The plugin that I am reviewing this time is the activity module group self-selection for Moodle. This activity allows students to select the group they want to be members of.
This activity module has been around in some format since Moodle 1.4 and the most recent version has been written by Petr Å koda and Helen Foster with the help of other developers.
It helps achieve a similar outcome to the other module Group choice that I reviewed.
What does it do?
You can set up this activity to enable the students to self-select groups from either all groups or a specific grouping of groups. You can set limits on the group memberships and require a global password to complete the selection process.
You will need to have the groups and groupings already created defined.
This is a very useful tool for getting students into different streams of work.
Is it simple to install?
Yes it was easy to install. Using the link from the plugin page for the Moodle 2 download you get a zip called mod_groupselect_moodle21_2011101800.zip. Once you unzip, inside this you get the folder called groupselect. I uploaded this into the moodle/mod folder of my Moodle site. When it was installed through the notifications page it produced no errors. It did bring up two new global settings:
As with most reviews, I left them with the default options for testing.
As with all GitHub hosted modules, the source code is also available to browse.
Is there documentation for it?
The plug-ins page has a very brief overview on the module. There is a Moodle Docs page outlining the basic settings. There are some older forum threads about the module and there is also a link to the bug tracker for it on GitHub.
Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?
Adding this to a course is very easy. Once your groups and groupings are defined, you can set up this activity.
The options provided include:
- Choosing from all groups or restricting to groups within one grouping
- Requiring a password to complete selection (this helps lock the activity until you can explain what it is for and only those with password can use it)
- Max numbers for each group – If you want to limit each group then you can change the 0 (unlimited) to the number you want to use.
- Dates open/close – these allow the activity be available just for these periods.
Only students could select their group when using this activity when I tested, teachers could not.
If you want to use it multiple times per course you will need to create groupings for that.
Is it easy for the learner/student to use?
It is very easy for a student to use. They just access the activity and select their group.
If a password has been set they will be prompted to enter the password to proceed.
Once the student has entered the password submitted, they cannot change their mind. They would need the teacher to intervene to change their selection.
Does it do what it promises?
This is a straight forward activity which does exact as it says. It enables the teacher to create an activity that allows the students to select a group to join. There has been talk of adding more features to this, or even including the functionality in core which would be great! This is one to keep an eye on.
Stars: 3 out of 5 stars for this activity.
These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.