What I mean about "version control" is this: normally, we run a number of the same units, but in different places (for example Chemistry101 in London and Chemistry101 in Birmingham, etc.) and we do a copy of the course for each. The problem with this is that every time you want to change something in the course, you need to do it in ten different courses (because we have ten copies of it).
This is where groups come in. With groups (and Moodle in "separate groups" mode). You can just have one course and run separate groups on it simultaneously.
So job done, right? No. The problem is that our teachers also normally create learning groups in their units. And there is no way to do both. That is, the London teachers can see both the London and the Birmingham students. Essentially, teachers can create groups, but they are not subgroups but overlapping groups. This leaves too much room for error.
(incidentally, I have looked at sharing files in Moodle, however, building courses this way is much more labour-intensive than simply 'restoring' new ones and, in the end, creates more work, not less).
I hope this gives you a picture of what I am trying to resolve.
From: UK Moodle Users JISCMail list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of M Cooch
Sent: 10 February 2012 10:25
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Help! (subgroups in moodle)
Hi there. I'd like to help but I don't really understand what it is you are wanting to do -or what you are wanting to prevent people to be able to do, hence your altering permissions. What do you mean by "version control between units"? What are you trying to accomplish with forums that can't be accomplished using separate groups anyway?
Sorry for sounding ignorant :)
From: UK Moodle Users JISCMail list [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Leonard Houx [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 10 February 2012 10:05
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Help! (subgroups in moodle)
I have been banging my head against a wall trying to create subgroups in Moodle. What I want is on one hand to have version control between units--which can normally be accomplished by sharing separate groups in one course--and, on the other hand, to allow teachers to create groups-which also can be accomplished using groups. The trouble is you can't use groups for both.
Now, in lieu of Moodle having any proper sub-group functionality, I had an idea for how you could effectively create subgroups in a course. You assign roles within a group. The following is how it could work for a forum.
1. disable teacher's permissions to 'access all groups' and 'manage groups'. So teachers only see their own groups (which would be their 'cohorts' in this case e.g. Manchester, Birmingham, etc.).
2. Create a set of new system roles that give permissions to use forums. These can be called, for example, 'Learning group 1', 'Learning Group 2', etc.
3. Disable student permissions for forums. (This is the most significant aspect of the process. It means that whenever you want students to be able to use a forum, you will need to assign a secondary role to them. For example, if you simply want to use a course-wide forum, you will need to enrol students in the role 'students' and a secondary role 'students-forum' or 'students1'
The teacher should then be able to create a forums and assign students to these forums by assigning roles within the activity. I had sort of accomplished this. Sort of. Or I thought I had. However, there seems to be some problems.
1. preventing teachers permissions for 'access all groups' and 'manage groups' seems to work only in a limited way (they can't see outside of their group in gradebooks and forum entries, but they can still see other users on the 'assign roles' page.
2. The only roles that are appearing now for teachers to assign are student and non-editing teacher.
If anyone has any thoughts on this, especially any solutions, I would hugely appreciate it.
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