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Create and Use Groups in a Course


The Groups feature allows an instructor to assign participants to one or more groups within a course. These can function as working groups.

The Groups are set up at the course level, but implemented at the activity level. Having created groups within a course, instructors can, for example, assign each group their own forums and wikis for in-group discussion or group projects.

Part I: Creating Groups
The Groups are set up at the course level, but implemented at the activity level.
Step 1: Enter your LATTE course and click on the Groups link in the Course Administration 
Step 2: On the Groups page you should see two empty panes (“Groups” and “Members 
of”). Click on the “Create group” button to get started.
Step 3: Give the group a name and, if desired, a description and click “Save changes.”
Step 4: This will return you to the Groups page where the newly created group will 
appear in the “Groups” panel. Repeat steps 2-3 until you have created all of the groups 
you will need.
Part II: Adding Users to Groups
Step 1: Groups are only useful if they have members. Starting from the Groups page, 
select your first group (making sure that the group is highlighted), then click on the 
“Add/remove users” button under the “Members of” panel. This will open the 
Add/remove users page for that particular group.
Step 2: In the “Potential members” pane to the right select the user(s) you wish to add to 
the group by clicking on their names. If there are a large number of potential members 
you can narrow the list by using the Search box appearing below the pane.
  • Selecting Multiple (Separate) Names: If you wish to select more than one participant, hold down the “Ctrl” (Mac: Command) button while clicking their names. 
  • Selecting a Range of (Consecutive) Names: To select a range of names, click on a name at the top, hold down “Shift” and click on a name below to select both clicked names and all names in between. 
Step 3: Once you have selected the user name(s), click the “< Add” button. The selected 
names should now appear in the “Group members” pane and disappear form the 
“Potential members” pane.
Part III: Removing Users for Groups
Step 1: Starting from the Groups page, select your the group you wish to remove users 
from (making sure that the group is highlighted). Then click on the “Add/remove users” 
button under the “Members of” panel. This will open the Add/remove users page for that 
particular group.
Step 2: To remove a user from a group, click on their name in the “Existing members” 
pane and then click on the “Remove >” button. This will remove the name from the 
group and return it to the “Potential members” pane.
Part IV: Auto-create Groups
If you want to automate or randomize which students appear in which groups, you can 
use the “Auto-create groups” button. This is useful for breaking large classes down into 
manageable chunks, particularly if you will be assigning students to discussion or lab 
groups rather than allowing them to sign up for groups.
Step 1: Enter your LATTE course and click on the Groups link in the Administration 
Step 2: On the Groups page click on the “Auto-create groups” button below the 
“Groups” pane on the left of the page.
Step 3: If you wish to determine how the groups are generated, click the “Show 
advanced” button. If you don’t mind randomly generated groups, ignore the settings 
marked with green asterisks and skip steps 6 and 7.
Step 4: If you only wish students (not instructors or grading TAs) to be automatically
added to the groups, select “Student” from the “Select members from role” drop down
Step 5: The “Specify” drop down menu offers you the choice to determine either then 
number of groups or the number of members per group:
  • Number of groups: will generate the number of groups you specify in the next step, LATTE will figure out how many members each group should have.
  • Group/Member count: will generate groups with the number of members you specify in the next step, LATTE will figure out how many groups that requires.
Step 6: If you are specifying the “Members per group,” you may use the Advanced 
setting “Prevent last small group.” If the number of students in the course is not evenly 
divisible by the number of group members you specified, LATTE will (by default) create 
an additional group for the remainder of the students. If you wish to prevent this, check 
the “Prevent last small group” box. Doing so will add the remainder of the students on to 
other groups.
  • Example: You have 10 students and specify 3 members per group. Leaving the box unchecked with create three groups of 3 and one group of 1. Checking the box will create two groups of 3 and one group of 4.
Step 7: By default LATTE will randomly select members for each group. If you would 
prefer alphabetical groups, use the Advanced setting “Allocate members” drop down:
  • Randomly: Default setting.
  • Alphabetically by first name, last name: Groups users together by their first name.
  • Alphabetically by last name, first name: Groups users together by their last name.
  • Alphabetically by ID number: Groups users together by their LATTE ID number.
Step 8: The “Naming scheme” box allows you to control how groups are named. For 
  • By entering a name like “Work Group @” the “@” character will be replaced by sequentially generated letters, A-Z, producing groups named “Work Group A”, “Work Group B”, etc.
  • By entering a name like “Week #” the “#” character will be replaced by sequentially generated numbers, producing groups named “Week 1”, “Week 2”, etc.
Step 9: Click the “Preview” button to see a preview of how the groups will be generated. 
If you do not like these groups, you can alter the settings and click “Preview” again to 
view how the settings alter the groups.
Step 11: Once you are satisfied, click “Submit” to generate the groups. This will return 
you to the Groups page, where you will see your newly generated groups.
Part V: Using Groups when setting up Activities

