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More section control for group creation

More section control for group creation

(3)
This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For additional information, please read through Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-12-10).


When creating groups with the option to "Split Students into X Groups" that should also have an option to restrict to same section.

 

Also, when viewing the groups and who is not in a group. There should be a filter by section option.

24 Comments
RobDitto
Community Champion

Voted! Since splitting students into groups is a form of random assignment, I believe this is similar to the old community's Option to Create Randomly-Assigned, Within-Section Groups.  That old feature discussion was of interest to mg2695,  @bbrown , Deactivated user, hallmans and others.

Our institution has some specific needs which seem to fit into this idea, but I wonder whether they actually need separate feature ideas. 

  • Does this feature idea apply to self-signup?  We'd like filtering by section to apply to students signing up for groups in a course.  Teachers here would like to enforce that, say,  Groups 1-10 are for students in Section 1 only, and Groups 11-20 are for students in Section 2 only.
  • Might this feature idea apply to combining subsets of sections for filtering/splitting?  Sometimes we need subsets of groups in a set/category/tab to apply to some, but not all, sections -- e.g., Groups 1-20 are for students in Sections 1 and 2, but Groups 21-30 are for Section 3 students only.  This use case is needed both for random assignment and self-signup.
woodsdm2
Community Contributor

Another useful option with group assignment would be to create some groups manually, and then randomly assign the remaining students.

I find that I usually have a mix - some students want to form their own groups and others don't care.  So I end up creating all of the groups manually.  First I create the groups that have organized themselves and then use an external tool to randomize the remaining students.

RobDitto
Community Champion

In your use case, would the random assignment at the end of group formation need to be within sections?

woodsdm2
Community Contributor

No - I don't make use of sections so all group assignments are from all students in the course.

RobDitto
Community Champion

Good to know, thanks. In keeping with the How to write a good feature idea submission guidelines, randomly assigning "laggards" who don't self-signup may need its own feature idea.

johnpj
Community Contributor

This may be implicit in your idea, but it is very useful to be able have a groups that includes all students in a section. We actually created an API script to do this in our instance of Canvas.

orwinr
Community Champion

If it isn't implicit, I would vote for the ability to add individuals to a group based on sections. We use Canvas for a number of student community sites with a number of sections and currently have to manually add and remove students from the groups that are created for each section. It would be awesome if I could create the group set and have an option that says: "Automatically create a  group for each section" and have it create a group for each section and enroll all of the students in their individual sections.

John, would you be willing to share your API script? I would be very interested in taking a look.

johnpj
Community Contributor

To  Create Groups Based on Sections

#!/usr/bin/perl -w

use strict;

my $serverName  = "https://myserver.instructure.com";

#

# Create 63 groups "Section 007" .. "Section 069" in group category id #70

#

my $groupPrefix   = "Section ";

my $firstGroupNum = 7;

my $lastGroupNum  = 69;

my $groupCatId = 70;

my $token = "user-generate-token";

my $curlTemplate = "curl  -H 'Authorization: Bearer $token' $serverName/api/v1/group_categories/$groupCatId/groups -F 'is_public=false' -F 'join_level=invitation_only' -F 'name=$groupPrefix%03d' -F 'description=Section %03d'";

for ( my $i=$firstGroupNum; $i<=$lastGroupNum; $i++ )

{

    my $curlString = sprintf($curlTemplate,$i, $i);

    `$curlString`;

}

To add Users to Groups

my $baseGroupId = 109;

my $serverName    = "https://myserver.instructure.com";

my $token = "user-generate-token";

my $curlTemplate ="curl -H 'Authorization: Bearer $token' $serverName/api/v1/groups/%d/invite -F 'invitees[]=%s'";

my $filename =  $ARGV[0];

# Read file

open FILE, $filename or die "$!";

my @lines = <FILE>;

close FILE;

# Read in CSV file (group,user) and add users to each group

# This assumes groups were created sequentially

foreach (@lines)

{

    chomp;

    my @userGroup = split /,/;

    my $curlString = sprintf($curlTemplate,$baseGroupId+$userGroup[1],$userGroup[0]);

    `$curlString`;

}

# Developed by Beth Kirschner

orwinr
Community Champion

Thanks John! I will tinker with the script and see if I can get it to work!

jordan
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

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Panda-Cat: A mythical creature that we dreamed up to catch your attention, make you laugh, and encourage you to keep reading the explanation of our archive process for Feature Ideas

Archive: An archived Feature Idea is not dead forever, but it has been taken out of stage progression.  When Community members submit feature ideas they are reviewed by the Community Team and then put to a vote by the community at large.  If the idea does not receive 100 votes within 3 months it will be archived.  Ideas that reach the 100 vote threshold within the first three months remain open for voting. Find more information about this process at How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

Can archived ideas still become a feature?  Yes.  Some feature ideas that do not receive 100 votes are resubmitted by Community members and find more supporters as people's needs change, rising more quickly to the top.  Oftentimes archived feature ideas are evaluated in groups when we are preparing to refactor a particular tool or feature of Canvas and may still influence product direction.

johnpj
Community Contributor

When the new Canvas Community was launched we were told that 30 votes in 3 months was the threshold for review. Is the 100 votes threshold a recent change in policy?

If so, I'm certain we can get 100 votes for this capability. Do you suggest resubmitting this idea (perhaps with a more intuitive title and tighter focus)?

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

johnpj, for more information on the 100 vote change see the following discussion - Re: Was there an announcement about the voting on Feature Ideas changing from 30 to 100?

canvas_admin
Community Champion

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who missed the announcement.

jordan
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

John, you are correct about the initial threshold. We did post an announcement to the community re: the change but I think that many people missed it, so we apologize for not being more vocal about the revision. There were a lot of unknowns that we faced as we rolled out this new feature idea process in this new community. We quickly realized that 100 votes is a more viable threshold to help us understand the sentiment of the masses. Thanks for your patience as we are getting over these growing pains along the way 😉

Here's some info about resubmitting that should be helpful.  Based on our suggestions there, I would say that you could definitely resubmit your feature idea, make reference to this idea, and rally the troops behind it!

Here's a few things that may help with submitting this feature idea again:

  1. Have a focused and clear title to help increase visibility
  2. Have a focused and clear, yet descriptive outline of the feature idea to help others (and Instructure) see the value it would offer
  3. Include use-case scenarios to help Instructure and other users see the value of your idea
  4. Include pictures and/or video to illustrate your vision for the feature idea can be helpful (mockups, etc.)
  5. Share your feature idea in some of the relevant Community Groups​ in which you are a member.

Here's a link to check out our main suggestions on How do I write a good feature idea submission

jbuchner
Community Contributor

I missed this idea entirely, but I want to give it another (late) vote up. Even manual group creation used to have a *students must be in the same section option* or at least I remember it that way. Building groups off of sections, or giving sections their own home pages seems would be fantastic.

johnpj
Community Contributor

Thank you Jordan.

Based on you recommendations I have submitted:

I will work to solicit some use cases and experiences from other institutions as to how this capability would enhance our ability to support rich instruction in Canvas.

johnpj
Community Contributor

The revised version of this idea is now open for voting at:

We have received 57 votes in just a few days, so it seems to have some traction this time around!

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

This idea has been resubmitted and will open for voting on Feb. 3rd.

RobDitto
Community Champion
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
Comments from Instructure

When instructors create a group set from the People page, the group structure supports randomly assigning students to a group by section. This feature allows instructors to specifically limit groups to users within a specific section.

For more information, please read through the  Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-12-10).