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Establish a "teams" feature for differentiation that's available for all Canvas users.

Establish a "teams" feature for differentiation that's available for all Canvas users.


As an instructor, I'd like to be able to create student groups for the purpose of differentiation (not necessarily collaboration). Essentially, I want to be able to create lists of students (ELLs, Gifted and Talented, etc.) that allow me to assign assignments, due dates, access dates, etc. to individual groups of students within the same course. 

When researching the topic to see if it already existed, I noticed that this feature has already been built for Penn State, but I would like to see the feature opened to all users to assist in differentiation. 

Community Champion

 @braxton_thornle ‌, thanks for pointing out the Penn State tool. (I'm not from PSU, but rather from UPenn!) My sense is that the tool you found was developed specifically for that university; while their solution is delivered within the People tab of Canvas, I believe much of what you see on their page is not part of the standard Canvas platform.

You might want to consider voting or commenting on these related feature ideas which, if implemented, could lead to a standard workflow in Canvas for teacher-controlled section enrollment for purposes of differentiation:

And, finally, if you're friends with a Canvas admin at your district, ask them whether it's practical to help you establish parallel sections for differentiation within courses you teach.

New Member

Thanks for the response, Rob! One potential problem I see with managing sections (rather than establishing "teams" within the People tab) is that my district syncs grades and other enrollment data from Canvas with a separate SIS. If I was to establish parallel sections for students within differentiation groups or teams, would their parallel sections interfere with syncing data to their actual, physical sections in our SIS?

New Member

Create a group of specific students that I need to give an assignment to periodically or for differentiation of assignments. It isn't a group of students working together. It takes too long typing each name every time!!!

Community Champion

I love the idea and the term "Teams".  Makes it different from groups, none of the overhead of a group workspace when it's not necessary.  I like this in addition to Differentiate-Assignments , which posits checkboxes next to the student names to more easily select/deselect students in the Assign to field.