Please help, are there “dating services” for online courses?

Do you know of any “dating services” for online courses?

That is, a service by which a cohort of (often 100+) students can put in a few details (e.g. I’m an early childhood pre-service teacher, I’m technically competent etc., I’m interested in X) and on request the software will match up the students in groups of two or more.

I’m particularly interested in software where the students can manage the process.

Context

In a little while I’ll be teaching in a course where the majority of my students are online, but where I do want them to complete a range of activities as small groups. I want to encourage the students to work with different folk and enable them to manage the process with a minimum of fuss.

I’ve been unsuccessful in finding a Google search phrase to find anything interesting.

Perhaps the simplest I can think of is something like

  • Set up an Google spreadsheet for each task.
  • Populate it with the students (rows) and the required information (columns).
  • When the students are ready, ask them to fill in the cells.
  • If there are enough students, have them sort the sheet on the columns so that matches are grouped together.
  • Group members are chosen and deleted.

There’s a bit more to it, but you get the idea. Kludgy. Has to be a better way.

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