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Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users

Picture of Michael Grills
Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users

Hello everybody,

I am trying to get my head wrapped around users cohorts and groups.

I have read the documentation on the site but I still don't quite grasp the philosophy or the underlying usage.

Can anybody point me to some good resources on this topic. More examples of how they used it etc.



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Picture of Craig Hagerman
Re: Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users

I'm relatively new to Moodle so I could be wrong ... but this is my understanding:

   Think back to high school. Cohorts are like your 'year'; all the students that started together and progress from one year to the next together. Groups are the classmates within a class. Grade 12 could be a cohort. Perhaps there is a Biology teacher that teachs two grade 12 Biology courses. The courses are identical, but are taught to different groups of students - that is the groups. 

   That is the way that I have things set up. I just use Moodle for myself so don't use cohorts at all. But I do use courses. I have AB and BB classes of students (for example) where they take the same course and so need to see the same course page within Moodle. But they need to be kept separate for grading and for inter-class activities.

- Craig


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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users
Particularly helpful MoodlersTesters

You guys (as we say in the eastern US) failed to consider "Groupings," a mysterious half step between Groups and Cohorts.

I don't get the documentation either (Mary Cooch, The Moodle Documentation Fairy might help here), but here's what I do.

Groups inside a classroom using course setting "force seeparate groups > yes" prevents other groups from seeing what other groups are doing in activities.

I use Groupings to make resources available only to certain students, which Groups does not apparently do.

I do not yet grok what cohorts do.

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Picture of Travis Wilhelm
Re: Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users

There are many different examples, but I will provide some in my situation of a secondary school.

In summary, everyone who has an account is a user. Eg. all teachers and students are users.

Groups are groups of users within a course. For example, we have a language course used by all Year 8s, but within that course they are grouped according to which teacher they have.

Groupings are groups of groups within a course. I haven't made much use of this to give a practical example, except in some cases features require groupings rather than groups, so adding each group to their grouping might allow these sorts of things. I would love clarification from someone about this!

Cohorts are groups of users within the site. For example, "Year 10" or "Teachers" might be cohorts.

Hope this helps!

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Mary Cooch
Re: Understanding Groups - Cohorts - and Users
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

These might help: Groupings FAQ and 1.2 in Groups FAQ

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