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Assigning Assignments to groups of students

I am a technology specialist trying to support a teacher. The teacher has some students taking a class (Macroeconomics) that has some similar/ same content as a class they previously took with him (micro). He wants to assign returning students in the class different assignments than the rest of the class, but does not want to type everyone's individual names into Canvas. Ideally, he would be able to assign the assignment to "returners" or "new students" even though all students are in the same section/course.  

Creating groups was not the right solution because then you have to make it a "group assignment" in order to assign it to the group of returners. Once something is a group assignment, only one submission is allowed even if you are giving individual grades. 

Can anyone share any solutions? 

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