Groups can be used to allow participants to work together in separate Activities. They are 
most commonly used in Forums to allow groups to talk among themselves. Groups can 
be used in Assignments, Chat, Choice, Database, Forum, Questionnaire, Quiz, and Wiki.
Assigning Group Activities

Note: You must first set up groups on the course level for group activities to work. (See 
Part I of this guide for instructions on setting up groups)

Step 1: Enter your LATTE course and turn editing on.
Step 2: In the selected module, click the “Add an Activity or Resource”
option box.
Step 3: From the drop-down menu, select the activity you want.
Step 4: The “Add an Activity or Resource” page will open. Enter a name for the activity 
and summary if required.
Step 5: In the “Common module settings” section the “Group modes” drop down will 
allow you to determine how groups will be used in the activity.
  • No groups – groups not used, everyone is part of one big group. E.g. in a forum, all participants will use the same forum.
  • Separate groups – groups are used, each group can only see their own group’s work. E.g. in a forum, each group will have its own forum and participants will be unable to view other groups’ forums.
  • Visible groups – groups are used, each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups’ work. E.g. in a forum, each group will have its own forum and participants will be able to view other groups’ forums
Step 6:  Save changes.
Part VI: Using Group Forums

Groups are most commonly used in Forums. Using groups in Forums allows the 
instructor to create individual forum discussion threads for each group. These separate 
discussions can be used to provide groups with a space in which to communicate about 
group projects or to respond to discussion questions collaboratively.

Set Up a Forum for Group Use

Step 1: Create a General Forum in your LATTE course.
Step 2: Once you have named the forum and determined its other settings, select either “Separate groups” or “Visible groups” from the Group mode drop down menu.
  • Separate groups: use this setting when you do not want groups to view each other’s work. For example, if you want to pose a single question (or set of questions) to the whole class, separate groups will allow each group to respond to the question(s) without being able to view other group’s responses.
  • Visible groups: use this setting when you do want groups to be able to view each other’s work. For example, if you want to assign each group a different question (or set of questions), visible groups will allow each group to work on their own questions and to view other groups’ responses to their questions.
Step 3: Click Save and return to course.
Creating Group-Only Forum Discussions

Step 1: To create a forum thread for a specific group, click on the forum you would like to alter.

Step 2: While inside the forum you can decide if you would like to make a forum post for a specific group or for all of the groups from the drop down menu next to "Separate Groups."

Step 3: Click the “Add a new discussion topic” button.

Step 4: Post your discussion topic and click the “Post to forum” button.

Step 5: Having returned to the Forum page, repeat steps 1-3 for any other groups (or 
discussion topics).

Step 6: Once you have created all of your discussion topics, return to the forum page. To 
view all topics in the forum, select “All participants” from the Separate/Visible groups 
drop down menu. You will see a complete listing of discussions in the forum with a 
column specifying their group.

If you only want to see the discussions for a specific group, select that group from the
Separate groups menu.