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Groups Overview (Instructors)

Groups Overview (Instructors)

In this video, you will learn how to create and manage group sets and groups in a course.

Last updated 2023-06-02


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Video overviews reflect current feature functionality in Canvas; they are updated based on workflow changes, not on minor or non-functional interface enhancements. Depending on your institution's Canvas theme, the Canvas interface may display differently than shown in this video, but the functionality is the same.


Groups Overview (Instructors) Video Script


In this video you will learn how to create and manage group sets and groups in a course. Canvas groups allow you to create group assignments and provide your students with a workspace where they can collaborate with their peers to share files, hold video conferences, and work on group assignments.

To create a group set with student groups, click the People link in Course Navigation. From the People Index page, click the Add Group Set button. Within a group set, you can create multiple groups to which you can assign your students. Enter a name for the set in the Group Set Name field. If you choose to allow self sign-up, you may also choose to require group members to be in the same course section.

By default, Canvas allows you to manually create groups, or you can select for Canvas to automatically create a specific number of groups. If you choose to have groups created automatically, type the number of groups you want Canvas to create in the groups box. You can then set group leadership options for Canvas to automatically assign group leaders for each group. To save your settings and create the group set, click the Save button.

Once your group is created, the People page displays a tab with your new group set’s name. Click the tab to view and manage group set information. From the Group Set Options menu, you can message students who have not joined a group, randomly assign students to groups within the set, edit the group set name and group sign-up and leadership options, copy the group set, and delete the group set.

You can manually add a group to a group set by clicking the Add Group button. Next, enter a name for the group and enter a group member limit. Then click the Save button. 

The Groups section lists all of the groups in the group set. To manage options for individual groups within a group set, click the group Options icon. You can visit a group’s homepage and view group activity, edit a group’s name and student limit, or delete a group.

The Unassigned Students list displays the names of students who have not already been assigned to a group. To manually add a student to a group, either click and drag their name from the Unassigned Students section on the left to a group on the right or click the Add icon next to the student’s name and select the group you’d like to assign them to.

For courses with high enrollments, you can type a student’s name in the Search users field to find unassigned students. To view or hide the names of all students in a group, click the arrow icon next to the group name. You can move students to different groups by dragging and dropping them from one group to another or by clicking the Options icon next to the student’s name. Select the Move to option and select the appropriate group.

To manually assign a student leader to your newly created group, click the Options icon next to the student you’d like to assign as the group leader and select the Set as Leader option. The selected student’s name will then appear next to the name of the group to indicate they are the group leader.

You can create group assignments and discussions using the group sets in your course. To create a group assignment in the assignment’s details page select the This is a Group Assignment checkbox. If you want to grade each student individually, select the Assign Grades to Each Student Individually checkbox. Then select a group set from the Group Set drop-down menu. Clicking the New Group Category allows you to create a new group set from within the assignment page. Note that once students submit to a group assignment, the group settings cannot be changed.

You've now completed this tutorial video on Group Creation and Management. For additional information on this or any other topic about Canvas, please visit You can also ask questions and engage with other Canvas users by visiting

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