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Very often in Moodle we might have several teachers working together on the same course but with different classes. We saw in the article Setting up your Moodle gradebook that this is made easier by the use of groups where each teacher and their students can be put into one class or "group" in the gradebook. In this article by Mary Cooch, we will see how the resources can be accessed by the group selectively by using "groupings" in Moodle.
While for the most part, teachers on the same course would want to cover the same material, it can sometimes be the case that one teacher might only want their own class to see a particular item but keep it hidden from others. I myself am doing this currently on a Certificate course whereby the students who have finished are able to view some extension activities that other students still working on the qualification do not have access to. Hiding resources from some students and showing them to others can be done by using "groupings" in Moodle.
Groupings – a way to hide resources from some and display to others
In order for this to work we need to check certain features:
- We are using Moodle 1.9.
- Groups and groupings have been enabled by our Moodle admin (in Site Admin > Experimental as below).
- We have the students on our Moodle course set up in different teacher groups.
Ok – let us assume, we want group French 1 only to see our forum and wiki and we want group French 2 only to see our assignment. If we click on groups in the course administration block we see:
If we look to the top of the Groups screen we see three tabs. The one to select next is Groupings.
Having clicked on it, we get presented with a screen asking us to create a new grouping. A grouping is like an invisibility cloak (think: Harry Potter!) whereby any people in the grouping can be made invisible to others on the course.
If we click on Create grouping we are then asked to give a name (and optional description) for our grouping. Note that we have not yet added any people to the grouping; we are merely setting it up. Once we have scrolled down and saved the changes we are returned to the above screen where we see the grouping has been created – but it has no people and it has no activities assigned to it:
The next action to take is to click on the people icon in the Edit box. This sends us to a screen where we can choose which groups to put into this grouping "invisibility cloak":
By clicking on a group on the right and moving it across with the arrow to the left we can assign a group to a grouping.
You cannot assign individuals to a grouping; you can only assign groups. However –there is nothing preventing you making a group of one single person and then assigning that group! You can also have more than one group in a grouping, should you wish to.
We now have our group French 1 in a grouping. The next step is to repeat the process for the group French 2. When that is done, it is important to check in the course settings (in the course admin block) that groups and groupings are enabled.
Finally, we go to the activities we have set up – in this instance, a forum, wiki and assignment.
We need to assign the tasks to the appropriate groupings. If the tasks have already been set up, as here, we click on the pen/hand icon to go into the editing area. If we are setting them up from scratch we assign the grouping at the time of creation. Scroll down to the section Common Module Settings and choose the appropriate grouping for that task, also checking Available for group members only:
The same process must be gone through with the other tasks we want to control access to (in this instance, the wiki and assignment). And then – it’s done!
If we the teacher look at the course we see that each activity has the name of the grouping greyed out next to it:
A student in one of those groupings, however, would only see their own activities and have no idea the others existed! A simple but effective way to control access to your Moodle tasks on a shared course.
If you have read this article you may be interested to view :
- Setting up your Moodle Grade Book
- Adding Worksheets and Resources with Moodle
- Interacting with the Students using Moodle 1.9 (part 1)
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About the Author :
Mary Cooch has taught Languages and Geography in the UK for over 20 years. She manages several websites, even more Moodles, and runs her own Moodle blog. A Moodle Certified Teacher, she now spends part of her working week travelling the country as a VLE trainer specializing in Moodle. She regularly promotes its benefits in Junior and High schools and has a deep understanding of what works best for younger students. Known online as the moodlefairy, Mary is a frequent contributor to the help forums of Moodle.org where she aims to enthuse others with her passion for this open source Virtual Learning Environment.