Group assignment, self-sign up from submission page


Canvas has a setting, which allows students to self-sign up to groups when using group assignments. However, the submission page does not tell the student how to sign up or submit as a group at all.

We often do group submissions in “larger” courses with 200+ students. When self-sign up is used, students often get confused and have to ask for specific instructions on how to sign up to a group.

This is time consuming and causes frustration. Students often end up submitting individually or sign into the wrong group, which again causes problems when grading assignments.


* Self-sign up should be available directly from the submission page.

  That would allow students to submit and sign up to a group at the same time, from the same location. Which would      eliminate some of the need for specific instructions. 



Community Participant

I concur! This causes lots of confusion indeed.

When it's a group assignment and the group set is set to "self signup", there should definitely be a button to select a group directly in the assignment. Furthermore, students should not be able to make a delivery without selecting a group, or at least get a warning about this.

Community Participant

I agree. This is a great source of frustration and confusion. As a fail-safe, you could also add the option to make group membership mandatory before being able to submit. 

My top 2 wishlist for improved group assignments:

1) Make it possible to add a separate deadline for forming groups. If you are not part of a group close to the deadline, bring up a warning and display available groups when logging on to Canvas.

2) Add the possibility to make group assignmenst mandatory, effectively preventing individual hand-ins and the confusion this causes.

Community Champion

 @arild_schanke  (and everyone), there are existing feature ideas related to both parts of your wishlist:

Please consider upvoting and commenting! Thanks in advance.

Community Member

And due to the possibility of students changing groups after assignment submission the following fix is also important: 

Community Participant

Absolutely, this is very important! We have had several cases where students have joined other groups to copy submissions.. There are many issues with group submissions + self sign up. Some of these issues should definitely be a priority to change due to the severity of the problem.

I find it strange that ideas concerning self sign up have so few votes when the group system has so many obvious flaws. 


But I guess we will just have to cross our fingers and wait.

Community Participant

I concur! I recently switched to Canvas from Blackboard, which has a feature like this. There should be the capability to post a group sign-up page (ideally attached to the assignment) that shows students only groups in the group-set attached to an assignment. I use a lot of groups sets in large classes, and it is EXTREMELY difficult for students to find the right group to join in the current interface.

Community Participant

Yep! We are still having massive issues using the group submissions + self signup, i probably spend 1/3 of my time cleaning up / fixing group submissions and plagiarism cases due to students signing into other students groups.

I have just testet the new "assignment workflow" which looks very promising! I am really hoping they will make group submissions a priority for this new workflow as it's currently on the "not supported" list:

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

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