Mr. Moodle Answers: Can I assign students to groups and make assignments conditional?

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Greg, a reader, asks,

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Is it/will it be possible for conditional activities to be set on a per-user basis?  For example, if I’m grading a rough draft of a paper, and I see a kid is confusing the different types of “there”, could I log into moodle and require that he do a “there” exercise prior to submitting his final draft?
and,
Can I assign kids to groups, and then set quiz parameters on a group basis.  For example, for students that need additional instruction, I may want to allow them to take a moodle quiz twice, while the other students can only take it once.
Conditional activities (available in Moodle 2.0) can be based on the completion of other activities, so conditional activities based on students is not possible.  However, there’s a great experimental feature called Grouping which creates conditional activities based on group affiliation.  This is probably the best way to provide A) additional instructional materials and assignments for students that need extra help and B) differentiated instructional activities, e.g. a quiz with different rules.
The way that the system works is that groups are created and then assigned to a Grouping.  Each assignment thereafter can be assigned to the class at large or to an individual grouping (thus creating the “conditional activity”).  To setup your Moodle to support Groupings you’ll need to be running Moodle 1.9.0 or later and access to the Administration panel for the Moodle installation.  Find more information about Groupings here: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Groupings_FAQ
Unfortunately, setting up groupings in a large class, and providing additional assignments based on a student by student basis can get a little squirrely, so I would highly suggest keeping things simple, either by creating a “group” and “grouping” that included all of the alternative assignments.  For differentiated instruction it might create a very good opportunity and efficiency.
For example, the question where it’s outlined that group A might take quiz A with one attempt only while group B might take a variation of quiz A with more attempts could easily be created using the Grouping function.  What’s more you could pull the questions for the quiz from the same question bank.
Thanks for the question!
Keep ’em coming by submitting questions to Mr Moodle here: http://bit.ly/MrMoodle

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