Batch group creation and enrolment for online collaboration / tutorial support

Scenario: An academic wants to create a number of Groups in the VLE to allow students to collaborate online or restrict content to a specific group.

I’ve been asked about the process a couple of times in the past week so I thought it might be worth creating a dedicated post that I can point people to…

Step one: Create the groups – we are going to create a “Group Set” that will give us however many groups we want with common features.

  1. Go to Control Panel – Users and Groups – Groups
  2. Create Group set screenshotClick Create Group Set and then choose your enrolment method. In this case we know which students need to go into which groups so we will choose Manual Enrol. If you want students to be able to choose which groups they join, you could select Self-Enrol or if you want students to be randomly split between the groups then select Random Enrol.
  3. You will then be able to define the properties of your group set which will inform the properties of individual groups
  4. The Name of the group set will be included in the name of each individual group – eg if you call your group set, Tutorial discussion group, then individual groups will be called Tutorial discussion group 1Tutorial discussion group 2,  etc.
  5. Select the Tool availability for your groups, if you are simply creating groups to control the release of content then you might opt to make no tools available to them. Allow Personalisation will let group members change group homepage banners, colours and features but not access to the tools that that group has been provided with.
  6. Enter the number of groups required into #4 Number of Groups and then click Submit.
  7. Make a note of the group names for use in the next step.

Step 2: Batch enrol users into the groups – Once created, you can automatically populate groups with students using the Batch Allocate Groups tool. This will require you to create a spreadsheet of student usernames in one column and the name of the group that they belong to in the next. This guide will walk you through the detail of the process:

Step 3 (optional): Restrict content to groups – Once you have created your groups and populated them with students, you can use the VLE’s “Adaptive release” functionality to target specific resources. See for detail on how to deploy this.

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