While potentially tricky to get used to, groups and groupings are a powerful way staff can manage their topics in FLO and are especially useful with large student enrolments or large teaching teams. What are groups and groupings? Groups are collections of individual users in a topic. A grouping is a collection of groups. Groups and groupings can be applied in a number of ways which will be explored in this article.
There are two types of groups and groupings: those created manually by a user in FLO, and those created automatically by the Student Management System based on student enrolments and class registrations. Groups and groupings can be put to work in FLO in the following ways:
- Administrative uses
- Use in assessments
- Use in communication tools
- The Attendance activity: allows for teaching staff to take attendance during class sessions, or for students to record their own attendance.
- Restricting content and/or activities: particularly useful when a site is a shared topic which combines several cohorts (topic availabilities) into the one FLO site.
Use in assessments
- Assignments: Groups can be used to filter an activity, so you only see the work a particular grouphas done. This is especially useful for tutors only wishing to grade the work of their own students, or for separating marking based on other criteria. This is particularly useful for assignments. When a grouping is applied, individual groups in the grouping can be selected in order to display a sub-group of students to grade. This can reduce the page load time when viewing all submissions and pre-select the students to grade in the grading interface.
- Group Assignments: Group assignments are used when students work on an assignment in teams and create one submission per team. Before creating your assignment, you will need to organise your students into groups and groupings, and apply the grouping to the assignment.
- Quizzes: In much the same way that groupings can be applied to assignments, groupings can also be applied to quizzes. When a grouping is applied to a quiz it enables the filtering of results by groups which reduces the number of attempts displayed.
- Active Quizzes: Active quizzes are a special type of quiz designed to be used in a face-to-face lecture/tutorial setting. Similar to group assignments, active quizzes can be assessed in groups where one student enters the answer and all members of the group automatically having the same grade recorded in the gradebook.
- Overrides: An assignment can have multiple due dates (and other settings) by using a group override. Group overrides can change the dates, timing and the number of allowed attempts.
- Announcements are a special type of forum that are for teachers or administrators only – students cannot add a discussion or post a reply. This special type of forum is ideally suited to applying a grouping to allow staff and students to send and view information applicable to either one group or all. In most scenarios, the “Visible groups” option is the best for an announcements This allows for students to receive and/or filter announcements to only the announcements that apply to them, but also allows students to access announcements to all of the other groups in the applied grouping.
- Other forum types can be created for other uses which can have groupings applied. One useful tip when using a forum in group mode is that it is possible to send one post to all the groups at once.
Most activities or content in FLO can have group mode applied and while it can be complex to get your head around initially, it will empower you to manage your topics in FLO expertly and efficiently. Search the eLearning Gateway for step-by-step articles on how to set up groups and groupings, and contact your Learning Designers or eLearning and Media Support Officers located in your college to discuss how you can make groups and groupings work for you.
Written by Jason Chan and Anthony Couche
eLearning & Media Support Officers – CILT