Project Description

Forming effective groups with Moodle’s Team Builder tool

By Christopher Fulton, Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement

Team-based learning combined with active learning techniques can help students internalize, understand, and remember material (Eliason, 2022) and enhance communication skills (Jackson & Riebe, 2014), and various ways of forming groups can facilitate student activities, e.g., random, self-selected, mixed, or instructor-generated groups (Baepler, 2016).

This post describes how a Team Builder tool in Moodle can facilitate the formation of instructor-generated groups. While research on the composition and selection of groups is not conclusive, several approaches to instructor-generated groups are outlined below.

Effective instructor-generated groups can be formed based on:

  • a topic that a group of students would like to study,
  • a time that members are available to meet outside of class,
  • a role in the group, e.g., leader, reflector, encourager, questioner, etc. (Center for Teaching and Learning),
  • fostering variety within groups, e.g., leadership skills, language ability, etc.

The Team Builder activity in Moodle facilitates the creation of groups in Moodle based on survey responses from students.



  1. In Moodle, turn editing, select Add an activity, then click on Team Builder.
  2. Give the activity a name, e.g., Assignment for group project 1.
    • Set opening and closing dates. Note that you cannot edit your questions after the survey opens.
  3. Add questions by filling in the blanks, then click on Add a new question.
  4. Students answer the survey questions in UMMoodle.
  5. Teacher builds teams using Team Builder activity after the survey’s end date.
    • Choose the number of teams you want to create.
    • Assign students to teams based on criteria, i.e., responses to questions.
      • Click build teams to create teams.
      • Review the composition of team members by clicking on the names in each Team to see how each student responded.
      • Reset if the composition of the teams is not right.
    • Or, assign students to teams manually, by dragging names into teams.
      • Students who did not respond can be allocated to a team.
    • Only when you are satisfied with the composition of the teams, then click create groups.
    • The members of the groups will only appear under Participants and can be revised on the page Groups.
  1. Students will not know to which group they have been assigned. So, one way for team members to meet one another is by creating a forum with groups enabled so that students can introduce themselves to their group members. In the settings for an activity, set the group mode to visible or separate groups, and select a grouping.

Video: Team Builder Demo

Activities that work with groups / groupings on Moodle


Baepler. (2016). A guide to teaching in the active learning classroom : history, research, and practice (First edition.). Stylus Publishing. (Ch. 6; Ebook Central)

Brame, C.J. & Biel, R. (2015). Setting up and facilitating group work:
Using cooperative learning groups effectively. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.

Center for Teaching and Learning, Washington University in St. Louis. (2022) Using Roles in Group Work.

Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo. (2022). Group Roles: Maximizing Group Performance.

Eliason, S., (2022, February 8). Active Learning Ideas, Center for Teaching & Learning at Brigham Young University.

Jackson, Sibson, R., & Riebe, L. (2014). Undergraduate perceptions of the development of team-working skills. Education & Training (London)56(1), 7–20.

UNSW Teaching. (2022). Create Moodle Groups and Groupings using Team Builder.