Assign to by Group for Individual Assignment

This idea was submitted previously and archived (see below). I would also request the same thing. For individual assignments, I would like to be able to "Assign to" by Group. I often divide the class into groups with varying discussion assignments or assignment due dates, yet these are individual assignments. I teach large classes, so it is too much work to type in individual names repeatedly.


Assign to" Student Groups for Individual Assessment


I want to be able to create Groups based on their modification or need and assign it to that group.Currently we have teachers who have to type in a LOT of student names when it's a modified assignment. Being able to pre-create groups with those students in them and assign or exclude that group would save a lot of time.

Community Participant

This would be a great feature add. We should be able to do more with the segregation of students in groups.

New Member

Agree with Sarah MacDonald "....PLEASE adopt this idea!! In our institution, sections are SIS-generated, and instructors can't simply create the sections they need for a purpose like this. So the only current option is to enter student names one by one -- which, as others have pointed out, is not reasonable or efficient, especially in large classes."

Thank you!

Community Member

While I still believe this feature MUST become a priority for Canvas as it is crucial in the K12 market, I have thought of a way around this flaw. By leveraging Mastery Paths, a teacher can "trick" Canvas into giving an appropriate assignment to a certain group of students. To do this the teacher would need to create a Mastery Path and somehow instruct the different tiers of students to answer the quiz questions a certain way. Then based on the student's "performance" on the quiz, they would be assigned particular assignments. It is messy, but could be a useful way to provide the level of differentiation in assigning to groups of students we are all searching/begging for. 

New Member

As teachers, we are asked increasingly to individualize for students within the same classroom.  This would be huge improvement in allowing me to create extension assignments for students needed added challenges as well as remedial assignments for students in need of more practice.  Right now I create assignments and tell some kids to ignore them and put EX in the gradebook. This causes confusion for all students involved

New Member

It appears that "sections" cannot be modified by the instructor at my institution, so assignment by section is meaningless (instead, it reflects which major they enroll from). I agree with all those here who have expressed a need to be able to assign items to subsets of students without having to type in names individually. 

New Member

This is really a vital and basic capability I've worked with in several LMS' since as far back as 1997 (Toolbook Librarian LMS) and has been basic functionality in Blackboard and Moodle for years. In order to have truly adaptive and dynamic content the functionality must exist to assign learning content to Groups that students then are dynamically assignments to based on meeting specific criteria (as they meet the criteria). This is incidentally also how we manage computer access and rights in most modern computing environments. Users (students) aren't (shouldn't) be assigned directly to content (access rights) but rather to Groups that will control their rights to assignments.  This makes things much more flexible. I've used this approach to handle multiple simultaneous standard semester, shortened 14 week, hybrid 8 week, online, and student selected learning content (research, presentation, hands-on, or independent-study focused tracks) courses with ease.

Community Member

I am extremely disappointed that this is not on the product plan. This functionality is vital in the K12 market. I don't think that Instructure fully understands how beneficial and VITAL this is for K12 teachers. The lack of the abiility to easily assign to specific groups of students a particular assignment or quiz creates an adoption hurdle for our teachers. A simple solution would be adding the ability to at least copy and paste a student list into the Assign field in the way you can copy and paste a list of email addresses into an email. This functionality would at least make it easier to provide legally required (IEP) differentiation. 

New Member

At the very least I need to be able to copy and paste a list of names into the "assign to" box. Having to type each name individually is too cumbersome. I have over 150 students in one of my classes and while I have sections I need to be able to group students differently throughout the year. 

New Member

Agreed--I just tried to copy and paste from the groups in People (or from a Word document) and it did not work, but that would be a work-around if it did. It has been years of struggle and I'm hoping Canvas gets this fixed soon.

Community Champion

We also would like to have groups available in the Assign to area without having a group assignment.  We use sections for syncing enrollment adds/drops and teachers cannot create their own sections for the purpose of assignments.

I can see the difficulty if someone has a lot of group sets - it might show too many groups for the short list you see in Assign to.  There might be multiple ways to deal with this.  There could be a new checkbox in the Group Assignment area where the group set is chosen, "Separate submissions for each student".  Then only the selected group set's groups would show in Assign to, but students would submit their own assignments as if it weren't a group assignment.  Assign Grades to Each Student Individually would then automatically be checked. Or perhaps sometimes you would assign the same grade even if individuals submit their own work?

