Difference between revisions of "Proposals/Done/Groups revamp"

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Proposal for changes to the groups (post Mahara 1.4 release)
Proposal for changes to the groups (post Mahara 1.4 release)

Revision as of 18:21, 12 May 2011

Proposal for changes to the groups (post Mahara 1.4 release)


Groups are an integral part of Mahara. They can be used for collaborative work and learners have the possibility to engage in forum discussions, create pages together which they can then share with other Mahara users or put them into their own portfolios at the end of group work. They can also share artefacts which they use in the group pages.

Teachers can use groups to give feedback to learners and to lock down portfolios for assessment purposes.

With the growth of the user base of Mahara, groups are being used in many different ways to suit the needs of individual institutions. Therefore, re-thinking group types, making it easier to find the right group type for an activity and to allow for more flexibility of who can do what in a group has become necessary.

The current group types (up to Mahara 1.4) are often exclusive of certain functionalities that would be desirable to have across the board all types. Therefore, a consolidation of group types with the choice to select options instead of another group type seems to be a possible solution.

Groups and desired functionalities have been discussed in the following places:

The following proposal attempts to bring these discussions together to serve as basis for re-writing the groups.

Permission to set up groups

The image shows which controls site admins and institution admins should have in regard to the creation of groups. From an administrative point of view, institution admins should have most rights to allow them to tailor Mahara to their own institution's needs instead of being dependent on what a site admin decides. Thus, only basic guidelines are set by the site admin.


Group types

There will only be 3 group types:

  1. open: anyone can join
  2. closed: receive invite or request membership
  3. private: controlled membership and members can submit portfolio pages

The table details the individual characteristics of each group type.

  • d: default setting
  • a: admin approval required
open closed private
join d
invite single (on profile page) d a
invite friends d a
invite single and multiple (admin only) d d d
request membership a a
select (put users in group) d
leave d d a
Page creation
anybody d a a
admin d d d
allow author to lock his page a a a
allow to make a copy of locked page in group a a a
Listing of group members
show members to non-group users d a a
show normal members to group members d d a
show only admins & tutors to group members a
always show admin d d d
List on group overview page d d a
Submit page for feedback d
Publicly viewable forums (formerly publicly viewable group) a a


The mockups only show the new functionality as seen from a normal user's perspective. Existing functionality that is only available when logged in as an admin or when certain admin settings are made has not been included in here, e.g.

  • choosing a group category
  • allowing to auto-add new users to a group

When a group is created, its group type determines a number of default settings. Only those that are variable (in the table above labeled "a") are displayed instead of displaying all possible settings from the table above.

Create group


Edit group settings

If this screen can be implemented dynamically in screen 1 then this would be preferable.




Edit access


Find Groups page


Group dashboard of a closed group


The "invite others" button can also be located on the "Members" tab. It appears directly on the group dashboard so that members can invite others easily without another mouse click.

Invite non-members screen

This screen appears when a member (not an admin) clicks on "Invite others" when that is enabled in a group. From this screen they can invite their friends only. They can also send group invitations to other users via the individual portfolio pages. There, they don't have to be friends.

An admin can invite multiple other users - no matter whether they are his friends or not and no matter the group type - from the "Members" tab.


Migration of existing groups

Groups that have been created prior to the introduction of the fewer group types need to be migrated. Depending on the existing group type, they will have additional settings to the default ones in the new group types.

  • Open membership group becomes an open group.
  • Invite only group becomes a closed group.
  • Request membership group becomes a closed group with the additional setting that users are allowed to request membership.
  • Course request membership group becomes a private group with the setting that users can request membership.
  • Course controlled membership group becomes a private group.
  • Standard controlled membership group becomes a private group.