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kaeli_madsen1
Surveyor

What is the best way to differentiate assignments in Canvas?

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I know that Canvas has Mastery Paths, but what if I have a group of students on IEPs, for example, to whom I know I just need to give a simplified or shorter version of an assignment, or include simplified instructions etc...?

I don't necessarily need to give them an assessment to determine what accommodations they need. Those are already included in the IEP and I'm required to provide them. 

So far in Canvas, this has been a nightmare to figure out.  

I can create 3 versions of the assignment, and make three Canvas assignments, but then I have to go in to the assignment and manually type in each student I want to assign it to for each of the three assignments. Is there anyway to create group lists in Canvas so I can just select the whole group of students at once like "Group A" and catch all my IEP kids that need the specific accommodations written in to that assignment? 

I know I can create groups, but then they have to collaborate on the assignment. Is there a way to make a named list (kind of like the sections) and assign an assignment only to that list?

I thought about creating a new section, but then it won't sync to my SIS.

Does anyone have a solution or workaround?

How are you assigning differentiated assignments on Canvas? 

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Shar
Navigator II

Hi Kaeli Madsen and Sara Davick,

Kaeli solved her own problem when she said:

I know I can create groups, but then they have to collaborate on the assignment. Is there a way to make a named list (kind of like the sections) and assign an assignment only to that list?

I thought about creating a new section, but then it won't sync to my SIS.

Yes, create the section within your Canvas course and no, you don't want it to sync to the SIS.

How do I add a section to a course as an instructor? 

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10434-4152669141 

Someone in the community once explained that Groups are for collaboration and Sections for differentiation. I've used the section trick in Canvas very successfully to allow students just to see the assignments for them even in a course where there are more assignments if you're taking the course for more credits. What a whiz! :smileygrin:

And Bravo for making the 3 different assignments,
Cheers - Shar

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9 Replies
sdavick
Community Member

I would also love to find a way to do this!

Shar
Navigator II

Hi Kaeli Madsen and Sara Davick,

Kaeli solved her own problem when she said:

I know I can create groups, but then they have to collaborate on the assignment. Is there a way to make a named list (kind of like the sections) and assign an assignment only to that list?

I thought about creating a new section, but then it won't sync to my SIS.

Yes, create the section within your Canvas course and no, you don't want it to sync to the SIS.

How do I add a section to a course as an instructor? 

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10434-4152669141 

Someone in the community once explained that Groups are for collaboration and Sections for differentiation. I've used the section trick in Canvas very successfully to allow students just to see the assignments for them even in a course where there are more assignments if you're taking the course for more credits. What a whiz! :smileygrin:

And Bravo for making the 3 different assignments,
Cheers - Shar

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Why wouldn't I want it to Sync to my SIS? I think that would be a lot more

convenient.

sdavick
Community Member

I already have sections that have been created by our SIS. I teach my course to multiple classes (periods of the day) and have a section for each period. This way I can assign things differently to each class.

What I would like to figure out how to do is create additional sections that are not created by our SIS and will not interfere with the sync to our SIS.

I would like to create smaller sections for ability grouping, when needed, within each class.

Can this be done?

I see that I can add a new section, but don't know how to add students and am afraid I will interfere with our SIS sync.

325999_Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 10.54.26 PM.png

326006_Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 10.54.51 PM.png

You add students though the people tabs. Click the three dots to add them

to sections, but I still have syncing concerns.

On Thu, Oct 3, 2019, 8:57 PM sdavick@ccsk12.com <instructure@jiveon.com>

Oh, yes. This makes sense.

I will have to check with our administration before I try this to make sure I don't mess with our SIS sync.

Thanks so much for your help!

-Sara

I tried it. So it allowed me to create a section and add students and assign them something. It will not sync to my SIS, so... it could make the assigning differentiated lessons easier, but then it will add a step of manually entering grades for them, so I don't know if it really pays off in the long run. It would be great if Canvas could incorporate a way to add groups or lists of students within sections so that I can assign them that way. Or even if they did something similar to Mastery paths, except instead of requiring an assessment first I could just create my own groupings and have three paths within an assignment. 

Hi again Kaeli and Sara,

You can have students in multiple sections. So the SIS syncing sections are still there and your new course-only sections are there for when you want to differentiate the assignments.

I just added myself to a new section called Tailors:

How to add a student to a section

If the SIS sync component registers the official grades, the student is still in that SIS-sync section and the grades will get there as needed. The differentiated sections just indicate which assignments contribute to the student grade.

But your SIS settings may be different. I'm at university level and the SIS enrolls the students into the course and grabs the Total grade at the end of the term.

I think the course-only sections are your best bet.

Cheers - Shar

kaeli_madsen1
Surveyor

@Sara Davick

If yours lets you input the SIS ID, I think you could make it work. I don't have that option.