Groups and Cohorts in Moodle

Groups and cohorts are both collections of students. There are several differences between them. Cohorts enable administrators to enroll and unenroll students all together, whereas groups enable teachers to manage students during a class.

Cohort is a group of students working together through the same academic curriculum. For example, a group of students all enrolled in the same course. A group is as a subset of students enrolled in a course. Groups are used to manage various activities within a course. Cohort is a system-wide or course category-wide set of students.

How To Create a Cohort

  1. From the main menu, navigate to: Site administration → Users → Accounts → Cohorts
  2. On the Cohorts page, click on the Add button. The Add New Cohort page is displayed.
  3. Enter a Name for the cohort. This is the name that you will see when you work with the cohort.
  4. Enter a Cohort ID for the cohort. If you upload students in bulk to this cohort, you will specify the cohort using this identifier.
  5. Enter a Description that will help you and other administrators remember the purpose of the cohort.
  6. Click on Save changes.

Adding Students to Cohort

Students can be added to a cohort manually by searching and selecting them. They can also be added in bulk by uploading a file to Moodle.

If you add a student to a cohort, that student is enrolled in all the courses to which the cohort is synchronized. If you remove a student from a cohort, that student will be unenrolled from all the courses to which the cohort is synchronized.

How To Add Students

On the Cohorts page, for the cohort to which you want to add students, click on the people (assign) icon.

The Cohort Assign page is displayed. The left-hand side panel displays users that are already in the cohort. The right-hand side panel displays users that can be added to the cohort.

Cohort Sync

Using the cohort sync enrollment method, you can enroll and unenroll large number of students at once. Cohort sync involves several steps:

  1. Creating a cohort
  2. Enrolling students in the cohort
  3. Enabling the cohort sync enrollment method
  4. Adding the cohort sync enrollment method to a course

Adding Cohort Sync Enrollment Method to Course

  1. Log in and enter the course to which you want to add the enrollment method.
  2. Navigate to: Course administration → Users → Enrolment methods
  3. From the Add method drop-down menu, select Cohort sync.
  4. In Custom instance name, enter a name for this enrolment method. This will enable you to recognize this method in a list of cohort syncs.
  5. For Active, select Yes to enroll the users.
  6. Select the Cohort option.
  7. Click on the Save changes button.


A group is a collection of students in a course. Outside of a course, a group has no meaning.

Managing Students with Groups

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