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How do I create self sign-up groups in a group set?

How do I create self sign-up groups in a group set?

Self sign-up groups allow users to choose the group they want to be in as part of a group set. You can also limit the number of members who can sign up for each group.

Note: You may have to change the group settings later if you want to prevent students from switching sections.

Open People

Open People

In Course Navigation, click the People link.

Add Group Set

Add Group Set

Click the Add Group Set button.

Allow Self Sign-up

Allow Self Sign-up

Create a name for the group set in the Group Set Name text field [1]. Click the Allow self sign-up checkbox [2].

Save Group Set

Create Group Structure

If you want to require group members to be in the same section, click the Require group members... checkbox [1].  

Next to the Group Structure heading, enter the number of groups you would like to create [2]. You can create more groups at a later time, if necessary. You can also use the arrows in the number field to increase or decrease the number.

You can also limit the number of group members for each group to help keep your groups balanced. To limit a group, type in the maximum number of members who can be in a group [3]. Once the group is full, students will not be able to join the group. If you do not want to limit the group, leave this field blank.

Click the Save button [4].


  • Limiting the number of group members will apply to all groups within the group set, but you can change member limitations within groups by editing an individual group. However, at a later time if you decide to edit the entire group set and change the group set limitations, Canvas will override all member limitations created within individual groups.
  • Groups will be automatically named based on the group set name.

View Groups

View your new groups in your group set [1]. Verify your self sign-up group underneath the group title and group settings [2].

Manage Group

To manage a group, click the group Options menu [1]. To edit the name of the group, click the Edit link [2]. To delete the group, click the Delete link [3].


Hello all, I have created self sign-up groups for my course, but when I click on student view the individual groups appear as "closed" - they are not editable. Hence, I am not sure how the students will be able to self-select into a group. How can I be sure that the self sign-up function is working and students are actually able to join a group on their own? 

Thank you, Claudia

Hi @Claudia8,

I tested this out in a course as well and it appears that actually joining the group is a limitation of the Test Student. If the group set is set up correctly and displays the self-sign up indicator at the top of the set, actual students should still be able to join the groups.


I'm having the same problem and so are my students.  The groups are not showing up for them so they can't self-sign up.  I don't want to auto-populate the groups because it is based on a choice of topics.  I have tried changing settings but nothing seems to work.  I have used groups in the past and never had this problem...



Hi @lemonpie77,

Please reach out to Canvas Support so they can look at your course and help you figure out what might be going on. 


I have the same problem, or at least it looks like it; the sign up groups appear locked in Student view, and no students have as yet signed up, (after a week) so I assume they don't see this option. Could you please make it possible for teachers to check these things? I don't want to have to ask students what they are able to see and do in Canvas; I want to be able to decide that. 



Hi @karin_molander_

If groups aren't displaying for your students, I'd recommend, if you haven't already, to reach out to your school's IT department or Canvas Support so they can look into this further.

If you'd like to propose the feature update you mentioned, the best place to do that in the Canvas Community is the Ideas space. There, other Canvas Community users can easily locate, kudo, and comment on ideas that are later reviewed by Canvas. To learn more about Feature Idea Conversations, check out: How do I create a new idea conversation in the Canvas Community? and How do idea conversations work in the Canvas Community? 


Hi Everyone,

I also created self-sign up Groups in my course and in the student view it is locked.  My students reported that are not seeing the option to self-sign up either.


Hi @deborah_sikes,

If you've verified that self-sign up groups were set up as described by the guide above, I'd recommend reaching out to Canvas Support for further assistance. 


These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

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  • Need to reply to a course discussion? Log in to your Canvas course and add your comment there (Tip: Visit your school's website to log in to Canvas).
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