SPeCTRUM V3 – Handling parallel courses with group settings

There might be small number of cases where a course with a single code being taught in parallel by different departments of different educators. The necessity for this type of courses may be due to a different language of instruction or different academic departments teaching their own set of students.

The SPeCTRUM LMS is equipped to handle this situation when and where it arises.

Overview of differentiated groups in parallel courses

Courses should be set-up with ‘Flexible sections format’ in the Course format and ‘Separate groups’ selected in the group mode, as shown in the following video.


From there, groups can be created and assigned to specific section within the shared SPeCTRUM page.
Students who belonged to a specific group/section will only be to access resources and activities within their section only. Other sections will be unavailable to them as shown in the following screenshot.

The students who belonged to ‘Jabatan A’ will only have access to the ‘Sumber Umum’ and ‘Jabatan A’ Section and all resources and activities there.

Separating course materials

When the Flexible section course format is used, educators can add subsections like they normally have done in the old platform. What’s better, the Section could be collapsed so that what the students sees within the platform is just the educators resources and activities only.
The video below shows the collapsed section in action.


The important thing is, once a Section is locked to a specific group, only members of that group will have access to it.

SPeCTRUM v3 – creating and managing groups

An important feature of the new system is the Program Based Structure by which for each course code, only a single course instance will be created. This is a departure from the old system where each academic gets a course even for team teaching.

The university have concluded that the Program Based Structure is more in-keeping with the Outcome Based Education and the Student Centered principles that serves as the base for UM’s pedagogical approach. All other internal process have adhered to this for example the use of a single pro-forma and a single exam question set for each course. It is high time that the learning management system reflects the greater university approach.

However, for courses that will still need differentiation for valid reasons, one way that could be managed is by using the groups and groupings feature in SPeCTRUM.

What are groups and groupings?

Groups: As the name suggest, you can group students within your class for them to work on a learning task in several groups.

Grouping: A grouping is a collection of groups within a course. Using groupings allows you to direct tasks at one or more groups in your course, so that they can work together on the tasks.[1]

Grouping example

  • You teach students in a course called ‘The Art of Language’.
  • Your students are divided into four groups, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing, and for much of the course they work in these groups.
  • You wish the students to work on a project, exploring passive and active language. You create a grouping Passive Language and assign the Listening and Reading groups to this grouping. You create a grouping Active Language and assign the Speaking and Writing groups to this grouping.
  • Using the Restrict access feature you set certain tasks only for the Passive Language grouping and other tasks only for the Active Language grouping.
    Now the groups can work together, within their grouping, on their respective focus areas.
  • At the end of the project you can bring the groups together in an activity for all participants to share their learning.

For some courses, especially large ones like the university courses, groups have been pre-set by the coordinating PTj using the ISIS system.


  1. https://docs.moodle.org/35/en/Groupings

Creating groups in SPeCTRUM

Please watch the video below to learn how to create groups for you class.

Groupings can be created together with the groups to allow for differentiated grouping when assigning several coursework. Watch the following video.

Working with groups to create group submission

After the groups have been created, you can use the ‘Students submit in groups’ for group submission inside the assignments module or any activities that allows group submission. This function is particularly useful because from one submission, you may mark all the group members together. Watch the video below to look at the settings.

Allocating access to specific groups

Resources can be made to appear or accessible only for specific groups. This function allows for differentiated facilitation within a course for special group of learner, or simply to break up tutorial resources for students with different instructors. Watch the video below.