Or in the Assign to list that shows up, it could show the group sets rather than groups, and when one is clicked on, the groups in that set appear.

Just a thought....

New Member

Definitely needed for differentiated instruction.  Please work on this.

New Member

This is beyond ridiculous to not have available. I really hope that Canvas takes this time to reflect on the inflexibility of their program when it comes to things like this. It makes differentiation next to impossible. 

Creating a new section isn't an option when Canvas receives our information from the SIS. Students are sectioned out by class period and I am unable to move them. This really really REALLY needs to be fixed. 

Community Member

I absolutely agree with @billingsley_l , it is odd that it has been 4 years and movement has not been made on this. It was incredibly disappointing to find this post and see that this type of differentiation is still not possible, especially while E-Learning is full speed ahead in my district. I am an ENL co-teacher with up to half my students in any given class requiring ENL modification and support, and typing in each of these names has become rather tiresome, as more imperative tasks require my attention.

Hope that this feature is able to exist at some point in the near future. This standstill with this feature absolutely disincentivizes teachers to actively provide more personal support to their large groups of learners while we are distance learning.

Community Member

@billingsley_l @MrNCMiller @lbasile @ashley_harvey @Nancy_Webb_CCSF  @hannah_crowder  @cgurysh @zoe_donaldson, @jtwalker, @jbrazil, 

Agree with all have previously posted - sorry I can mention only 10 users in a post. Four years have passed from the time the idea was first created. 

Instructors need the flexibilities to differentiate due dates in Assignments and Quizzes for a range of reasons: learning accommodations, time zone differences, and now rotation groups due to reduced classroom capacity in the COVID time. These students can't be categorized by Sections in the Student Info. System. The groups need to be formed by the instructor teaching the class.  

Please, please, please work on this ASAP. Faculty could use their time on more meaningful interactions with students versus clicking on "add" and "assign to" 20 times for each quiz and homework assignment throughout the semester. 

Community Participant

With all of the schools in my district using remote learning at this time, I have received this request from teachers multiple times. I have teachers who are giving modified assignments to a handful of students. That is easy enough to do. However, the other 80+ students who get the non-modified assignment is a different story. There is no realistic workaround. Tricking mastery paths is clunky and not secure. Groups makes things into group assignments. Sections is not an option since they are generated by the SIS. This is a MUST have feature. Teachers are already stressed trying to learn to teach remotely. Providing the the needed and often required modifications should really not be this difficult. 






New Member

I totally agree. I am a lab manager of 400 students. Having to assign due dates individually is not a realistic answer. I am extremely frustrated that this is not a feature.

Community Member

Yes! I would love this!

Community Member

This has been in discussion for 4 years. I am so confused why a Learning Management System would not make this a higher priority (especially when it seems much of the needed coding has already been established with Groups?)

I have a consistent group of students who need modified versions of assignments. This is not just more time on the due date, but a separate assignment with less questions, a more detailed instructional video, or other specific changes to the content. 

Ideally, I'd love to create 2 assignments (it would be AMAZING if Canvas would let me "duplicate" and edit to create a modified version that remained connected to the original) and change any assignment settings as needed. I would be able to assign the modified version to a certain group (or groups as needed) and then assign the base assignment to all other students.

The student would just see one version of the assignment- the one they need to do.

Currently, doing this would require typing or clicking EVERY SINGLE ONE of my students' names at some point. Because of syncing to our SIS, I do not have the ability to create multiple sections.

I am required by federal law to provide my students' accommodations and modifications. This needs to be fixed!

Community Participant

Has Canvas made any progress on this yet?

It would help too if I could 'mass select' names via say a check-box from the full list of students in the course and have those fill the Assign To box instead of having to type one name at a time in with Canvas suggesting possible choices (requiring yet another click to select from list of possible choices) in order to populate the box. Very time consuming when you have a large class!

Community Participant

I'm shocked to see this is still an impossibility. As with many other institutions, our Sections are SIS-determined and are not tutor-editable. Our tutors need to be able to assign individual Quizzes and Assignments to tutor-editable groupings of learners -- why is it that they can't use Groups for this? This would be enormously helpful.