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Community Member

Creating course groups through SIS import

Hello All.

I can see that "Groups" and "Group Membership" is a Sis import that canvas can accept.

I've had a look at the structure of the csv files but cannot see where you would associate the group with the course that it would sit under.

Has anyone else used these SIS imports and can give me a few pointers?

Just to clarify the groups that I am referring to are the ones that you create through the "People" page of a course.


Thanks in advance


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9 Replies
Community Team
Community Team

 @mattbartlett ‌, I've shared your question with the‌ group whose members typically work with SIS imports of csv files.

Explorer II

The import will create account level groups but not course level groups.   If you create sections under a course, it does create groups that you can use for assignments, discussions etc  but does not give the students a group page for the secton.

Adventurer III

Hi Matt --

As Teri mentioned, it's not possible to create course groups via SIS import, but you can create these kinds of groups via API calls.  You'd first need to create a group category under each course and then you can create groups in those categories.

It does seem that being able to create/update groups via SIS import would be really useful -- if you create a feature request, I'll vote for it!



There's a very similar feature idea which opened for voting in August 2017:

It seems more teacher-focused and doesn't specify SIS import as the specific method. Regardless of how, institutions with heavy use of Group Assignments could really use the capability!

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @mattbartlett ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



Learner II

For anyone coming across this thread in the future, managing group categories and groups via SIS import was added in February.  However, you cannot set the options like you can via the REST API endpoints.

pklove‌, huge thanks! My own testing was inconclusive, so I appreciate your take.

There might be one slight problem - it looks like when you create a course group the SIS ID isn't getting saved, so the SIS members import won't work.  I was going to confirm and post on this after a bit more testing.  You can set the SIS ID okay with the REST API.

Note that there appears to be a bug. Categories are okay, but when  you add a group the group's SIS ID is not set. So you cannot then add the members with a SIS import.

You can add the SIS ID to the created groups with the REST API.   After doing this the group members can be added with a SIS import.