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Create and Manage Student Groups in Canvas - Knowledgebase / Teaching Learning and Research / Canvas / Communication and Collaboration - OIT Service Center

Create and Manage Student Groups in Canvas

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The Groups tool allows for smaller group interaction within a course. Instructors may use Groups to organize small group discussions, group assignments, and group grading. Students can use Groups to work collaboratively on projects and assignments, and have/ participate in discussions. Within each group, students can create pages, announcements, collaborations, discussions, and calendar events. It is like a personal Canvas site for a set group of people. 

Create Group Sets

Group sets house the different groups within a course. 

  1. Log in to Canvas at
  2. Select your course from the Global Navigation menu on the left.
  3. Click People in the Course Navigation menu.
  4. Click + Group Set to add a set of groups to your course. 
  5. Enter a group set name in the Group Set Name box.
  6. Determine how students will be added to the groups: Will they Self Sign-Up, randomly be assigned to a group, or will the instructor manually assign them to the groups?
    • Customize the Group Structure section based on how students will be added to the groups.
    • You may Automatically assign a student group leader. When students are assigned to be a group leader, they can manage members of the group and edit the group name. However, they cannot change the number of members in the group.
  7. Click Save after you've selected your settings.

Make Groups Manually

  1. Within your Group Set, click + Group to create a group. Name the group (i.e. Group 1). You may enter a maximum participant number, but it is not required.
  2. Once the groups are created, you may click and drag students listed in the Unassigned Students box into groups or click on the symbol next to the students' names and assign them to one of the groups.

Make Groups Assigned Randomly

  1. Open the Group Set and click the options menu and then click Randomly Assign Students.

Note: We recommend the Canvas guides about creating, editing, and managing groups in Canvas. If you'd like to speak with an instructional designer, please email us at

Note: If you'd like to speak with an instructional designer, please email us at



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