouping” and enter the Grouping name in the provided box.

 Grouping section settings

  1. Click Preview to preview the groups (and group members) and click Submit when finished.

 preview, submit, and cancel buttons

 Note: If students are added to your course container after groups are created these students will not be automatically added to a group, they must be manually added.

Create Groups Manually

If you only need to create a small number of groups, and you don't want the system to add students, you can manually create groups one at a time.

  1. In the Administration block in your course, click Users and then Groups.

 administration settings, users expanded to display groups

  1. Click the Create Group button.

 create group button

  1. Enter a Group name and, if desired, a brief description. 

 group name and description

  1. If you are creating groups to use for Self-Enrollment in Community, enter the Enrollment Key for this group. Otherwise, leave this blank.

 enrollment key

  1. Optional: upload a picture for the group.

group picture

  1. Click the Save changes button.

 save changes button

  1. Repeat for each additional group you wish to create.

Create Section Groups in a Combined Container

If you have a container that combines the enrollments of two or more of your individual sections, you have the ability to create separate a group for each section. You can then use these groups to restrict access to resources and activities based on section enrollment, or sort submissions or your gradebook based on group enrollment. When you request your combined container from you can ask that these groups be created at the same time. If your combined container has already been created, you can create these groups yourself.

  1. While on your course homepage, click on the gear in the upper right to open your Course Administration.

 gear icon in upper right

  1. Click on Users, then Enrollment Methods.

 Enrollment Methods link under Users

  1. To the right of the section name, click the gear icon.

 gear icon next to section name

  1. For "Add to group" from the dropdown choose "Create new group."

 create new group option

  1. Save changes.

 save changes button

  1. Repeat for the other section(s).
  2. If you are using other groups, you will want to make sure to create Groupings and add the groups to the appropriate Grouping

Edit a Group

  1. In the Groups box, click on the Group you wish to edit.

 select group

  1. Click the “Edit group settings” button.

 edit group settings button

  1. Make your edits.
  1. When finished, click Save changes.

save changes button

Add/Remove Users of a Group

  1. In the Groups box, click on the desired Group.

 click on group in list

  1. Click the “Add/remove users”

 add/remove users button

  1. All of the enrolled users in the course will be displayed in the Potential members box. The number in parenthesis next to a user's name is how many groups they are currently a member of. Click on the student you wish to add to the group. To select multiple names, hold down the CTRL key (PC) or the Command /Apple key (Mac) while clicking the names.

 select students in Potential Members box

  1. Click the Add button.

 add button

  1. The students added will now appear in the Group Members box. To remove a student, click on the student and click the Remove button.

 group members box and remove button

  1. Click the “Back to groups” button. Repeat steps above as necessary.

 back to groups button

Create a Grouping

If you didn't create the Grouping when you created the Groups, you can create the Grouping separately.

  1. In the Administration block in your course, click Users and then Groups.

 Administration settings, users expanded, groups selected

  1. Click the Groupings tab.

 Groupings tab

  1. At the bottom of the page, click the Create grouping button.

 creat grouping button

  1. Enter the Grouping name and brief description, if desired.

 grouping name and description

  1. Click the Save changes button.

 save changes button

Add Groups to a Grouping

  1. While on the Groupings tab, go to the Grouping you want to add groups to and in the Edit column click the “show groups in grouping” icon.

"show groups in grouping" icon

  1. In the “Potential members” box, click on the group that you want to add to the Grouping. To select multiple names, hold down the CTRL key (PC) or the Command /Apple key (Mac) while clicking the names. Click the Add button.

 select group and click Add button

  1. The added groups will then be displayed in the “Existing members” box. To remove a group, click on the group and click the Remove button.

 select group and click remove button

  1. Click the "Back to groupings” button. Repeat for each Grouping.

back to groupings button