How to: Create Groups

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What are groups?

The group function in Canvas is a collaborative tool which allows you to organise students so they can work together on projects and assignments.


  • Each group space acts like a small version of the course, containing a number of tools over which the students have full control.
  • There are different ways to create groups:
    • Teachers can allow students to create their own groups.  These are self organised by students.
    • Teachers can great groups manually, allowing them to select the members of each group.
    • Groups can also be created automatically. In this case Canvas will generate the groups and assign student to each group randomly.
    • Teachers can allow students to self sign-up to their group of preference.
  • Teachers can assign a student leader to each group.
  • Teachers can create group Collaborations.

How do I create groups?

In order to create groups, you must first create a group set.  A group set is a container of groups, inside which you create the groups.

Creating the group set

  1. Click People on the navigation bar.
  2. Click Add Group Set.
  3. Enter the name for the Group Set, e.g., project topics, reading groups, etc.
  4.  If you want students to allocate themselves to groups, select Allow self sign-up.  Alternatively, you can create the groups manually by selecting I’ll create groups manually.
  5. Once you made your selection click Save.
  6. You will be taken back to the Groups page, and can proceed to create the groups.

Creating the groups manually

  1. To add groups, click +Group.
  2. Enter a Group Name.
  3. Specify the maximum number of members.
  4. Click Save.
  5.  Repeat steps from 6 – 10 to add another group.
  6. Assign students by dragging the student (by name) to the group. You can also click the plus sign (+) next to the student’s name and select the group from the list.

  • Learn more about Self Sign-up groups [Canvas community documentation].
  • Learn more about creating groups automatically [Canvas community documentation].
  • Learn more about starting a collaboration with a group [Canvas community documentation].

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