Moodle™ course and site settings for teaching using Groups
Determining group settings can affect how a non-editing teacher is able to view and interact with groups in a course ranging from seeing all students in a course to only viewing the students added to a particular group. This can be beneficial to institutions that enroll multiple non-editing teachers in a course so that each one of them can teach a set of students using the same course content. The following list outlines the various setting options available and how they affect viewing of student work and grading in a course.
There are three types of group modes to select from. To define the default settings used in activities within the course go to Settings > Course administration > Edit settings > Groups. Each option determines how students are able to interact with each other in activities that use groups.
Separategroups – Activities that use the Separate groups mode allow each group of students to work within the defined group for the activity. Students are not able to see other groups.
Visible groups – Activities that use the Visible groups mode are able to work with students that are in their defined group. As well as they are able to see the work completed by other groups but are not able to respond to other groups.
No groups – If No groups mode is selected then by default course activities will be set to not using groups.
Force group mode
The second setting found in the Edit settings > Groups area of the Course Administration settings allows the teacher to determine if the group mode is forced for all activities. If set to Yes then the selected group mode is applied to all course activities. If set to No then the group mode is displayed as the default but can be changed in the individual activity settings.
The above settings affect how students are able to view and interact with each other in course activities. However it does not change how non-editing teachers interact with groups. By default non-editing teachers are able to see all groups within a course and they are also able to interact and grade activities for any group. This works well for courses that are instructed by one or two facilitators but occasionally there are courses that have multiple non-editing teachers that only need access to the groups that they are aligned with. Site administrators can change the role settings for non-editing teachers to only allow them to view the group that they are enrolled in. By removing the ability moodle/site:accessallgroups and setting the group mode to Separate groups the non-editing teacher user will only be able to see the group(s) they are enrolled in.
To learn more about groups reference the blog posts Best Practices: Supporting Effective Group Work Using Moodle Tools and Using Groups and Groupings.