Click on a link below to take you to the corresponding walkthrough.

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  1. How do I use the People page in a course as a student?
  2. How do I view my Canvas groups as a student?
  3. How do I join a group as a student?
  4. How do I leave a group as a student?
  5. How do I create a group as a student?
  6. How do I upload a file to a group?
  7. How do I start a collaboration in a group?
  8. How do I create a discussion in a group?
  9. How do I close a discussion for comments in a group?
  10. How do I manage groups as a student group leader?

For additional tutorials about People and Groups, select this link.

Click one of the following links for more information. 

This tutorial will show you how to view, join, and create groups. This tutorial will also teach you about the shell created for each group.

Viewing and/or Joining Groups Created by Your Instructor or a Classmate

Step 1

Select the course for which you want to view groups.

Screenshot of the Courses drop-down menu.

Step 2

Select the People tool in the pane on the left.

Screenshot of the People tool.

Step 3

Select the Groups tab at the top of the page.

Screenshot of the Groups tab.

Step 4

To search for a certain group or person within a group, type in the group name or person's name in the search box.

Screenshot of the search box.

Step 5

You will see a list of groups. The group name is in bold, and the group set name (or assignment name) is in gray beside it. Further to the right, you will see how many students are in the group. If one or more students are in a group, a black triangle will appear next to the group name. Select the arrow to display the group members.

Screenshot of the group option.

Step 6

If you see a person icon next to the number of students in the group, you have been assigned as the group leader for that group. Group leaders can change the name of the group and who is in the group. To change these settings, select Manage.

Screenshot of the Manage button.

Step 7

Your professor has the ability to assign you to a group or allow you to join the group of your choice. Additionally, a classmate who created a group can allow anyone to join or invite only certain students. If you have been assigned by your professor or invited by a classmate, you will see a Visit button next to the name of the group set/assignment. You will see padlocks on the far right side of the groups of the assignment to which you have not been assigned or invited. The padlocks mean that you can only join that group if you are assigned or invited to it.

Screenshot of the visit option.

Step 8

If your professor has given you the ability to pick your group or your classmate created a group which anyone can join, you will see a JOIN button on the far right of the groups in the assignment. Select JOIN to join a group.

Screenshot of the Join buttons.

Step 9

To return to being unassigned, select the LEAVE button that appears. To switch groups, select the SWITCH TO button that appears.

Screenshot of the Switch To and Leave buttons.

Creating a Group

This feature requires activation by your instructor. Contact your instructor and ask him/her to turn on the setting that allows students to create their own groups. Direct your instructor to the [Faculty] Groups tutorial for instructions on enabling the feature.

Step 1

From the Groups page, select the blue +Group button in the top right corner.

Screenshot of the +Group button.

Step 2

Type in a name for the group. Use the drop-down menu to choose between allowing anyone in your class to join the group or allowing just the students you invite. If you selected the option that requires members to be invited, select which students you want to invite. Finally, select Submit.

Screenshot of the New Student Group window.


Once you create a group, your instructor will be able to see it and the students who have joined. Also, your instructor is the only user who can delete the group. Once you create the group, you have the same access to it as all of the other members unless your instructor sets you as the group leader. Also, the group will appear in everyone's account--including those whom you didn't invite to the group.

Understanding the Group Shell

Each group has its own shell. The group shell is like a miniature course shell, and its primary purpose is to facilitate communication among group members and provide a place to save the work you've developed together.

Step 1

To access the group shell, select the Groups menu and select the group. If you don't see the right group, select All Groups at the bottom, then select the right group.

Screenshot of the Groups list.

Step 2

Use the tools in the pane on the left to communicate and work on files. The Announcements, Discussions, and Conferences tools are for communication, and the Pages, Files, and Collaborations tools are for working on files. Use the People tool to view all of the members of the group.

Screenshot of the Home tool.

Step 3

To utilize the Calendar for your group, select Calendar on the left of the page and then make sure the box next to the group name is selected in the list on the right.

Screenshot of the Calendar tool.

Screenshot of the Calendar pane.

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