Moodle Groups Assignments

Main page ► Managing a Moodle course ► Grouping users ► Groupings

If you want to make an activity (such as an assignment or a quiz) visible to only one set of users within a course, you need first to put the users into a group and then put them into a grouping. A single grouping can house one group or several groups.

If you assign an activity to a grouping then only the group/grouping that is selected will be able to see and do the activity. It will be invisible to other groups or groupings.

NOTE: if you want to show resources (such as a folder or webpage) to just to one group and not another, see Available for group members only.

Adding groups to a grouping

To add groups to a grouping:

  • In your course, click Settings > Course administration > Users > Groups.
  • Click the groupings tab:

  • If necessary, create a new grouping by clicking the create grouping button on the groupings page.
  • Click the "Show groups in grouping" people icon in the edit column:

  • On the add/remove groups page, select the group(s) you want to add to the grouping from the "Potential members" list.
  • Click the arrow button that points towards the "Existing members" list.

  • Click the "Back to groupings" button. The group(s) you added to the grouping will now be listed in the table on the groupings page.

Existing groupings can be edited and/or deleted using the appropriate icons in the edit column of the table on the groupings page.

Setting the default grouping

Once some groupings have been created, a default grouping for course activities and resources may be set.

  1. Follow the settings link in the course administration block.
  2. In the groups section in the course settings, select the default grouping.

The default grouping is used on the Participants page.

Selecting grouping in activity

To use a particular grouping in an activity:

  • In the "edit settings" link of the Settings block for the activity, click the "Show advanced" button in the common module settings section.
  • Ensure that the group mode is set to separate or visible groups.
  • Select the grouping from the grouping dropdown menu.

  • Check the "Available for group members only" box
  • Click the "Save changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Students will only see the activities they have been assigned to. Teachers will see the name of the grouping in brackets after the activity name on the course page. A count of activities assigned to each grouping is kept on the groupings page.

Please note that the grouping option appears by default only in activities that support group modes. If you enable Available for group members only you will be able to assign resources to specific groups also.

Examples of groupings

It sometimes helps to think of a grouping as a Romulan cloaking device Those groups inside it know of their existence but other groups within the course cannot see them.

Example 1: Differentiation

  • You have course on Macbeth shared by three teachers. The activities and resources are mostly the same and used by all three classes.
  • However, Mr Brown’s class are a higher ability and so are set some extension assignments that must not be seen by Mrs Smith’s class who are of a lower ability. Mrs Smith’s class need some extra assistance and are set some activities which are too easy for Mr Brown's students. Ms Black’s class are middle ability and can cope with some of the higher tasks but also benefit from some of the supportive tasks Mrs Smith uses.

Groupings would allow all three teachers to share the course and yet direct activities to specific classes:

  1. 3000 word in-depth assignment - only for Class Brown. The class is added to the grouping “Class Brown” and the assignment is set to the “Class Brown” grouping. Only these students will see it.
  2. Basic Shakespeare vocabulary –a page only for Class Smith. The class is added to the grouping “Class Smith” and the page is set to the "Class Smith" grouping (See Available for group members only for resources) Only the students with special educational needs will see it.
  3. Quiz on the main protagonists –suitable for Class Brown (high ability) but offered to Class Black also to extend their learning. Both classes are added to a grouping “ClassBrownBlack” and the quiz is set to the "ClassBrownBlack" grouping. These two classes will see the quiz but Mrs Smiths’s will not.

Example 2: Mandatory and optional modules

  • A university has a mandatory module of work FS32 and two optional modules FS33 and FS34 within a single Moodle course. So all students must complete FS32 and then choose either one of the other two options. Once students have signed up to one of the optional modules they are not allowed to view the contents of the other module.
  • Three groups may be made: group FS32 including all students on the course; group FS33 including only those who have signed up for this optional module, and group FS34 including only those who have signed up for the other optional module.
  1. Nothing needs to be done with the activities in the mandatory module FS32 as all students need to access them. The activities can be set to separate or visible groups but no grouping is necessary.
  2. In order for only those students who signed up for optional modules FS33 and FS34 to view them, "Group FS33" needs to be put into "Grouping FS33". and "Group FS32" needs to be put into "Grouping FS34"
  3. . The activities in each of the two optional modules can then be assigned to the respective groupings.

