To manage a large number of students effectively you will need to know how to set up and manage Groups on iLearn. Learn how to create groups and assign students to them by exploring the guides provided below.

Groups and groupings: managing group access to activities and resources


Groups can make the task of supporting large numbers of students easier. Understanding the correct setup, use, and limitations of groups can be vital in courses with large numbers. Groups can either be manually created where the convenor assigns members to each group or automatically created where iLearn randomly assigns students to groups.

To create a group:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2. Select Unit Administration.
  3. Select Users then click on the Groups link.
  4. Click Create group.
  5. Enter a Group name and a Group description.
  6. Add a New picture (optional) - this picture will be displayed in forums for example to identify group members.
  7. Click Save changes.
  8. Repeat steps 4 – 7 to add additional groups.
  9. Once group(s) have been created, click on the Add/remove usersbutton to add members to group(s).
  10. To add members, highlight the members you want to add to this group (If the list of members is long use the Search field) and click Add. Group members will appear in the Group members list on the left.
  11. To remove members, highlight the members you want to remove from this group and click Remove. Once you have removed names they will display in the Potential members list on the right.
  12. Click Back to groups when you have finished adding members.

  13. You will now see the Groups with the number of members indicated in brackets:


Grouping is a collection of groups that restricts access to a particular group or groups. Groupings apply to resources and activities. A common use of groupings is to separate students from external and internal cohorts to access different resources and activities.

To create a grouping:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2. Select Unit Administration.
  3. Select Users then click on the Groups link.
  4. Click on the Groupings tab.
  5. Click Create Grouping.
  6. Enter a Name for the grouping (e.g. Practical Grouping).
  7. Enter a Grouping Description.
  8. Click Save changes.
  9. Click on the Groups in grouping icon to add groups to the groupings.
  10. Select the groups you wish to add to the groupings by highlighting the group and clicking Add.
  11. Once you have finished click Back to groupings.

Using groupings

Once you have allocated the groups into a grouping, you can manage access to content. To do this, use settings in the Common module settings section of the respective resource or activity.

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Click on Edit and select  Edit Settings under the resource or activity you wish to apply grouping specifications to.
  3. Click to expand the Common module settings heading.
  4. Decide on the Group mode required.  There are 3 options:
    • No groups - There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
    • Separate groups - Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
    • Visible groups - Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups
  5. Select the Grouping from the dropdown list.
  6. Click on Add group/grouping access restriction.


Importing tutorial or other large group

Importing can be an efficient way to set up of groups for a large cohort. For example, you may wish to import a CSV file of a list of the tutorial class allocations. This list will need to be formatted as required, saved as a CSV file, ready to be imported in iLearn.

Importing tutorial groups from AMIS

AttentioniLearn groups are not automatically updated when your students enrol late or drop out of a unit.  This means it is best to wait until enrolments have settled down to request your AMIS spreadsheet and import the groups.  After you import your groups, any minor changes to group memberships can be done manually.

To download a spreadsheet from AMIS:

  1. Login to Class Management in Student 1.
  2. Click on the Reports tab.
  3. Select Unit list with Practicals and Tutorials Report found under Student Admin Report.
  4. Type in required criteria:
    1. General:
      1. Year
      2. Session
      3. Faculty Code
      4. Excel = Yes
    2. Add criteria
      1. unit code
    3. Output options
      1. Excel 8.0 extended
  5. Submit request to server – an email report is sent to your “announcements” inbox
  6. Save file as an Excel workbook with relevant name
  7. Save File As a Comma Separated Values (.csv) file and format it according to the instructions below.

Formatting your CSV file

Name the first column groupname and second column studentid in lowercase. In the first column (groupname), names of each group need to be entered. In the second column (studentid), student IDs of each group member need to be entered.

To import the CSV file:

  1. Go to the Tools > Unit Administration > Users then click on the Groups link.
  2. Click Import groups.
  3. Click Choose a file to upload your file.
  4. Click Import groups.
  5. A preview of the groups and members you want imported will be displayed.
  6. Click Yes, Create these groups.
  7. Successful creation and allocation will be displayed in green and unsuccessful ones in brown. You can ignore any additional group creation errors such as “group1” already exists for this unit if you can see that it has already been successfully added.
  8. Click Continue to view groups and members.

The group import tool and assigning tutors

You cannot add tutors to the spreadsheet for importing because they do not have a student ID number and this is a compulsory field for a group member.  Tutors must be manually added to groups after the group import has been done.

