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gina_dimaio
Community Member

Hide which student is in which group

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Hello everyone, 

I am working with Canvas for the first time this semester and think it has great features and especially when it comes to the peer reviews. It made my life as teaching assistant much easier by automatically assigning the group essays for peer review.

Our students write essays in groups and need to individually review two other essays. Once they handed their essays in and the deadline passed, Canvas successfully assigned the essays to the students. I want the peer reviews to be completely anonymous. However, some students named their documents according to their groups. Now, students can check in the group section which student is in which group, so they can actually find out whose essay they review. It there a way I can hide from the students which student is in which group? They were allowed to sign up for the groups themselves. 

I am looking forward to some feedback 

Thanks a lot, 

Gina

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @gina_dimaio  Welcome to the Canvas Community, and it's good to see that you're generally enjoying the Canvas feature set.  And the fact that you have already tackled peer assignments successfully is great!

Unfortunately, there is no real clear-cut way to hide group membership from students outside of the group other than hiding the People menu altogether via the Navigation menu in Settings.  This would be true, frankly, even if the groups were not self signup, since even for faculty-assigned groups a student can still go into People and view other groups' memberships if they were so inclined.

Even with disabling People, there might be some other sneaky ways students could ascertain group memberships, but I can't think of any at the moment.  (And they definitely can always see members for their own groups; though I realize that's not what you're asking.)

Unfortunately, I fear you will have to chalk this up to a lesson learned when having students submit assignments that will be peer reviewed anonymously.  Be sure they never display their name on the submission, nor (as you have found) their group membership.  But for now, at least, hiding the People menu should suffice.  But if you plan on having more self signup groups in the future, you will definitely want to re enable it later on!

I hope this helps a bit, Gina!

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3 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @gina_dimaio  Welcome to the Canvas Community, and it's good to see that you're generally enjoying the Canvas feature set.  And the fact that you have already tackled peer assignments successfully is great!

Unfortunately, there is no real clear-cut way to hide group membership from students outside of the group other than hiding the People menu altogether via the Navigation menu in Settings.  This would be true, frankly, even if the groups were not self signup, since even for faculty-assigned groups a student can still go into People and view other groups' memberships if they were so inclined.

Even with disabling People, there might be some other sneaky ways students could ascertain group memberships, but I can't think of any at the moment.  (And they definitely can always see members for their own groups; though I realize that's not what you're asking.)

Unfortunately, I fear you will have to chalk this up to a lesson learned when having students submit assignments that will be peer reviewed anonymously.  Be sure they never display their name on the submission, nor (as you have found) their group membership.  But for now, at least, hiding the People menu should suffice.  But if you plan on having more self signup groups in the future, you will definitely want to re enable it later on!

I hope this helps a bit, Gina!

View solution in original post

Thanks a lot Ken. This is a very helpful answer and we decided to disable the "people" section for the students. Indeed, a lesson learned for next time to anonymize everything properly.  

One more problem that occurred in the automatic distribution of the group essays to the students was that Canvas assigned the same essay twice to the same student.

So each student needs to review two different group essays. Within one group, the students write one essay. What happened was, that Canvas assigned two essays from the same group to another student which means that some students got the same essay twice for review. Is there a way to tell Canvas not only disable intra group reviews but also to make sure students get essays from two different groups?

Thanks a lot for your support

Gins

#peer-review

bboone
Community Member

Hi Ken,

We use groups extensively as well.  Is there any update on being able to hide group membership until the instructor is ready to release that info officially to a section?  This is especially handy when we randomly choose group membership.  We need to be able to hide their ability to view membership until it is officially time to surprise them with their new team.  Please help.