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In the case of assessed group work it is a good idea for students to be in (and see) their group when they log in for the first time. This entails a MyPortfiolio Administrator setting up the accounts, groups and allocations in advance.

This step-by-step guide takes you through using a spreadsheet file to create LDAP accounts, create groups, add members and admins, and apply deadlines.

You need to by a MyPortfolio Administrator to do this - contact Digital Education about gaining this access.

To bulk-upload many users and groups, use a spreadsheet (CSV file)

Departmental staff need to populate the following CSV (spreadsheet) files with the details of students. A MyPortfolio installation Administrator (n.b. not a Institution Administrator but somebody from Digital Education) then uploads them. Instructions follow.

  1. One CSV file to create the accounts: 
    1. The users file: students_upload_as_users.csv.
    2. Instructions to create the accounts.
    3. N.b. when you upload the file, ensure these are UCL:LDAP, don't force password changes, don't overwrite existing accounts,  don't email students. Do include any staff accounts who need to be in the groups.
  2. A second CSV file to create groups:
    1. The groups file: groups_setup.csv.
    2. Instructions to create groups.
  3. A third CSV file  to put members into groups in their different roles -  do include tutors in the groups:
    1. The file: students_tutors_groups_allocation.csv.
    2. Instructions to put members into groups in their different roles
    3. N.b. Do include any staff accounts who need to be in those groups.
  4. A fourth CSV file based on the third, to be uploaded at the deadline in order to impose it (way which takes least time across the board).

Take care

  • If a user you are trying to add already exists, that spreadsheet will bounce and we will need to remove the duplicate records in order to successfully upload.
  • Using a csv overwrites current settings for the groups included in the csv, so when you upload - either now or again in future - make sure it contains complete up-to-date data you need for any given group.
  • If need to perform bulk functions on groups e.g. applying a deadline, then you need to create those groups using a CSV file (even though it might seem quicker to do it directly in MyPortfolio). This is because although you need the group shortname to carry out CSV functions, the shortname doesn't appear in the group settings. Since creating the group via CSV requires you to supply a shortname, you'll then have it for reference (n.b. store it in a shared place such as the S drive or OneDrive). If all else fails, LTA can dig out the shortname in the database.
  • Ideally local administrators of MyPortfolio Institutions will do these bulk updates. Keep the all-important spreadsheet in a shared folder where it can be accessed by colleagues if necessary.
  • Be careful with the settings when creating accounts - if they are UCL:LDAP (which they almost always are) then don't force password changes, don't overwrite existing accounts, and (usually) don't email students.
  • Where there are several groups, it's far easier for admins if subsequent updates to members are made using the original CSV file. (Requests are quite common at assessment time when staff ask for access for other staff.)
  • Be careful - the CSV file which updates group members in fact overwrites existing membership of the group, so you need to make sure it's up to date.
  • And be careful - when you update, always use the CSV file - because any manual changes you're tempted to make in a hurry will simply be undone without notice if you use the CSV file at a future date.

Excel's top ten ways to clean your data.

How to apply a deadline across several groups

The guidance in this section only applies if students have a Group Administrator role, which you'd need to change to Member at the deadline since Administrators can always edit. If no students have an administrator role, then the (staff) Group Administrator can simply set the editability to end at the deadline.

First make sure the groups are all set to be non-editable by anybody with a Member role after the deadline. Include a deadline in the Editable field.

Prepare a copy of the CSV file which allocated users to groups in the first place; ensure it is up-to-date and accurate; edit it to change all student roles to Member but ensure that all staff roles remain Admin.

Then, at the precise time of the deadline, upload that amended CSV file to Mahara.

Spot check a few groups to reassure yourself that you've done things correctly.

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