One way to visualise groups and groupings

  • Olympic metaphor: at the Olympics, there are different sports (gymnastics, swimming, track) and many countries. There are two ways to think of an Olympian athlete: by the sport they compete in, and by their nationality. To be part of the United States Olympic Team, you must first be a swimmer, a gymnast, or a runner. You cannot be in the US Team without first being an athlete in a specific sport. The sport is your group. Your country is your grouping. You must belong to a group before joining a grouping.

See also

Main page ► Managing a Moodle course ► Activities ► Assignment ► Assignment settings

This page describes the various configuration options available within the Assignment module - both at the Site level and the Activity level.

Course administration settings

The following configuration options are available when creating or editing/updating any Assignment activity. Settings specific to each of the assignment types are detailed separately below.

To add a new Assignment activity to your course login with the appropriate access rights (e.g.editing teacher, course creator or administrator) and Turn Editing On. Within the required Week or Topic Block click on the Add Activity dropdown menu arrow and select the required assignment type.

To edit an existing Assignment activity, login to your course with the appropriate access rights (e.g.editing teacher, course creator or administrator) and Turn Editing On and select the Update icon against the relevant Assignment item. Alternatively, after logging into your course simply click on the name of the Assignment activity you wish to edit and then click the Edit Settings link under Assignment administration within the Settings block.

Assignment name

Give your Assignment a name (e.g. “Report on Topic 1 Content”). The title entered here will be the name that learners see in the course content area. Learners will click on this name to view the details of the assignment and, if applicable, submit their work.

Description

The description of the assignment, which should include precise instructions for students regarding the subject of the assignment, the form, in which it should be submitted, the grading criteria etc.

Use this area to describe the assignment and explain what learners are expected to do to complete this task. The assignment description can be as brief or as detailed as you feel is necessary to meet the needs of your learners. However, it is to your benefit to provide as much detail and information as possible, especially at the start of the course while you are still establishing procedures. Generally, the more information you are able to provide here the fewer questions and problems your learners will have completing the task.

The assignment description field can also be used to provide information or resources related to the assignment. An instructor, for example, could provide some literature, a video clip, an image, or a link to a webpage, and then ask the learners to use these materials in completing the task.

Available from

The Available from setting prevents students from submitting their assignment before the shown date.

This option allows an instructor to set a day, month, year and time (24 hour clock) from which learners can begin to submit their assignments. Please note that this setting does not hide the activity from the learners. Instead, the learner will see the activity, be able to view the instructions and use any materials you have include in the description, but the learner will not be able to submit or complete the assignment until the Available from date.

By default the Available from date is Enabled (ticked) and is set at the day and time you selected Add Assignment. To Disable this feature simply ensure the Enable checkbox is not marked.

Due date

The Due date setting prevents students from submitting their assignment after the shown date.

This option allows an instructor to set a day, month, year and time (24 hour clock) before which learners must submit their assignment.

By default the Available from date is Enabled (ticked) and is set at 7 days ahead of the day and time you selected Add Assignment. To Disable this feature simply ensure the Enable checkbox is not marked.

Notes on Date Settings

Both the Available from and Due dates are displayed for learners in the assignment details, but the Due date is also marked in the course Calendar as a visible reminder for participants and provides a link to the activity.

Your use of the Available from and Due date settings will probably be dependent on the overall structure of your course. If you are facilitating an open ended course or a course with rolling enrolment, then you might find it easier to not apply the Available from and Due date settings. This arrangement will allow the learners to access the assignment according to their own schedule and progress within the course.

Alternatively, if you are working within a more structured format or adhering to a timeline, the Available from and Due date settings are useful for keeping learners on schedule. Using the Available from setting will make it possible for learners to preview upcoming activities, while at the same time, prevent them from finishing the course in the first week and not returning for additional activities or information. Likewise, the Due dates help keep the learners from lagging too far behind and decrease the likelihood that the learner will become overwhelmed by having to complete several weeks worth of work at once.

