Updated 3/19/20: Option 2 Ignore the warning did not work as expected for and assignment that had been graded.
Students working in groups to learn just learn better. That is what years of research have shown us. Managing groups can be difficult, and not just during class. Canvas has some group functionality that instructors can use to manage group work:
Go to every future assignment and future discussion.
Edit the activity.
Change the group setting from the original group set to the (Clone) group set and save.
Now you have adjusted the groups and all the future group assignments and discussions will be set up for the new groups.
Unless you missed one. And if you did, once there is a submission, you can't change the group set. Your only option is to duplicate the assignment, choosing the correct group set and asking students to submit again.
Keeps an accurate history of group changes.
It is the option prompted by Canvas.
When you import and copy this Canvas site into a blank course site, only one group set is created and all previous group assignments/discussions are set to that "Project Groups" group set
You MUST change the assignment/discussion settings for remaining semester.
If you want to maintain the group assignments to specific group sets when importing, you must create the exact group sets in the blank course site before importing the course content.
The Other Way - Ignoring the Warning
This way may not work for all instructors because it requires one best practice that must always be done when grading Group Assignments:
Once Group grades are entered, edit the assignment and check Assign Grades to Each Student Individually and save.
There may be reasons you are already doing this. It allows you to change the scores of group members that did not contribute or were absent. The key is that this setting LOCKS IN all the grades as individual grades. That gives you the freedom to change the existing group.
In the warning box, choose Change Existing Group and Submit.
That's it, you are done. Future assignments are still using this group set with the newly modified group. Past graded assignments have the grades locked to the individuals and are not changed.
Unless you weren't done grading a group assignment. That's the only condition; you must have any group grading done and set to Assign Grades to Each Student Individually. And this could be a pain if you have many changes to make.
You do not have to change assignment group settings
The change you were intending to make is made.
You have to be sure to check the “Grade individually” settings of assignments BEFORE you make the group change.
You do not have an accurate running history of group changes.
Which will you choose?
You can imagine that which you will choose will depend on where you are in the semester and what your normal grading practice is for group grades. Because Canvas prompts users to clone the group, that is the easiest, safest solution but the additional work of making the group changes and then changing the future assignments/discussions must be done. If you always change group grades to the individually graded option, ignoring the warning might be for you.
*The CBS-RLT Tech Tip is written by academic technologists at the University of Minnesota, College of Biological Sciences. It may contain references to Canvas settings and integrations that are specific to that institution.
My favorite Ideas for improving groups in Canvas. The ones without links are feature Ideas I haven't found yet.
I am currently an Academic Technology Coordinator for Research and Learning Technologies at the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. I collaborate with faculty to integrate existing and emerging technologies into their teaching. My work includes creating course sites, implementing emerging technologies, and designing new instructional and assessment activities. Prior to my current work, I was a teacher for 18 years. I have Masters Degrees in education and plant biology.