Information Services

Groups from Timetabling

Learn has been integrated with the University’s timetabling system to allow staff to choose to feed groups into their Learn courses.

Looking for Help with Learn?

From the beginning of the 23/24 academic year, all new courses will be delivered using an updated Learn interface. In order to ensure that users can access support materials for current and previous year courses we have kept old support materials on Edweb pages and created a new Sharepoint Learn site full of useful resources for the new interface.

For Learn resources for current courses, please visit the Learn Sharepoint (University of Edinburgh users only).

Here you can access the most up-to-date information such as:

  • Good practice guidance
  • Training and support resources 
  • How to guides

To access support material for older courses please use the pages below as usual.


Learn Groups and Timetabling Groups

There is now an automated daily feed of student group information from Timetabling to Learn. This feed will transfer group information hosted in Timetabling to the relevant Learn page.

This service is only available to Schools who engage in sub-group student allocation within the Timetabling system.

Managing Groups from Timetabling system

Schools can choose to create student groups within the Timetabling system in consultation with the Timetabling Team. This may be managed by the School internally, or through the Timetabling Unit’s student allocation process. Student groups allocated in the Timetabling system can then be transferred via the automated data-feed into Learn if required.

Any subsequent changes made to group membership and group names within Timetabling will update in Learn through the overnight data-feed.

Decision tree for timetabling groups

When to use

Only activities to which students have been allocated within the Timetabling system will be available to feed to Learn.

If instructors wish to allow students to self-sign (select their own group) then they should create their own groups manually inside Learn and allow self-enrol. In instances where Schools would like these self-sign groups replicated within Timetabling, course instructors should seek best practice guidance from the Timetabling Unit.

Examples of when you would use the Timetabling feed would be if you wanted to provide all students within a tutorial group access to Group-based collaboration tools such as a discussion board, or if you wanted to share teaching content with a particular laboratory group but no others.

Course instructors will be the main users of this service.

Using groups in this way does not exclude course instructors from creating additional groups on a Learn course.

How to use

The process for automatically populating Timetabling groups in Learn begins in the Timetabling system.

By default, Activity Templates within the Timetabling system will have the phrase “Not for VLE” in the User_Text_5 field. This text prevents any activities on this Activity Template feeding to Learn.

To activate the Timetabling to Learn sync, remove the “Not for VLE” text from the User Text 5 field of the Activity Template within the Timetabling system. Schools should contact the Timetabling Unit in order for this to be implemented.

With the Activity Template marked for transfer into Learn in Timetabling:

  • Groups within Learn will be created relating to each of the activities below that activity template in the overnight data-feed
  • Students who are currently allocated to one of those activities in the Timetabling system will be assigned to those groups in Learn
  • On each subsequent run of the feed, students will be added or removed from groups based on their allocation to activities in the Timetabling system
  • Any additional activities which are created under an Activity Template in the Timetabling system will also be added as a group in Learn

Any activities which are deleted in Timetabling, must be manually removed from Learn.

Checking these Groups inside Learn

Course instructors can access their Learn groups at Groups and Users>Groups within the relevant Learn page. All groups generated through this data-feed will be populated with a “TT_” prefix.

Shared and merged courses in Learn

If courses are merged outside Learn using the shared courses option, the Learn groups and memberships created by Timetabling will be added to both the parent course and child courses, if they both exist in Learn.

If you want to know more

Check the Timetabling Groups FAQs page

Check the Timetabling Project wiki