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Community Participant

How to get groups to fill before next group is filled

Here's an example of my question then I will add more detail:

I have 10 groups in my group-set for a discussion board and each group is limited to 2 students. I need group one to fill in 2 people before group 2 starts filling. It should look like:

Group 1: 2

Group 2: 0

Right now, my groups are filling 1 by 1, so it looks like this:

Group 1: 1

Group 2: 1

Group 3: 1 

etc. then once all the groups have 1 person in it, it will go back to group 1 and add the second person.

I need my groups to file and fill before moving to the next group. The purpose of this is so that students joining the discussion board are automatically grouped right away and can begin without have to wait for their group member. I've tried, self-assign (does not work), auto-assign (does not fill group first before moving to next group), pre-creating the groups (works the same as auto-assign). 

I'm not sure what else to test at this point - does anyone know if this is possible? Thanks!

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Community Champion

@jmsmit49 This is currently not something available in Canvas.  My guess is it is to make the groups even vs. full.  I think in most cases, that is the desire for instructors.  

I am missing how this delays anyone.  It takes maybe a second to generate groups so no one would be waiting on the system to determine their partner.  If you have 20 students being auto-placed in groups, no matter how Canvas does it in the background, you would have 10 groups of 2 in less than a second.  

I am positive I am missing something here.  I was starting to come up with work-arounds but I am lost by how Canvas is delaying people.  Groups do not get updated so it is not going to change automatically as people get added to your course (I thought you might have a rolling course which explains your need).  If it is after they complete some other task, this would need to be done manually anyway.  Are you doing this via some sort of a script?  


Community Participant

Thank you for your response @nwilson7 The course is self-paced but enrolled by sections. So group A is together through the whole course. This case in particular is letting students choose if they want to work with a partner (group of 2) or work individually. So when a student chooses "I want to work with a partner" it should put them into a group of 2 (this is how it's currently working). However, we do not know how many students are going to choose to work with another partner which is why we can't pre-create the groups and use auto-assign. which I know is very quick and little effort to create. 

We might have 200 students choose to work with another partner but when you divide the section up into groups of no more than 2, it will create the groups based on how many students are currently in the course, even if half of them do not want to join a group. When a student A chooses "I want to work with another person" and it drops them into group 100 for example, every other student who chooses to work with another student might get dropped into group 55 or group 75 while Student A is still waiting for their partner to join their group 100 before they can start their partner assignment.

The obvious work around for this is set the groups to self-assign and guide the students to choose their own group of 2 but the faculty I'm working with is positive they have seen the file groups 1 by 1 functionality but I've never seen it myself and I think you confirmed this is something Canvas does not do because the other grouping options covers most needs.

Community Champion

@jmsmit49 That makes complete sense, I knew I was missing something.  Unless someone has developed a script (there are some very talented people in this community) I am not aware of a way to do it.  Your work around makes the most sense to me (the self-assign) then people could decide at that point.  You could even have some of the groups named "Individual" so people looking for a partner would know not to add themselves to those students.

Good luck with this one!!!