Canvas Group Sets for Assignments

Canvas allows the creation of Group Sets for a variety of purposes…one being group work. But in the greater scheme of assigning work to your students, you can also assign by group sets…what does this mean? When you create an assignment, you then check it as a group assignment (grade individually), this then allows you to assign by group rather than by section or individual! Ultimately, this could support how you assign work to your classes. Before you dive in, we do have some suggestions on how to make this work best.

First, determine how you name the Group Sets. For example, as an LA teachers I might make “Reading Groups” my group set. I can then create the groups within that group set and make it as simple as Reading Group 1, Reading Group 2, or be more creative and make them genre based or author based names (Classics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy). Remember your students see the groups they are in and members of the group, so group names should be relevant to the course and not identifying them as learners of a certain group. For example, if I want to group my ELL students together to offer more guided assignments, I do not want to call them out by creating a group called “ELL Learners.” Consider smaller groups of kids and multiple groups for different purposes.

Now that you have thought about the Group Sets and groups within that, you can start using those to create differentiated assignments. You will not be able to use external tools when assigning to groups, but you can use the other submission types such as online. When filling in the assignment, you will choose group and since we are using this as a workaround, we want to select the option to grade them individually. Please note that when a student submits work, it submits for the whole group.

Finally, it is time to assign, and we will want to delete “Everyone” and now select the group or groups that this particular assignment will go to. You will need to repeat the assignment creation (or duplication) until all groups have been assigned. Remember to add a due date so this appears on the student calendar and to-do list.

To collect work from each student, consider choosing On Paper submission type for the Group Assignment (in order to differentiate the content as needed) and then have students submit work in a different assignment for collecting the evidence. You would make this particular assignment no points and not synced to SIS and have the submission assignment be the graded version.

For more on Groups please check out these Canvas resources:

How do I assign a group set?

How do I assign and assignment to a course group?

As always, please ask your Ed Tech Lead or Ed Tech TOSA for more help or check out our other posts on the BNP.

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