AL Copy of Canvas Groups (Instructors)


This article describes what groups are, why you might use them, and how to use them in Canvas.

Why use Groups in Canvas?

  • Set up student group configurations at the course level for both graded and ungraded assignments and in-class work

  • Facilitate semester-long projects so that students can communicate and iterate on documents together

  • Facilitate faculty professional development and institutional committees or activities

Within Groups, instructors can:

  • View all group activity within their course, including groups created by students as noted in the instructor’s Student Groups tab (by default, students will be allowed to create their own groups as noted in the Course Details tab)

  • View all created groups within the course

  • Manually or automatically create groups within a group set

  • Manually or automatically assign students to groups within a group set

  • Assign leaders to each group

  • Allow students to sign up for their own groups

  • Expand and collapse subgroups

  • Move students into different subgroups

  • Create group collaborations

How to create Group Sets

  1. Go to the People page in Canvas

  2. Click + Group Set in the top right of the page

  3. Define a name for the group set

  4. Allow or disallow students from signing themselves up for groups

  5. Require all group members to be in the same section if necessary

  6. Define the number of groups created and, if necessary, limit the group size

  7. Allow or disallow the system to define a student group leader

  8. Click Save

How to Edit Group Sets

  1. Click the three dots next to the + Group button in the top right of the correct group set tab within the People page.

  2. Click Edit

  3. Make necessary changes and click Save

How to Create Groups

  1. Click + Group in the top right of the correct group set tab within the People page

  2. Define the group name and member limit

  3. Click Save

How to Edit Groups

  1. Click the three dots to the right of the group set and click Edit

  2. Make necessary changes and click Save

How to add/remove students in Groups

  1. If you decide not to automatically add students to groups, you can manually add them by dragging their name from the Unassigned Students column on the left of the page into the desired group

  2. They will be added to the group immediately

  3. You can remove assigned students by dragging them from a group to the Unassigned Students column

How to make a Group Assignment/Discussion Board

  1. When creating a group Assignment or Discussion Board, select the checkbox next to This is a Group Assignment

  2. Groups that are already created will appear in the drop-down menu to select from


How to create Canvas Journals

  1. Create a Group Set for “Journals” with 1 group per student

  2. Create Assignments or Discussion Boards for this group set, and treat them like Journals

  3. Because they are in groups of 1, they are private between the student and instructor

How to Grade Groups

  • When you assign a grade to one user in the Group, the entire group will be assigned the same grade.

How to give one student a lower grade in a Group

  1. Grade all the Group Assignments

  2. Return to the assignment and select Edit

  3. Scroll to the group settings, select the checkbox next to Grade Students Individually

  4. Save the change at the bottom of the page

  5. Return to the grades area to alter grades within a group individually