Students with need to use self-assignment into groups

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I need to create some kind of clever system in Canvas which enables students to assign their own names into small groups of two or three individuals. We would like to offer them the benefit of choosing their own groups for a small seminar project. Our main group division is very dynamic and complex and it would take a lot of time and effort to organize them into even smaller subgroups beforehand since that can change anytime and it will a lot of confusion and extra workload. It's easier for everyone if students can assign themselves.

Ideally, I'd like to publish an Excel file where they can enter their names but I'm new to Canvas and I haven't been able to understand if it is even possible to create/upload interactive files which students can modify.
Another idea I had was to use quizes for this purpose but I can't find a suitable quiz format.
At the very least I'd like to avoid sending around an Excel list in the mail since our entire University course will be based in Canvas.

I'd be extremely grateful for some neat solutions!

2 Solutions
Community Champion

@OpticNerveHead You can allow self signup in Canvas groups.

There is also an option to Allow Students to Create their Own Groups in your course settings:

If you are preferring the "excel" document, you need to use Office365 or Google and embed it through those tools for it to be a live interactive document.  Otherwise, it is just going to link to a file and every student is going to download that file and not know what to do with it since there is not a way to really share that with the rest of the class from the student level.

Hope that helps!


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Community Member

Hi and thank you for your reply! I will definitely try working more with your solution in the future. Our Uni has a pretty strict system of course and module organising in Canvas, and in some cases it limits the way we can work with content within modules.

For now, I actually just managed to solve the problem in a really simple way - by creating a page with a table and setting the editing permissions to both students and teachers. This way, us teachers can keep track on who's supposed to attend and complete this seminar, and the students can enter their names on their own. 

I hope my question helps someone else!

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