Hello brilliant Canvas Community,

I've got something of a challenge: an instructor I'm working with, in her f2f class, passes around a hat with assignment topics. Students draw one of four topics out of the hat randomly, and that's what they work on for the assignment. I can't have the teacher assign these topics because she wants to students to get the pick of the draw and they get what they get and they don't get upset.

An ideas on how to randomize this in Canvas?

Here are the parameters: 4 topics, 15 (but let's say 16 students for evenness), and I need an equal distribution of the 4 topics across students.

I considered using randomization via a quiz but could figure out how to implement that. My thought was that I could create 4 quizzes with a question group that randomly spits out a quiz question that is actually a topic assignment but found two issues with that: 1. Theoretically, multiple students within a student group assigned to a quiz could get the same question and 2. you can only assign different quizzes to different sections rather than student groups anyway - so that was a bust.

I also considered a JS randomizer to drop into a page but I'm not sure how to make it so that available topics are depleted as they are selected.

Thanks for your ideas!

Adarsh

I use randomizers all the time (if you are curious about my javascript randomizers in Canvas, I did a CanvasLIVE about that: Canvas-Friendly Javascripts – Teaching with Canvas ), but if you want randomizing with equal distribution, you can use a spreadsheet with a randomizing column. I don't know how often you need to repeat this process, but I do a process like this twice a week for both my classes, and the spreadsheet solution works great because it just take 10 seconds or so. Doing it twice a week every week for both classes is not a problem since the spreadsheet makes it super fast.

Based on what I understand from your description, I would create a spreadsheet with 16 rows, with your students' names one to a row, Then I would put in a randomizing column, randomize, and paste in the Group A, Group A, Group A, Group A, Group B, Group B, etc. column.

Here's a screenshot:

Here's the spreadsheet:

Random Groups - Google SheetsWhen you need new random groups, just sort the column with the rand function. That will randomize the students' names, and you can paste in the ordered A-A-A-A-B-B-etc. column. 10 seconds, new random groups, easy-peasy.

That spreadsheet is totally shared and everything so you can see how that works. I love randomizers in spreadsheets!