Creating Student Groups for Group Projects and Assignments

Canvas efficiently manages student groups for group projects and assignments. Canvas supports several different approaches to creating and grading group assignments. You can allow students to self-register for a group, you can randomly assign students to a group, or you can assign students to a specific group. To begin, the instructor first creates a group in the People tab and then connects that group to an existing assignment in the Assignments tab. 


  1. From the course menu, select the People tab. For a detailed tutorial, please see the Canvas Guide How do I add a group set in a course? 
  2. Create a new Group set or select an existing Groupset.
  3. Then use the +Group button to create assignment groups within that Group Set. +Group functions as subgroups under each groupset. This allows an instructor to create one group configuration for all group projects (recommended.)
    • Canvas will also allow the instructor to create as many different groups as desired and assign each named group to different assignments. (Not recommended due to difficulty in setup.)
    • Groups and configurations do not transfer from semester-to-semester in Canvas courses and must be remade each semester.
  4. Instructors can manually create the subgroup within a groupset and drag student names to group boxes to assign.  
    • Canvas notifications will alert students, as with all assignments.
    • Students can also sign themselves up and create their own groups. SLCC Online recommends that instructors post detailed instructions in Canvas for students, including links to Canvas guides, to ensure students can do this successfully. See the Canvas Guide: How do I allow self-sign up for student groups?
    • Canvas can automatically sort students into groups during the creation process. See the Canvas Guide: How do I automatically create groups within a group set?
  5. Change assignment settings to specify group settings and instructor grading preferences.
    • Existing assignments are accessed through the Assignments tab. Click the assignment name and then the Edit icon. Remember to always Save your changes.
    • Scroll through the settings options and look for the checkbox labeled I will assign grades individually. (Not recommended.) Leave this box unchecked to allow the instructor to grade one submission and have the grade automatically given to all group members.
      • The first student in a group to submit an assignment is alerted that their submission will count for their entire group.
      • If an Instructor chooses to grade individually and check the box, it is necessary to go to each student's Gradebook column/box and enter a score manually.
    • Instructors have the option to return to the Gradebook later to adjust individual grades up or down. 

Assignment Settings

Related Canvas Guides: 

Additional Canvas Guides and Tutorials related to Group Assignments