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Learner II

Students enrolled in multiple groups in a course

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We have an instructor who would like to assign students to multiple groups during the life of the course. The idea would be that there would be expert coaches and the students would be assigned to their mentoring group for a short period of time and then assigned to another. Their initial idea was to have them assigned to different sections with the mentor as instructor, but that sounded like a nightmare of manually moving students one by one.

Has anyone found an easy way to manage this or a similar process?

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Hi Stuart:

I went ahead and bit the bullet and did a mock up. You are able to enroll the students in 7 concurrent groups as long as you create 7 different group sets. I named the group sets and then the one group in each set the same and it looks to work pretty well. I'm hoping that if the groups are set then instead of moving the students, we can just delete the mentor from a group and add them to another. The reasoning for splitting into groups is that some students will have different levels of expertise and experience. They can be grouped with similar students.

Thanks,

Steve

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi hallmans,

The inner geek in me is pondering a solution using the Canvas APIs, you could potentially have a trigger of some sort (such as the completion of a quiz) which you could then utilise as a trigger to move them along to the next mentor. Though this does assume a linear progression through a list of mentors as opposed to moving through them based on whichever one is next available.

Can I ask the scale of the class size and group size please? That might help us ascertain the best path based on scale. Also, how does the mentor assigning process work, is it something the students select, or the tutor makes the decision and assigns them?

Look forward to hearing from you!

Stuart

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Hi stuart.ryan@collaborative.education‌,

Thanks for the response. There will not be a linear progression, in fact they were inquiring about the students self signing up for groups and being able to ship around at will.

There will be about 300 students and 7 mentors. The mentors would act as teachers and create assignments. Could the same pool of students be enrolled in 7 different groups in the same course?

My apologies for knowing so little about groups- we typically use SIS imports and sections, but not a possibility for this one course.

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Hi hallmans,

No worries at all, that is certainly a level of scale that means you need something that is as minimal interaction as possible.

I don't see why the students couldn't be enrolled in 7 different groups in the same course. If that is an option, it would certainly be the cleanest. 

If you can do that (and there is no reason to deliberately pull them out after they have moved on to the next mentor, then you could enrol each of the students into 7 different sections. Having said that, if that is an option I would suggest simply using a single section (as you wouldn't technically be benefiting from any segmentation).

If you wanted to go down the path of putting people into, and removing them out of sections. The only real way to do that at scale would be to potentially write your own tool that could present as an LTI tool in the course, where students could 'move' themselves to a different section (hence creating more of a self-service option, rather than requiring the teacher to do anything.

You could use groups (I will admit my knowledge level here is also relatively small as I have primarily used sections), however it would be a very manual process to move the students around (though of course is doable).

I am having a bit of a stream of consciousness here, hope that is OK! Thinking about this even more, I would like to ask, why does the teacher want to segment the mentors and the students into different groups. I am really looking at what they are trying to achieve and the goals (going back to the start I guess) to find out a little bit more and sanity check if splitting everyone up is the best option.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Stuart

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Hi Stuart:

I went ahead and bit the bullet and did a mock up. You are able to enroll the students in 7 concurrent groups as long as you create 7 different group sets. I named the group sets and then the one group in each set the same and it looks to work pretty well. I'm hoping that if the groups are set then instead of moving the students, we can just delete the mentor from a group and add them to another. The reasoning for splitting into groups is that some students will have different levels of expertise and experience. They can be grouped with similar students.

Thanks,

Steve

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Hi hallmans,

Nice, It hadn't occurred to me that a way of looking at it would be to try to keep the groups fixed and move the mentors. I have to say that is some nice out-of-the-box thinking!

You are very welcome. Are you happy for me to mark this as answered?

Cheers,
Stuart

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Thanks for the help Ryan- I think this is answered.

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Surveyor

I have a similar circumstance, with fewer students... 17 students will be working on 10+ different projects throughout the semester; sometimes solo and sometimes in pairs. There are 2 instructors for the course and 7 adjunct editors. 

I'm trying to figure out how to build everything out in a way that accomplishes the following:

  • Each group will have 2 students max. 

  • Self sign-up. 

  • 1 editor needs to be assigned to 1 group on a weekly basis (for most of the semester).

  • The editor needs to be able to easily see which group they are assigned to and then easily navigate to that group in Canvas. 

  • The 2 instructors need to have straightforward access to everything. 

  • Bonus: whatever I build will be easily transferred to a new course site (for . new cohort of students and editors) with minimal setup required for subsequent semesters.

The issues I'm bumping into so far:

  • Adjunct editors need more than just student-level access so I can't manually add them to groups that also need to be self sign-up for the students. I'm concerned about some of the posts that indicate issues with assigning multiple roles to users within a given course site.
  • All of this needs to be as automated as possible. This is a fast-paced class and if the instructors have to manually configure groups and then set them up in Canvas each week, they won't want to use Canvas for this (which then eliminates many other benefits of using Canvas for this work). 

Any and all suggestions and ideas are welcome! Thanks!