Tag Archives: communities

What is the difference between a community and a shared group?

Communities and shared groups are excellent ways to encourage online collaboration, discussions, and the exploration of new ideas. Which one should you use in your module though? The bullet points below should help you distinguish between the two.

Shared Group

  • When you add people to a share group, that group will not appear in their ePortfolio – it is a mechanism to allow you to share with them.
  • This tends to be for smaller group numbers.
  • Shared Groups cannot be searched for.
  • People can be added to a shared group without having to join (or request to join).
  • Students are automatically in a shared group with their tutor. This group is called “My Tutors”


  • Once in a community, all members of the community can contribute to the community. It does not have the same ‘one direction sharing’ of a share group.
  • Tends to be for larger groups but can still operate well with smaller numbers.
  • You can search for a particular community (even if it is a private community)
  • If the community is public, you can join immediately. If it is private, you have to request to join. The owner of the community will then decide whether you are able to join.

If you would like some more help with communities or shared groups, please contact Graeme Boxwell in QuILT. – graeme.boxwell@ncl.ac.uk, or ext. 3903.