The Groups and Groupings options provide a way for instructors to divide students in order to work together on activities and have access to specific content. You can also access groups in your gradebook. All user roles including students, non-editing teachers (TA), and instructors can be assigned to one or more groups.

Establishing groups in a course is a part one of a two part process. After creating groups, you need to create group activities. Creating one or more groups does not automatically link them to any course activity.  Once groups have been configured in a course, they then need to be set for use in particular course activities, such as Forums and Assignments.


GroupIf you are planning to use groups in your course you must

  1. Create groups and add students to them.
  2. Set up the activity using the appropriate group mode setting (see below).

There are three main methods to set up groups:

  1. Instructors can manually create groups, assigning specific students to groups. 
  2. Instructors can auto-create groups (this is great for large classes).
  3. Instructors can create Group categories and then have students select their own group by adding a Group Choice activity.

* Two other methods are to import groups from an Excel spreadsheet or to use Team Builder to fill the groups. See documentation on Team Builder.

Important Note: Whatever method is used (manual, auto-create or self-selection), groups are configured based on existing students in the course.  Students who are added to a course later will need to be manually added to a group.  Students removed from a course will automatically be removed from any group they are a member of.  Teachers are encouraged to verify group membership in such situations.

Group Mode Settings

CourseSpaces activities support three group modes:

  • None: You are not using groups.
  • Separate: Group work is enabled, and group members cannot see or access the work in other groups.
  • Visible: Group work is enabled, and work in other groups is viewable by all but only members of each group can edit or add new data within their groups own activities.

Groupings (Advanced Feature)


We highly recommend that you gain an understanding of Groups  before you venture into using Groupings, as set-up and use can be complicated.

A Grouping is two or more groups joined together for the purpose of doing an activity. For example, you may have several smaller groups already created working on specific tasks or projects, but may now want some of those groups to come together to work on a project with a broader topic or to compare notes. If groupings have been created (which also requires groups to exist), an activity can be set to use groupings of groups.

One attractive feature of Grouping is that it provides a way to assign an activity to only one group in a course. Other students and groups will not have access to the activity. Using groupings can also make an activity only display to those who are members of the groups that make up the grouping.