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Set assignment individually to a collection of people (not group)

We have very large classes with thousand of students and dozens of sections in a single canvas course.  We separate the students into two cohorts (group 1 and group 2) so that students in group 1 will be doing lab work during on-weeks and group 2 during off-weeks (so that they work in the lab is staggered).  Each group has about 500 students, but the work students do will be submitted individually. 

We want to setup the "Lab-1" assignment so that group 1 will be due at one date and group 2 at the later date. Apparently this is impossible, two options we found are:
- If we had a few students sure we could add them manually in the “Assign to:” field of the assignment with two different due dates, but we don’t, we have thousands of students with dozen of assignments. This is not an option.
- If I create a group set “Cohorts” with groups group-1 and group-2 and fill them with students, I cannot assign them in the “Assign to:” field of the assignment  unless I check the “This is group assignment” (see footnote), but this is not a group assignment; students submit individually and the submission also needs to carry the late penalty policy if they submit late after the due date. 
Question: can somebody please help and explain how to assign an assignment to a predetermined collection of people so they they can submit individually ??
Thanks much.
footnote: this is crazy to me, it is clear the functionality is there, but it seems to be an artificial limitation imposed for no good reason.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello Ricardo,

Canvas individual user assignments can't be assigned to Groups, but they can be assigned to "Sections".

The simplest way to do this is to create "sections" within the course--say, "Lab-1" and "Lab-2"--and put the students' enrollments into the correct section within the course.


Sections are created by the university, and not by the individual instructors. As an instructor I just want to take half a section and give an assignment with one deadline, and the other half and give the same assignment with another deadline. I can't do this manually (student-by-student) as we have thousands of students in more than 60 sections. The proposed "solution" will work if I could create sections as an instructor, and if multiple sections could contain the same students. But I can't create sections as an instructor and so the "solution" of asking the university to recreate sections and shuffling enrollment according to the instructors desire is not really a solution...

Any other thoughts to solve this ?

PS: a computer app developer would argue that Canvas conflates the concept of "groups" with the concept of "group assignment" when they are two distinct and different concepts. By mixing these concepts Canvas artificially limits groups to have only "group assignments". Please pass this comment to the developers.

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