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How do I adjust groups in a cross-listed course?

If you are teaching two sections of the same course, they can be cross-listed, meaning the two courses can be merged into one. This is great! Instead of toggling from one course to another to create the same announcements, grade and provide feedback on assignments, and interact in discussions, you can do all of this in one section. If you are teaching two sections of the same course online, they will automatically be cross-listed. If the sections are on campus, you can request for the Faculty Technology Center to cross-list them for you. They can be reached at (208) 496-7230, or you can go to room 355 in the McKay Library.

Once the courses have been cross-listed, you will need to manually create additional groups to handle the additional students. It is easy, but it does take some time up front.

Create Additional Groups

Before you begin, decide how many additional groups you need. If your second section is essentially the same as the first, you should double the number of groups that currently exist. Adjust down from there if your second section isn't full.

The following steps walk you through creating an additional group.

Open People

Go to the white menu on the left of the screen and choose People.

Open Groups

Click the Groups tab.

Choose an Existing Group

 Choose a group by clicking one of the group tabs.

Learn About the Existing Group's Settings

To proceed, you will need to understand the settings of the existing group that you just selected. Click the Options menu (the three dots to the right of the group name) and select Edit.

The Edit Group dialog box will open. Check for the number of group members. 

In the first example, notice that a number of students per group has not been specified. In the second example, the number of group members is specified. When creating a new group, the number within the box should be the same as the one shown.

Be sure to take not of how many, if any, group members are allowed in each group. When you create a new group later on, the number you enter in the Edit Group dialogue box should be the same as the one shown.

Before you close the dialog box, highlight and copy the Group Name (excluding the group number). In the images above, the Group Name would be FAML 360 W01-12 Individual Case Study – Group.  

 Click Cancel to close the box.

Add Group

Back on the Groups screen, click the + Group button.

Paste the name of the group that you just copied in the Group Name box.

Add the next consecutive number to the name. For example, if the original course had 6 groups in the set, the next group would need "7" added to the group name.

Enter the group limit number from the group you just checked.

Click Save.

Check for the New Group

Scroll to the bottom of the list to see if your new group appears. If it does not appear, refresh the page. If it still does not appear, you may need to repeat some of the steps above.

Continue creating new groups until you have the amount you need.

Edit the Group Name

If you need to edit an existing group's name within a group set, click the Options menu (the three dots to the right of the group name) and click the Edit link to get back to edit mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why aren't the right number of groups in the course already?

The group set is correct for a single section. When a cross-listing happens, groups are not automatically doubled, and must be manually adjusted.

Why are the group names so long? Isn't it redundant to include the name of the course?

When students go to the Groups area of Canvas, they will see all the groups from all the classes they are enrolled. Imagine how confusing it would be to see only this in Groups:

  • Group 2
  • Group 5
  • Group 1
  • Group 2
  • Group 11

By using descriptive group names (including the course name), students can quickly choose the needed group.

Once I create the sufficient number of groups, am I done with setting up groups?

Unless they are self sign-up groups, you still need to assign students to groups. See the instructions in the General Teaching Notes, or follow these instructions: