Canvas Tip: Reset Groups After a Course Copy

If you are now a few terms into using Canvas at USask, you might have recently completed a “course copy” or “rollover” in order to take content you used in a previous term, and copy it into an empty course for a new term. (See more on this process at How do I copy content from another Canvas course using the Course Import tool?). If you use the Groups tool in your Canvas courses, there is a quirk of the Course Import function that you should know about.

During a Course Import, all Group-associated Assignments and Discussions are assigned by default to a single Group Set called “Project Groups”. No previous Group Sets are retained in the import.

How to fix this and reset your Groups will depend on whether your course had only one Group Set, or if you were using multiple Group Sets. 

Single Group Set

If your course is using only a single Group Set, follow these steps to reset it:

  1. Rename the import-generated “Project Groups” set to fit your course.
  2. Set up your Groups within that Group Set in one of these three ways:

Multiple Group Sets

If your course is using more than one Group Set, unfortunately all of the associated Assignments/Discussions will have been assigned to the one Group Set called “Project Groups”. Follow these steps to reset your Group Sets:

  1. Recreate your Group Sets.
    • Include the course code in the name and be descriptive with the titles you give each Group Set (e.g., “BMSC 210 Research Poster Group”).
    • You can either delete or rename the import-generated “Project Groups” set to fit your course. See more info at: How do I edit a group set in a course?
    • Generate as many new Group Sets as you will need. See more info at: How do I add a group set in a course?.
  2. Set up your Groups within each Group Set in one of these three ways:
  3. Edit each group Assignment and Discussion in your course to associate it with the correct Group Set.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Remember that when you are assigning students to Groups “automatically” or “manually”, you’ll need to repeat this if you have enrollment changes. If you can, you might want to wait until a couple weeks after the term begins to sort your students into Groups, so that your course roster is more stable.

If you are still new with using Canvas Groups and would like a refresher on using the tool, or to review some best practices, see the following post: 7 Tips for Setting up Group Projects in Canvas.

If you still have questions about how best to use Groups in your online course, please get in touch with gmctl@usask.


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

This resource is shared by the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning (GMCTL), University of Saskatchewan, under a CC BY-NC-SA license.