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Learner II

Student group that doesn't display group membership to outsiders?

I'm the faculty advisor for our school's GSA club (LGBTQ student group), and I'm looking for a good way to communicate with my club members in Canvas. I thought about making a group in our school-wide Homeroom course, but then I realized that students could see who was in a group by going to the "people" page. 

I'm looking for a way to easily send messages to (and, ideally, allow online discussions among) my GSA students without providing a list of who is and is not in the group to students who haven't joined it. 

I'd settle for the Canvas-equivalent of having a "group" in my address book that I could send messages to all at once (the Canvas equivalent of an old-school email "mailing list" everyone could message to would be even better), although also having a discussion board and maybe a files area would be useful. (My students mostly don't check their school email accounts, just their Canvas inboxes.)

(We can't set up a separate Canvas course for the GSA because students at our school are already in too many Canvas "classes" and it's to the point that they can't see all of the Calendars at once because Canvas only lets them see 10 at at time. Also, it clutters up grade reporting and parent communication when students are in a mixture of "real" for-credit-academic classes and "fake" non-credit-administrative classes so we're trying really hard to cut down on that.)

Any thoughts? I'd prefer to keep it in Canvas rather than go with something else that students would have to keep track of (particularly since they don't check their email).

6 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @thompsli , sorry that your question has been sitting here so long unanswered. Do you "need" to have the People link visible to students? Could you hide that link from students so that way they couldn't access information about who is in the GSA group?

Just an idea!


I don't remember why we made the "People" link visible - I'm pretty sure it "has" to be that way to make something else work, but I no longer remember which feature needed that. (Conferences, maybe? Or Collaborations?) I know we initially set up most of our courses with it hidden and then changed it part of the way through our first semester using Canvas for some reason related to fixing something else.

This Homeroom course is used by all of our staff for a variety of "schoolwide" or "students I don't have in a class" purposes, so I can't count on features remaining hidden if someone else wants to use them for something. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @thompsli ‌

Have you considered creating an account-level group instead of a course-level group? This way, the only users able to ID members would be the members themselves and anybody else who is facilitating the group.

You can learn more at 


Is there anywhere in the Guides that breaks down how account-level groups work? It's not a feature we've ever used before. The documentation doesn't seem to really talk about who can see account-level groups, what features they come with (can they have a discussion board?) or how the whole "group" thing works without an associated course.. 

Only group members and the LMS admin can see membership in account-level groups,  @thompsli 

This should be secure unless you give it a too obvious name. But even so, the Global menu is permissions-based, so you only see Groups if you belong to one or are the LMS adminm, and if you click on Groups, you will only see the ones you are a member of - pretty anonymous!


Community Coach
Community Coach

 @thompsli ,

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.