Setting up and managing large groups of students can be tiresome. Fortunately Moodle provides a few tools to help ease the pain.
Firstly, automatic group creation. Simply specify how many groups you would like or how many students you want per group and Moodle will do the rest. With a few clicks of the mouse you have your course divided neatly into groups regardless of whether you are dealing with five or five hundred students.
Here is some documentation that explains more about how to do that. http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Auto-create_groups
Secondly, teachers can also be made members of groups. This is handy for assigning tutors or group supervisors to work with a specific group. Assigning a tutor a specific group they need to look after is a great way to clearly divide the students between tutors to prevent doubling up and to also reduce the chance that some students will simply pass under the radar.
Ok, so its still going to be a pain to manage the 500 students doing “intro to chemistry” but hopefully this makes it a little easier.