Overview: Groups and Groupings in Edspora

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Overview: Groups and Groupings in Edspora

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Groups and Groupings are closely related but fundamentally allow for different functions within Edspora.

  • Group – A combination of individual students working together on the same project/assignment in a collaborative model.
  • Grouping – A collection of groups. A Grouping also provides a way to segregate Groups from each other within the same course or activity so their interaction is restricted or non-existent. A grouping can also be assigned to a particular assignment. If you plan on using multiple sets of groups in your class, groupings allow you to keep certain groups together depending on what kinds of activities you want the students in those groups to do. This is ideal for when you want students to be in multiple groups throughout the semester.

Groups can be auto-generated or manually created.  Regardless of the method used, groups primarily function in one of two ways:

  • Each student in a group submits individually – Each student will make their own submission(s) and will not be able to interact or see other student’s postings. If you want students to be able to see each other’s work, consider using another type of activity.
  • A group of students works together to make a common assignment submission – If you want students in a group to make a common submission that represents their joint work. The group submission will not be visible to other groups. If you want students to be able to see each other’s work, consider using another type of activity.

Groups can be used at two levels:

  • Course level – The use of groups can set for the course level making it the default mode for all activities created within that course. 
  • Activity level – Each activity that supports groups (such as Forums and Assignments) can also define its own use of groups.

To learn how to create and modify groups, check out the article: How To: Create and Manage Groups and Groupings.

Group scenarios and options

Create Groups with students working on the same assignment:
Do you want to break students into multiple groups to complete same assignment? (for example both Group 1 & Group 2: write a paper on the same topic)
Do you want students to able to access/view the assignment of the other group(s)?

  • Yes, choose Visible groups.
  • No, choose Separate groups.

If you set the group mode of an assignment to separate groups, Edspora will automatically create an assignment for each group. Each student will see the same link to the assignment. However, a student in a group will only be able to access the assignment in his particular group. (Note: The use of groups assumes the same assignment to each group.)

Create Groups with different assignments:
Do you want to break students into multiple groups to complete different assignments? (for example, Group 1: write annotated bibliography and Group 2: write abstract to the research paper)
Do you want students to able to access (view only) the assignment for the other group’s assignment?

  • Yes, choose Visible groups.
  • No, choose Separate groups.

Then:

  • Create a Grouping for Group 1 only.
  • Create a Grouping for Group 2 only.

Create a discussion forum with one topic:
Do you want to break students into multiple groups to discuss the exact same topic? (for example, both Group 1 & Group 2: Discuss which can jump higher, the dog flear or the cat flea)
Do you want students to able to view the posts of the other group?

  • If Yes, choose Visible groups.
  • If No, choose Separate groups.

Create a graded discussion forum with multiple topics:
Do you want to break students into multiple groups to discuss different topics? (for example, Group 1: Traditional mass transit, Group 2: Bicycles as mass transit)

To accomplish this goal, first create a single Forum, and then post/create multiple topics within that forum and in the process assign each topic to a particular group. A single forum with multiple topics allows you to have a single item/assignment in the Gradebook.

An alternate way in which to have multiple topics is to have multiple forums and assign each forum to a group. However, the downside of this is that you will have (for example) two forums but since the class participants are divided into two groups, half the class will receive a grade in Forum 1 only and the other half of the class will receive a grade in Forum 2 only. This leaves students with a grade of “0” in one of the course assignments which can be confusing from the student’s point of view. For this reason, we suggest that if you are grading the Forum, you create a single Forum and then multiple topics inside the forum. 

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