Support from FASE's Education Technology Office "How to" Technical Guides (Instructors)Quercus GroupsHow do I use the UT Advanced Group tool to create project groups in large classes?

How do I use the UT Advanced Group tool to create project groups in large classes?

Unless you are using random assignment, creating and assigning students to project or assignment groups in Quercus can be time-consuming, especially in large classes.

This step-by-step guide shows you how to use the UT Advanced Group Tool (UTAGT) in combination with the native Quercus Group tool to make the process of creating a large number of groups and assigning students to specific groups faster and easier.

1. Use the Groups tool to create a Group Set

  1. In your Quercus course, Select People from the course navigation menu
  2. Add a Group Set
  3. Name your Group Set (e.g., Project Groups Winter 2021)
  4. Select the option I'll create groups later
  5. Save your Group Set
  6. OPTIONAL: Within the Group Set, create the number of groups you would like and name them - this step can also be performed later using the UTAGT (UT Advanced Group Tool)

When naming your groups, use easily identifiable names that include your course code (e.g.,CourseCode_ProjectGroup01)

2. Assign students to groups within the Group Set using the UT Advanced Group Tool (UTAGT)

  1. Select UT Advanced Groups from the course navigation menu (if it’s not already in your course navigation menu, you will need to enable the tool first)
  2. Select Export Group Roster
  3. Select Generate course roster report to download a class roster (for the entire class) from which you will work (if you already have an existing up-to-date roster, use that one, but make sure it is a csv or Excel file format).  
  1. Once ready, your report will be available for downloading in your Quercus Inbox. Download the roster and keep it open - you will need it for the next step.
  2. Go back to UT Advanced Group Tool and Select Import Group Roster
  3. From the Begin by selecting a Group Set drop down-menu, select the group set you created for this purpose in step 2, Section 1 above)
2.1. If you created the groups within the Group Set already (see step 6 in Section 1 above)
  1. Select Batch Import Roster for Multiple Existing groups.
  2. Make note of the Group ID numbers Quercus has assigned to each of the groups you created within that group set.
  3. Copy and paste (or type in) the group numbers next to each student’s UTORid to assign students to the desired groups (it may help to create a column called Group ID).
  4. Once you’ve assigned all the groups, remove all columns except UTORID and Group ID, then remove all column headers. Save the roster file as a csv or Excel file.
  5. In Quercus, scroll to the bottom of the page (you should still be on the Import Group Roster Page), select the file you just saved.
  6. Select Import.
  7. Wait for the process to finish. You should receive a message confirming that the group membership has been updated.  
2.2. If you are creating the groups now in the UTAGT
  1. Select Batch Import Roster for Multiple New groups.
  2. Add Group names directly on your roster, next to each student’s UTORid to assign students to the desired groups (it may help to create a column called Group Name). When naming your groups, use easily identifiable names that includes your course code (e.g.,CourseCode_ProjectGroup01).
  3. Once you’ve assigned all the groups, remove all columns except UTORID and Group Name, then remove all headers. Save the roster file as a csv or Excel file.
  4. In Quercus, scroll to the bottom of the page (you should still be on the Import Group Roster Page), select the file you just saved.
  5. Select Import.
  6. Wait for the process to finish. You should receive a message confirming that the group membership has been updated.

3. Download a group roster

To keep a current record of group membership, download the roster for your group set.

  1. Select UT Advanced Groups from the course navigation menu.
  2. Select Export Group Roster.
  3. From the Specify a Group Set roster to export drop down-menu, select the desired group set.
  4. Select the group(s) you want to include in the export. 
  5. Select Generate group roster report to download the roster.

You can also check the People tool to make sure students are in the correct groups and that you have no unassigned students.

4. Update group membership

Group membership needs to be manually updated. To move people from one group to another or to add new people to groups, you can:

  1. On the People page, you can move students from one group to another or to add unassigned students to a group (these changes will update the group membership in the UTGAT as well), or
  2. You can repeat the steps in 2.1 If you created the groups within the Group Set already

You can move students from one group to another within a group set. However, changes should be made before assigning a group to an assignment. When students are added to a group after a group assignment has already been submitted, their grades and submissions may be affected. To learn more, please see the following Canvas guide: How do I move a student into a different group?