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Configuring Tools of Groups

Having created a group you can now provide it with collaborative tools in the tab "Tools." If you want to modify your configurations later on (e.g. deactivate some tools) you have to do this via the tab "Groups." Click on that group's title and open the menu item "Administration." In the tab "Tools" you can now activate or deactivate collaborative tools.

In the tab "Tools" of the context-sensitive help you will get more detailed information on available group tools.

If the tool "Information" is activated and saved you will be able to edit the information meant for your group members right beneath the list containing all tools. If you have activated and saved the calendar setting you can configure the write permission regarding the group calendar. If you activated and saved OpenMeetings, a virtual classroom is at the group's disposal.

Each tool can only be used once in a group. It is therefore not possible to e.g. provide your members with more than one folder. If you want to work with more than one forum or Wiki or if you want to provide documents in more than one folder it is better to use course elements instead. Link one or more courses to the group, and configure the courses or the course elements to be only visible or accessible to the respective group.

If the tool "E-mail" is activated, non-members of a group are able to use the mail function and contact group coaches and/or participants.


Managing Members of Groups

In the tab "Members" you determine if members should see each other or not, and whether non-member will be able to see group members. The waiting list can also be made visible. Additionally, you can add more group members.

There are two different ways to allocate members to a group:

  1. OpenOLAT users enroll on their own.
  2. The course owner or group coach allocates members to groups.

To enable users to enroll themselves, the group must either be published, or accessible through the course element "Enrolment". Public groups are suited for projects or course independent trainings. The first option is suitable for groups with many participants, for participants you do not know yet or for participants who should decide on their own in which group or topic they want to register (e.g. when assigning tasks to be performed in groups). When configuring the course element, please determine in which group(s) your participants should be able to register. For more information about publishing groups, please refer to the section "Access Control".

The second option is suitable for participants you already know in which groups they belong and if you want to make sure that only those will be able to register who qualify for your group.

Participants are added in the lower section of the "Members" tab in the group administration. Participants can use collaborative tools and see each other in the OpenOLAT chat. In order to add members, open the group either from the members management in the course or via the main navigation item "Groups". In the course members management, click on "Groups" in the left navigation, and enter the group by clicking on the "Edit" link next to the group name. In the group, open the tab "Members" and add group members as either coach or participant:

Coach: Appoints or deletes members as well as provides groups with collaborative tools. In addition, a coach has access to the assessment tool, if one or more courses are linked to the group. Coaches also have the rights to delete a group.

Participant: Uses the collaborative tools of a group.

The classic role of a tutor can be represented in OpenOLAT by means of those coach rights mentioned above.

When clicking on the icon "Download table" (underneath the button "Add users") an Excel file containing all owners or participants of a group will be generated.


If you enable the option "Members can leave the group", group participants are allowed to leave the group on their own volition. If not checked, you will be notified via mail if a member wishes to leave the group.



Link Courses

A group can be linked to several courses, and a a course may have several embedded groups. There is no restriction by OpenOLAT.

Groups are often used in courses for controlled enrollment, for the assignment of papers or to register for field trips. Groups and courses can be linked in two ways:

  • In the group, under the tab "Courses" in the group administration: as a principle, you can link only those courses in which you are enrolled as owner. Just click on the link "Link course" to the right of the course name.
  • In the course members management as well as in the editor view of individual course elements: You can either use the button "Create Group" to create a new linked group, or add an already existing group you own via the button "Add group". If you are in the editor view on course element level, you can also create new groups under the access and visibility tabs. The same goes for learning areas.

In the group, the menu item "Course" provides access to all linked courses, while all embedded groups can be accessed in the members management in the course.