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Community Member

Why can't my students see the list of groups available to join for self sign-up?

I have 4 sections in a course and created self sign-up groups for this course with the stipulation that students must be in the same section.  I created a discussion post and students made it a group assignment.  I selected the appropriate self sign-up group, and I saved the discussion assignment.

My students go in to complete the assignment, and there is NO list of groups that they are able to join.  Any ideas?

10 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Jennifer - 

I have a couple of ideas for troubleshooting.

1.  Is the discussion published and available to students? It sounds like you set up the discussion correctly, but sometimes instructors can forget to make it available for others to see and access.

2.  How are students trying to join the group of choice? Are they going through the discussion, or are they going through People first? (Groups: Creation and Interaction, How do I use the People page as a student? )

3.  How are students trying to join the group? If on a mobile device, the best way to join a group is to do so through a mobile browser, rather than the app

If you could reply letting the Community know how things are going, that would be awesome. We can go from there! Smiley Happy

Community Member

Thank you for your reply, Kristin

1.  Yes the discussion is published and available for students.  It is set up to have the same due date for all sections but is not available until a certain time which is different for each section.  I have made sure that all sections are included as well as "everyone else" in the assign to section.

2.  My students attempted to access the groups through the discussion post as well as through People.  

3.  The students are using MacBook Air laptops to access and join the groups. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @jfielden ...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I noticed that there hasn't been any new activity in this topic since January 21, 2018.  Have you been able to resolve this issue?  Are there still any outstanding questions that you have that we might be able to help with?  If you could please come back to this thread to post an update for us, that would be helpful.  I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered", but that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you.

Also, it appears that you've got your first name also listed as your last name here in the Community, too.  Not sure if you wanted it that way or not...but if you wanted to update your last name, at the top right corner of the screen, you can click on your avatar icon (between the bell and magnifying glass icons) and then choose "Edit Profile".

Looking forward to hearing back from you, Jennifer.

Community Participant

I have this same question.

I have the same problem as Jennifer, except that I can't figure out how to make the groups available. I *am* able to do that with my discussions, but when I set the groups up and when I click "edit," there are no date fields or "make available" fields, only options to change the name or delete the group.

People is already dragged out of the hidden categories under settings > navigation, so in student view, my students can see the groups, but each group has a "locked" icon and the message that it "isn't available yet." That's the thing I'm trying to change, and I can't figure out how.

Community Participant

I have this same question well. 

Community Participant

A severe limitation of the "student view" is that the "test student" cannot join groups--if you go into PEOPLE in student view, you'll see the groups are all locked. One must log in with a "real" student account to see group behavior.  That may not be the issue here but I thought I would mention it.

Community Participant

HI all,

I know this has been asked for a while but now I am facing the same issue

- We need to Hide the People tab in order for students to use "Display Name" which is not their real name. People is the only place on Canvas will show real names. So we had to hide it.

- If we hide the People tab, students can't Self-assign themselves to the Groups.

My question is: is there a way for students to use the Self Assign options without going to People tab?


Community Member


I enrolled my students in groups.  I cannot allow them to see people, so is there a way for them to see the groups they are in (and participate in it)?  At present they cannot and for my test students there are no groups (locked or unlocked)