You can add your tutor manually to each of their groups by:

  1. Go to Tools > Users > Groups
  2. Select the group name from the left hand menu
  3. Click Add/remove members
  4. Search for the tutor’s name, highlight and click Add.
  5. You should now see the tutor appear as a group member.
  6. Repeat for all the groups the tutor belongs to, and for each tutor in the unit.

Turn Groups on at Unit Level for sorting in Gradebook

You need to edit the appropriate unit settings for the Groups drop down menu to appear in your gradebook.

  1. Go to Tools > Unit administration > Edit settings
  2. Scroll down to the section Groups 
  3. For the setting Group mode, select Separate groups from the drop down menu.
  4. For the setting Force group mode, select No
  5. For the setting Default group mode, select none
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Save changes

Now when you navigate to your Gradebook, you will see a drop down menu of your imported groups in the top left hand side of the screen.  Select the group you wish to view from the drop down menu and you will see only those students.

Group selection: allowing students to enrol themselves in a group

The Group selection activity allows students to self-enrol in the group they wish to become a member of.

Attention You must first set up the structure of your groups and a grouping before adding your group selection.

To set up a group selection:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Go to the week/topic where you wish to add the group selection to.
  3. Click Add an activity or resource and select Group Selection. 
  4. Enter a Name for the group.
  5. Enter a Description. 
  6. Select your Grouping from the Allow selection from drop-down menu. This is the Grouping you need to set up beforehand which contains all of the groups you want students to be able to self-select from.
  7. Enter a value for Default max members. Set this to 0 if you want the maximum number of members to be unlimited.
  8. You do not need to touch the Common Module group settings as we have already selected the grouping in step 6.
  9. The remaining options can be left as the defaults for setting up a basic group selection. Click on Save and return to unit or Save and Display to view your group selection.
  10. The following is an example preview of a group selection after students have self-enrolled into groups. Students also have the option to unenrol from groups.

Creating random groups

In your iLearn unit, you can create groups and assign students randomly. The number of students per group can be determined

To create random groups:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2. Select Unit Administration.
  3. Select Users then click on the Groups link. 
  4. Click Auto-create groups.
  5. Enter a Naming scheme. The at symbol (@) may be used to create groups with names containing letters. For example, Group @ will generate groups named Group A, Group B, Group C, ... The hash symbol (#) may be used to create groups with names containing numbers. For example, Group # will generate groups named Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, ...
  6. Select Auto create based on from the available options. This option allows you to decide whether to create groups according to number of Members per group or Number of Groups. 
  7. Enter a Group/member count. This is either the number of members per group or the total number of groups you would like.
  8. Assign Select members with role from the available options. This option allows you to decide whether only students or all members will be included.
  9. Assign Allocate members from the available options.
  10. Grouping of auto-create groups: Select New grouping if you would like to put your random groups within a new grouping, which you can then easily apply to an activity. Alternatively, select a grouping that you have already created, which will appear in the drop-down list. Select No grouping if you do not want to put these groups into a grouping.
  11. Enter a Grouping name if you selected New grouping.
  12. Click Submit.
  13. You will now see the Groups with the number of members indicated in brackets.

Managing groups for internal and external cohorts

Depending on the needs of the course, courses with a mixed cohort (both internal and external students) will contain activities or resources specific to the mode of study. Setting up groups of internal and external students will mean relevant content will be delivered to students depending on their enrolment

To create an auto group for a cohort:

  1. Go to the Tools block.
  2. Select Unit Administration.
  3. Select Users then click on the Groups link.
  4. Click Auto-create groups. 
  5. For Naming scheme enter Internal.
  6. For Auto create based on select Number of Groups. 
  7. For Group/member count enter 1.
  8. For Select members with role select Students.
  9. For Select members from cohort select the cohort for your internal students from the available options. Make sure you select the appropriate cohort ending in _U.
  10. Assign Allocate members from the available options.
  11. Click to expand Grouping.
  12. For Grouping of auto-create groups select New grouping.
  13. For Grouping name enter Internal Students.
  14. Click Submit.
  15. Repeat steps 4 to 14 to create the External group and select your cohort for External Students.

Attention Be careful when selecting the cohort, as there is a long list to select from.

The Grouping and Group is now created. Click on the overview to show your groupings and groups. If you have mistakenly created a Group, it is possible to delete it and start again.

Attention Creating the Grouping using this method will mean there will not be a description attached to it. Go to the Edit settings of the Grouping to add description.

AttentionThis is not a dynamic tool. If a student changes between internal and external study modes at a later date, this will not be reflected in iLearn. You will need to manually remove and add the student to the other group.

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