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CANVAS - Groups vs. Sections

This article contains a functional comparison of "Groups" and "Sections" in a Canvas course.

Canvas course Groups function like a smaller version of a Canvas course and are typically used for collaboration, group discussions, and group assignments. 

More information on Groups

A Canvas course Section is basically a segment of the class roster used for administrative purposes. Sections in Canvas are created automatically when courses are combined or crosslisted. Instructors can assign assignments to a specific section of students, assign different due dates to different sections, and can take attendance by section.

More information on Sections

Comparison of Groups and Sections

Comparison of Canvas Groups and sections




Associated Procedures 

Instructor needs to assign different assignments to different sets of students (e.g., only grad students should complete this assignment)  No  Yes Assign Assignment to Section
Instructor needs to assign different due dates for the same assignment to different sets of students (e.g., undergrads have different due dates than grads)  No  Yes  
Instructor needs to send announcements or messages to different sets of students Yes  Yes

Post Announcement to Group

Post Announcement to Section

Provides a team space to post discussions and to collaborate on pages and files. Yes  No

Create a Group Discussion

Create a New Page in a Group

Create Collaborative File in Group

Instructor can create group assignments, and students can turn in a single submission as a group and receive group feedback.  Yes  No

Create Canvas Group Assignment

Students need to select membership in a team (e.g., self-enroll in a group for group presentations)  Yes  No Create Self Sign Up Groups
Take attendance for a specific set of students.  No  Yes Take Attendance by Section
Filter gradebook by a specific set of students.  Yes  Yes Filter Gradebook by Group or Section
Filter Speedgrader by a specific set of students.  Yes  Yes

Filter Speedgrader by Group

Fillter Speedgrader by Section

Create Canvas Calendar events for a specific set of students  Yes  Yes View a Group Calendar

KeywordsCanvas section group   Doc ID120220
OwnerLinda W.GroupUW Parkside
Created2022-08-03 13:44:14Updated2023-08-08 12:13:49
SitesUW Parkside
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