When I first saw that Moodle supported groups I was very excited because I thought it would be really useful to me. Then I got confused and frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to make it "do anything". Looking through the forums, it seems to me that: * There are (at least) two or three distinct notions of "group" at work here * Moodle primarily supports one more than the others * The documentation and discussions made it quite difficult to figure that out
What I was thinking when I saw the word "group" was a sub-group of the class working on a project together, turning in a single product, and receiving some combination of common and individual feedback. It would probably also allow the instructor to by default assign everyone the same grade, but also allow for modifications from that base grade based on things like peer evals.
After lots of digging around, my sense is this is totally not what Moodle thinks when it says the word "group". It seems that Moodle is thinking of parallel (but largely independent) sections of the same class running more or less in lock step at the same time. Within each "group", though, students act as and are assessed as independent individuals.
Various questions in the forums suggest yet another interpretation of "group", which is a collection of people that still act as individuals, but have, for example, a different assignment or a different deadline than people in another group. I would also find this useful, but it doesn't seem supported.
Note also that while one could create different "psuedo"-courses to provide for something more like my notion of "group", this would be a lot of overhead, and particularly awkward if one had multiple group projects during a term with different membership.
I realize that Moodle can't be everything to everybody (at least not at first ), but it would be nice if the documentation was clearer about the assumptions behind the term "group" given the confusion that seems to have arisen in this forum (which is probably only the tip of the confusion iceberg).
BTW, as a Moodle newbie, I think Moodle is a very cool project and really appreciate all the hard work that's gone into it. Thanks to all!
Thanks -- Nic