Assignments without a Due date will not appear on the My home page.

Prevent late submissions

Setting Prevent late submissions to Yes will prevent learners from being able to submit this assignment after the Due date (where specified). If you set Prevent late submissions to No, then learners can submit the assignment as long as the assignment is visible or accessible to them but their submissions will be marked as late.

Grade

Specify the maximum grade or Scale to be applied to the assignment. If you will not be giving a grade for the assignment, choose No Grade.

Grading method

New feature
in Moodle 2.2!
Select either Rubric (advanced grading form used for criteria-based assessment) or simple direct grading (entering a grade or scale item).

Grade Category

Any custom Grade Categories that have been created within your site or course will be listed here and will be available for selection. Select the required Grade Category to add this assignment as a Grade item within this Category.

Common module settings

Group mode

When course group mode is turned on, the group mode can be one of three levels: No groups, Separate groups or Visible groups.

No groups - There are no groups and all students submit their assignments in one Assignment area

Separate groups - Students submit their assignments within a separate Group based submission area and teachers/trainers can sort submissions by Group or view All Participants.

Visible groups - All students submits their assignment within a single Assignment area but may choose which Group to associate their submission with before uploading. Teachers/trainers can sort submissions by Group or view All Participants.

Groupings

Groupings is an Advanced setting. A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. If a existing grouping is selected from the dropdown list, students assigned to groups within the grouping will be able to work together within the group mode specified above.

Visible

Choose whether to Show or Hide the assignment from learner view. A hidden assignment will be displayed greyed out on the main course page for those with teacher, creator, manager or admin type roles but invisible to students/learners.

ID number

Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the assignment for grade calculation purposes. If the activity is not included in any grade calculation then the ID number field can be left blank.

The ID number can also be set in the gradebook, though it can only be edited on the activity settings page.

Restrict access settings

The Restrict access area becomes visible in Moodle activities and resource settings if Conditional Activities have been enabled.

Allow access from

The Access from date determines the day, month and year students may first access the activity via the assignment name link on the course page. To activate this option click in the Enable checkbox to add a tick.

Allow access until

The Access until date determines the day, month and year students may last access the activity via the assignment name link on the course page. To activate this option click in the Enable checkbox to add a tick.

Note: The difference between access from/to dates and availability settings for the activity is that outside the set dates the latter allows students to view the activity description, whereas access from/to dates prevent access completely.

Grade Condition

This setting determines any grade conditions which must be met in order for students to access the activity. Multiple grade conditions may be set using the 'Add 2 grade conditions to form' button. If there are multiples completion conditions applied to an activity, it will only be accessible to learners when all grade conditions are met. See Conditional Activities for more information.

Before activity can be accessed

Before a learner has fulfilled the the Grade Conditions specified above and the activity is still inaccessible to them, you can choose whether to show the activity greyed-out on the course page with the grade conditions listed (restriction information) or to hide the activity from learner view entirely.

Assignment Type Specific Settings

Advanced uploading of files

The Advanced upload of files assignment type allows a learner to upload and edit multiple files to form their final submission while the assignment is open and accessible to students.

Maximum size

This setting specifies the maximum size per file of each of the files that the students can upload as part of their submission. This maximum upload size may only be equal to or less than the course limit (which in turn may only be equal to or less than the site limit)

Allow deleting

If enabled, students may delete uploaded files at any time before submitting for grading.

Maximum number of uploaded files

The maximum number of files which may be uploaded by each learner. As this figure is not displayed anywhere, it is suggested that it is mentioned in the assignment Description.

Allow notes

If enabled, students may enter notes into a text area associated with the assignment This text box can be used for communication with the grading person, assignment progress description or any other written activity.

Hide description before available date

If enabled, the assignment description is hidden before the "Available from" date. Only the assignment name is displayed.

Email alerts to teachers

If enabled, teachers receive email notification whenever students add or update an assignment submission.

Only teachers who are able to grade the particular assignment are notified. So, for example, if the course uses separate groups, teachers restricted to particular groups won't receive notification about students in other groups.

