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lars_vemund_sol
Adventurer

Could anyone describe the differences between a section and a group?

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Could anyone describe the differences between a section and a group?

And when is it preferred to use one over the other?

I can't seem to find the section vs group article Smiley Happy ?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
kblack
Community Member

Hi  @lars_vemund_sol ‌ - I helped answer a somewhat similar question awhile ago, but the links I mention are still valid:  Section or group? .  Although Canvas has since renamed the very first link, the information on that page is still valid.  Since I wrote that reply, in the meantime  @RobDitto ‌ had an excellent series of CanvasLive presentations that covers the many ways that the word "groups" has been applied within Canvas that you can see here: CanvasLIVE .

I would basically say that Groups are good for group work.  If you create an assignment as a group assignment, for example, by default Canvas expects just ONE submission on behalf of that entire group of students.  Also, each group will have what is essentially its own "mini Canvas site."  Kind of a course within a course where they can exchange files, have discussions, etc.

On the other hand, a section is probably best when you see yourself constantly dividing your students by a different criteria but otherwise want them to do their own work.  Once you have a multiple-section course site, you can create an assignment just for one section or another (or the same assignment with different due dates), but (unlike with group assignments) the work is done individually and submitted just like for any other assignment.  

In my own realm of higher education, instructors will sometimes combine different sections of their classes together.  For example, someone teaching ENGL 101-section 1 will simply want to combine it with ENGL 101-section 2 so that they have one big, "mega site."  In the US, however, this has raised some issues regarding student privacy, as discussed here:  New FERPA requirements for cross-listed courses! 

Does that help at all, Lars?

View solution in original post

2 Replies
kblack
Community Member

Hi  @lars_vemund_sol ‌ - I helped answer a somewhat similar question awhile ago, but the links I mention are still valid:  Section or group? .  Although Canvas has since renamed the very first link, the information on that page is still valid.  Since I wrote that reply, in the meantime  @RobDitto ‌ had an excellent series of CanvasLive presentations that covers the many ways that the word "groups" has been applied within Canvas that you can see here: CanvasLIVE .

I would basically say that Groups are good for group work.  If you create an assignment as a group assignment, for example, by default Canvas expects just ONE submission on behalf of that entire group of students.  Also, each group will have what is essentially its own "mini Canvas site."  Kind of a course within a course where they can exchange files, have discussions, etc.

On the other hand, a section is probably best when you see yourself constantly dividing your students by a different criteria but otherwise want them to do their own work.  Once you have a multiple-section course site, you can create an assignment just for one section or another (or the same assignment with different due dates), but (unlike with group assignments) the work is done individually and submitted just like for any other assignment.  

In my own realm of higher education, instructors will sometimes combine different sections of their classes together.  For example, someone teaching ENGL 101-section 1 will simply want to combine it with ENGL 101-section 2 so that they have one big, "mega site."  In the US, however, this has raised some issues regarding student privacy, as discussed here:  New FERPA requirements for cross-listed courses! 

Does that help at all, Lars?

View solution in original post

Tnx  @kblack ‌,

What you describe is also my current understanding of groups vs sections.

I think i was more looking for a comprehensive matrices of the use cases. Something like this:

groupssections
Group assignmentyn
Assign assignment toyy
crosslist to other coursesny

As you understand i have high expectations of this community Smiley Happy

If this is not created, maybee we should start a collaboration to make this detailed list to make it easier for users to decide what to use?