M06a1 - Behaviour of CMIS group imports to Moodle

When editing the Portico enrolment block in Moodle, there is a checkbox, ALLOW GROUP IMPORT that allows a Moodle course to import and stay synchronised with groups that have been associated with a module in CMIS. 


Note: This function has been inactive for some time but became active again at 5.00pm on 22 Sept. 2021.

As the ALLOW GROUP IMPORT switch has been available but inactive for some time we have taken the precaution of unchecking this preference in all Moodle course's portico enrolment blocks, this was done to prevent any unwanted portico group imports in courses where administrators have left this preference checked but unreviewed.

Those wishing to use this re-introduced functionality are advised to read this documentation explaining the behaviour of CMIS group imports before enabling them.

It's important to note Group synchronisation only applies to module sub-groups, such as tutorials, seminars and labs attached to a particular module. Class groups, which are groups not belonging to a particular module that are set at the programme level, are not synchronised .

Groups can also be created manually in Moodle, which gives flexibility but also the potential for confusion regarding how differently created groups should be administered.

To prevent confusion groups should only be administered in the platform from which they originate i.e. Groups created in CMIS should continue to be administered in CMIS, while groups created in Moodle should be administered in Moodle.

Groups created in CMIS will, during import to Moodle, have CMIS appended to their names allowing users to differentiate - e.g.  Tutorial group 1  would have been created in Moodle while  Tutorial group 1[CMIS]  would indicate the group has been imported from CMIS. 

To help prevent confusion the following table outlines some different scenarios


Portico Mapping is activated

Allow Group Import enabled


A Module has been mapped to course ECON0001YesYesOvernight Group(s) are created in Moodle. Students enrolled on the course are placed in group(s) mirroring the group(s) they belong to in CMIS.
ECON0001 already has groups imported from CMIS, but then all Portico mappings are disabled or  Allow Group Import is unchecked.NoNoThe imported groups remain in Moodle but are no longer synchronised, i.e. changes to groups made in CMIS will not update Moodle groups. 
Note that if Portico mapping is reactivated with the same module(s) mapped, CMIS groups in Moodle will re-synchronise.

ECON0001 already has groups imported from CMIS, but then Portico mapping to particular module(s) are removed.

n/an/aGroups previously created for recently unmapped module(s) remain in Moodle but are no longer synchronised.
ECON0001 has a portico group e.g. Tutorial Group 1[CMIS], but this is renamed manually in Moodle for example to Seminar Gr. 1YesYesGroup import will continue to synchronise the group in CMIS called Tutorial Group 1 with the Moodle Group Seminar Gr 1 as group import while enabled, uses a hidden unique identifier to maintain a link between the two groups - to prevent confusion we advise that names of Moodle groups created by CMIS import are not manually renamed in Moodle. (For the exception to this see below).
ECON0001 has a CMIS group e.g. Tutorial Group 1 imported to Moodle as Tutorial Group 1[CMIS] - the group's name in CMIS is then changed to Seminar Group 1 YesYesDespite being named differently the groups will continue to be linked and synchronised  - to prevent confusion we advise manually renaming the Moodle group to match its new CMIS name e.g.  Seminar Group 1[CMIS] 
In Moodle student(s) are manually added to one or more CMIS mapped groups.YesYesMoodle will allow this to be done but during the overnight synchronising of CMIS and Moodle groups the newly added student(s) will be removed from the Moodle groups they've been placed in. While synchronisation is active the groups should be administered in CMIS.
In Moodle student(s) are manually removed from one or more CMIS mapped groups.YesYesSimilar to the scenario above, Moodle will allow the removal of students from Moodle groups but overnight they will be re-added to the groups from which they've been removed. While synchronisation is active the groups should be administered in CMIS.