Enable 'Send for marking' button

Where grading is enabled, the "Send for marking" button allows students to indicate to the teacher that they have finished working on an assignment. The teacher may choose to revert the assignment to draft status (if it requires further work, for example).

Note: this means that the learner can no longer edit their submission (to do so would risk invalidating any work their assessor had done on their submission). If students regret their decision and wish to edit, they need to request that somebody with course editing access reverts them to Draft Status. This is also true if Send For Marking is never turned on and a submission is uploaded; the teacher must take steps to give the student a chance to resubmit.

To revert to the draft stage or let a student resubmit, click on the assignment activity, then click on View # submitted assignments, in the upper right corner. On the page with the roster and their submissions, click Grade (or Update for students who have already been graded) for the student who should get to resubmit. When the new window opens, click Revert to Draft at the lower right, or click the black X to delete their files.

Online text

The Online text assignment type allows a learner to compose and edit text on screen using the standard Moodle HTML Editor. The online text assignment can be set up to allow learners to compose, revise and edit over time or such that the learner only has one opportunity to enter his or her response.

Allow resubmitting

If set to Yes, students will be allowed to resubmit assignments after they have been graded (for them to be re-graded). This may be useful if the teacher wants to encourage an iterative process to assignment completion.

Email alerts to teachers

If enabled, teachers receive email notification whenever students add or update an assignment submission. Only teachers who are able to grade the particular assignment are notified.

If enabled, the submission text will be copied into the feedback comment field during grading, making it easier to comment inline (using a different colour, perhaps) or to edit the original text. Note that if the teacher makes inline comments and changes, the student's original submission is kept intact.

If inline comments are not permitted, then the teacher will see the student’s submission with a separate area for making comments.

Upload a single file

The Upload single file assignment type allows a learner to upload a single file for their submission while the assignment is open and accessible to students.

Allow resubmitting

If enabled, students will be allowed to resubmit assignments after they have been graded (for them to be re-graded).

Email alerts to teachers

If enabled, then teachers are alerted with a short email whenever students add or update an assignment submission. Only teachers who are able to grade the particular submission are notified. So, for example, if the course uses separate groups, then teachers restricted to particular groups won't receive any notices about students in other groups.

Maximum Size

This setting specifies the maximum size per file of each of the files that the students can upload as part of their submission. This maximum upload size may only be equal to or less than the course limit (which in turn may only be equal to or less than the site limit).

Offline Activity

The Offline Activity assignment is used when an activity or assessment process is performed outside of Moodle. It could be something elsewhere on the web or in person. Students can see a description of the assignment, but can't upload files. Grading works normally, and students will get notification of their grades.

The Offline ActivityAssignment Type doesn't currently have any specific settings.

Finally, to save your setting changes and to create your assignment activity choose either Save and return to course or Save and display. To discard your changes click Cancel.

Locally assigned roles

In Settings > Assignment administration > Locally assigned roles selected users can be given additional roles in the activity. See the Using Moodle Custom role for 'Course Monitor' forum discussion for an example.

Assignment capabilities

Role permissions for the activity can be changed in Settings > Assignment administration > Permissions.

Site administration settings

The following configuration options are available for an administrator under Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Assignment. They apply to all four assignment types.

Maximum size

An Administrator can specify the maximum size of any individual file uploaded within the Upload Single File or Advanced Upload of Files Assignment type across all courses on the site. This limit may be equal to or less than course file upload limit

Count

Applicable the Online Text Assignment type only, you can set whether Moodle automatically counts the number of words or letters of a submission. A word or number count is displayed in parenthesis to Teachers and Learners after the Last Edited date and time stamp within the Assignment submission.

Show recent submissions

This option allows everyone to see notifications of submissions in Recent activity reports and the Recent Activity Block, within a course context. Note that the default for this option is Yes which means students will be able to see when classmates have submitted or updated any Assignments.

See also

Restrict access settings in Assignment

Advanced uploading of file Assignment Type Settings

Upload single file Assignment settings

Assignment Module Settings

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