Teaching and Learning Resource Center

Carmen Groups for Instructors

Using Groups is a great way to build interactivity into any course and shrink the size of large-enrollment courses for your students. Groups can be used to create:

  • Study groups
    Each Group has its own announcements feature, discussions area, content pages, space for files, opportunities to hold conferences and participate in real-time collaboration. This could be a great space for students to communicate and work together on group projects.
  • Group assignments 
    Under assignment settings, there is an option for group assignment. Instead of all students having to submit an assignment, Canvas allows one person from each group to submit on behalf of their team. As an instructor, you can choose to grade the assignment as a group (all members will receive the same grade) or individually.
  • Small-group discussions 
    If you have a big class, it might be helpful to break your discussions into groups to have a more intimate and deeper conversation. Only the members of the group will see and respond to their group's post (even though all students are posting on the same discussion topic).

To build Groups in your course, see the Canvas Guide on adding a group set.


If you allow students to sign up for groups, as long as that setting is in place, they can change groups, so be sure to disable self-sign up after an enrollment period is over.

Once you have your Group Set created, you can build Assignments and check the This is a Group Assignment button. Doing so will allow any member of the student group to submit the assignment and your grading activity and feedback will be provided to all members of the group.

If you are doing group presentations in class, use the differentiated assignments feature to assign the dates (and times) of group presentations.

You can view student activity within their Group sites.

You might consider providing a link to the article on Groups for Students in your course.

See the Canvas Instructor Guide for more information about Groups. Student guides for Groups can be found here.