Technology Enhanced Learning Team


Groups and Groupings: Automatically assigning students to groups

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For: StaffApplication: Administering your module , QMplusTagged: groups

Note: This guide is relevant until mid-August 2022. Guidance relevant to the new QMplus theme will then be available here

Groups provide a useful way to organise your students. Once students are in groups you can use them in a variety of ways to restrict access to content, make administrative tasks easier or to set up group activities. There are a number of ways in which you can assign students to groups including:

  • Manually, by selecting from the list of enrolled users
  • By uploading a spreadsheet with group details
  • By allowing users to self select the group they want to be in
  • By setting up your course area for self enrolment with a group enrolment key

It is also possible to use the auto create feature which allows QMplus to set up and assign students to groups automatically.

Finding the group auto-create feature

From your course page, select Settings > Course administration > Users > Groups 

Click on the Auto-create groups button.


Setting the group creation parameters

In the general settings, you select the details of the groups you want created:

  1. Naming scheme – here you enter what you would like the groups to be called. Use @ to use letters in group names or # to use numbers. e.g. Seminar group @ would create groups called, Seminar group A, Seminar group B, Seminar group C etc. Seminar group # would create groups called Seminar group 1, Seminar Group 2, Seminar group 3 etc.
  2. Auto create based on – here you select whether you wish to define the number of groups to be created or the number of members you want in each group.
  3. Group/member count – here you define the number of groups you want or the number of members you want in each group, according to the previous setting.

Group members

The group members section defines the set of users to choose the group members from:

  1. Select members with role – generally speaking you will want to set up groups containing only students. It is possible to choose from all users.
  2. Select members from cohort/group/grouping – these settings allow you to choose from other sets of users that you may have access to in your course area. Cohorts are groupings of users defined at a level above the course area. You may not have access to any cohorts.
  3. Allocate members – this allows you to specify how you want members to be allocated, randomly or alphabetically. The ID number option does not refer to student ID and therefore is unlikely to be useful.
  4. Prevent last small group – if you have selected to create groups with the Members per group setting, ticking this option will allocate additional members to an existing group rather then create a new group with fewer members than the number you have stated should be in each group.
  5. Ignore users in groups – if you tick this box, QMplus will ignore all users who are already assigned to a group
  6. Include only active enrolments – If enabled, only enrolled users will be available and suspended users will be hidden


If you wish to add the newly created groups to an existing grouping, select it from the drop down menu. You can also choose to create a new grouping to add the newly created groups to or you can leave it set to No groupings

Previewing your choices

You can use the Preview button to check how your groups will be created. You can keep modifying the group creation parameters and previewing the results until you are happy. At this point, click the Submit button to actually create the groups.

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at Queen Mary University of London.

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