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Copy Group Settings

Copy Group Settings

Group settings should be included when doing a course copy or Import.


I have a course which relies heavily on an intricate set of groups tied to assignments (it's a negotiations course) so I need to be able to copy the course over from term to term in complete form. Currently whenever I copy the course, the groups are all lost, as well as the tying of groups to the appropriate assignments. Re-creating the groups and then re-tying them to assignments takes an incredible amount of time.



Comments from Instructure

The Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-06-27) indicate that importing a course with group assignments now brings the group assignment settings to the new course; however, upon testing the group structures within a group set do not come with it.  For this reason we will keep this feature idea open for voting.  We will continue testing and update this post as soon as we have more information.


Course Settings and Grading Schemes

Importing Course Settings from a Canvas course export package also imports the grading scheme.


Explanation: When a user imported selective course content from a Canvas export package, the grading scheme was not included in the import. Importing the entire course was not affected. This behavior occurred because Canvas was not verifying grading standard copies if it was part of selected content. Canvas code has been updated to import the course grading scheme when part of selected course content.

Community Participant

I've been dealing with this since 2016 as well, Sarah.  It's ridiculous.  I just checked the list Renee linked above and our request is literally on page THREE -- at least four dozen requests come before ours, which is just pathetic. 

I think the people who are complaining on this thread are the ones aware of the problem -- the instructional designers and course creators who have to deal with this issue often for large groups of people.  I had more than 100 courses that required some sort of group settings for this Fall semester alone.  Some had SEVERAL group settings within each course site. 

My hunch is that if the instructors who use these sites had created them and had to do this group nonsense, the upvotes would be in the thousands.  So unfortunate. 

Community Participant

Dear Canvas, many of us use groups in our classes.  It is a core ability at our College to help our students understand working productively with others in a classroom environment and later in the workforce. 

The feature Copy Group Settings has been a long standing issue for many educators using Canvas. It is a necessary feature since we use it for each class. Each class has to be redone for group settings. I have seven classes per semester. As one of thousands of educators using Canvas, the time spent can be used more efficiently and effectively on more significant learning strategies by having this feature. 

I am sharing my point of view and would like to understand the point of view from Canvas on why this is not moving forward. Thank you kindly. 

Community Member

This would be really useful for "continuation" courses, where the student roster is the same or essentially the same. Often Learning groups/communities continue from course to course with the same people.

Community Participant

I see no reason as to why this hasn't been implemented yet. Please make this happen!

Community Member

Having Group setting configurations copy when the rest of the Course is copied over to a new semester is a MUST. I use Groups in my Canvas Courses and the settings are complex. So it is a huge hassle to have to start from scratch to set up Group functions and settings each time a course is otherwise carried forward.

Community Participant

Our institution uses master template courses that get copied into the section courses each semester.  Faculty have to recreate the groups every time according to our instructor notes and it's a big hassle.  This feature would solve this problem and save lots of time.  Please make the import bring everything into the course!

Community Participant

This issue was just brought to my attention by one of our Blueprint Admins who now has to go into every subscribed course to fix the group setting. I am somewhat surprised that with all the votes and comments, this issue has not been addressed (or moved up on Canvas' radar).

Community Member

This is kind of maddening.  We built group discussion assignments for an instructor in a master course.  When we copied the course to the semester shell, not only was the corresponding Groupset gone, but the discussion had been re-assigned to a generic Project groupset (which had no groups in it), resulting in one giant discussion.  No notification, no warning, just a failure.  Please fix this, Instructure!  It is difficult enough to convince instructors to attempt creative teaching when things work!

Community Member

As an instructional designer who was head over heels to move from Blackboard to the wonderful world of Canvas - I am absolutely shocked at the discovery that this basic feature that I have grown so accustomed to is absent from this top tier LMS. 

Community Participant

I know making a new comment doesn't really help push this up on Canvas's priority list, but since I just had to yet again manually create a group set for an imported course I wanted to come commiserate here..... If only we could get rid of the default "Project Group" and even just copy in one previously created set, leaving it attached to discussions... Smiley Sad One day, right? 

Okay, end of pitty party, haha. 

Community Member

My college is new to Canvas and this is a feature that I was surprised that didn't exist. Like the original poster (in 2015?!), we have a Negotiations course which relies heavily on assignments using group sets/groups - and I didn't realize we would have to re-do these each time the course runs. Please up-vote this ... my sanity may depend on it!

Community Participant

This is my course exactly! It would be nice to be able to carry over students as well, so that all I need to do is add the new enrollments.

Community Member

I was in the process of developing a set of group discussion assignments that involves unique topics for each group. The development of the unique topics within each group discussion requires a lot of time and development and It would be easier to maintain/sustain in the form of a mastered/ blueprinted course if these settings could be copied from course to course. For the course to work presently, I would have to reformat 30 unique group assignments for multiple sections each semester. That isn't the innovation I was looking forward to. I hope Canvas is able to deliver an update for this limitation. 

Community Member

This is the same exact use case that brought me here. Please Canvas! We need Group Sets and Groups to copy!

Community Participant

I have this same problem, and would like it prioritized.

1.  I spent many hours setting up an intricate group structure for a course, and then it did not import the next semester.  So, please work on this.

2.  Now depending on the course, I may, or may not, want student work to import as well.   For example in my year-long research methods course, I want to be able to set-up a group that stays from semester to semester.   On the other hand, in my introductory course I want my lab group structure to stay, including materials that I put in the group, and assignment given to one group or another, but I want all student work to to be deleted.  

So, please include options under group import.  Something like:

1.   Default:  Import groups, but not members or student work.

2.  Do not import any groups (the way it is now).
               Sub option:  make all group assignments individual assignments.

3.  Import groups, all content, and add groups members to the new course.

4.  Import groups, and all content, but not members.

Community Member

This ability would be a huge help for my institution!

Community Participant

I use group discussions in my composition classes. Groups are an essential feature in my class for things like peer review (another poorly-supported feature: Add due date for completing peer review), which I manage through discussions.

I have noticed that if I only use the default group set "Project groups" and add students manually to each group, Canvas retains the proper group assignments in the assignment settings. However, if I use any other name for my group sets, I have to manually reassign each group assignment each quarter for each class. I also like to assign the groups randomly, which always creates a new group set, meaning I can't easily use the "Project groups" option.

I assign a different set of groups for each of the three essays in my class, so students get a chance to work with a different set of peers. I need the course import to copy the group names and sets so I don't have to manually reassign them all the time. 

Community Participant

I'm guessing since this is a much-needed improvement it won't happen sadly.