Groups and groupings - Group self-selection

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This entry relates to Groups and groupings.

icon for the group selection toolThe Group self-selection tool allows students to enrol themselves into groups. Use of the tool can give students a sense of control over their learning and can be more convenient for staff than manually controlling which students are added to which groups.

Group self-selection could be used so that students can assign themselves to a group based on:

  • a time/day that suits them to do lab/field work
  • a subject/activity that interests them for a group assignment – this might work particularly well for project or inquiry-based learning


Note: The steps below assume empty groups have already been created and groups have been added to a grouping.

  1. Access your topic page. Turn editing on using the green button located top left of screen on the topic homepage 
    Turn editing on

  2. In the module where you want to add the self-selection tool, click the Add an activity or resource link located bottom right in each module
    Add an activity or resource

  3. Select the Group self-selection button from the Activities tab
    Add the Group self-selection activity

  4. Give the activity a Name and Description (you can also tick Display the description on topic page). For example, 'Sign-up for a group'.

  5. By setting the Open from / Open until dates, the topic coordinator can determine when participants can join or leave a group

    Timeline block: The 'Open until' date will show to students in the Timeline block.

  6. Set Select groups from grouping to be the grouping containing the empty groups        

  7. Specify the default Min members per group. This option adds notifications for members of groups that do not satisfy the requirements (e.g. at least 3 students per group). 0 means this option is disabled

  8. Specify the default Max members per group. 0 means there is no limit to the number of students per group.

  9. Specify the default Maximum number of groups to participate in. 1 means that the students can only enrol in one group.
    General settings for group self-selection activity

  10. Under General permissions, a topic coordinator can assign several permissions to participants (i.e. students); these include being able to join, leave (until the 'Open until' date is reached) and create groups. If participants are permitted to create groups, further permissions can be set; these include setting the name of new groups, setting and editing group description and setting passwords for joining groups.
    General permissions and miscellaneous settings for group self-selection activity

  11. Click the Save and display button        
    Save and display button

  12. After the Group self-selection activity has been created, overriding the Max members per group setting can be achieved through the Limits tab
    Group self-selection limits tab

Notice regarding suspended users: If a student who has selected a group becomes suspended (eg withdraws or has overdue fees), they will be removed from the group count and their position in the group will become available to other students. If a suspended user is re-activated (e.g. when they have paid outstanding fees), they will be automatically re-activated to the group they chose. In this circumstance, it is possible that the group may have more than the maximum number of members.

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