Canvas Tips & Tricks

Student Groups vs. Assignment Group

Student Groups and Assignment Groups in Canvas are two very different features.

Student Groups are a way to organize your students into online groups. Each group in Canvas has its own set of tools to help facilitate collaboration. These tools include a discussion area, pages, files, collaborations, and a shared calendar.

When would I use a student group?

Student groups can be used when you want to give students tools in Canvas that will allow them to collaborate in order to finish an assignment or project. When students are put into groups in Canvas it gives them the ability to turn in a shared group assignment/project. It also allows for you to assign a group grade for the assignment/project.

Assignment groups are simply a way to organize and manage the graded items in your course. For example, you can organize the graded items by groups such as discussions, exams, homework, etc. You can have as many or as few of these assignment groups as needed.

When would I use an Assignment group?

Using assignment groups are a must if you are going to weight your grades or if you would like to drop a low or high score from a group of assignments.

From Speed Grader & Back

Have you ever wondered how you get to the grade book or back to your course after you are finished with the speed grader? At the top of the page, to the right of the students names, there are two small link – one to the grade book and one to your course home page.

Hidden Treasures in the Gradebook

In the gradebook, if you hover your mouse in the lower right corner of the title box, a treasure trove of gradbook tools will appear. Check it out!

The Undelete Trick in Canvas

Here’s a hypothetical situation. It’s late. You are not wearing your reading glasses. You just need to quickly update your Canvas course for class the next day – then you can call it a night.  And boom. You’ve just deleted the quiz you had wanted to make available to students. Ack! Now what!?!

Welcome the undelete option* in Canvas.  This hidden little gem is not found in any guide or in any menu within Canvas. Here’s what you do:

  1. From within your Canvas course, take a look at the URL and look for the course ID number. It’s the six digit number that comes after the
  2. If there is anything following the course number, delete it.
  3. Then add /undelete. The new URL should look like this:
  4. Hit the Return key on your keyboard.
  5. A series of recently deleted items will appear and you now have the option to restore the item(s) you accidentally deleted.

* A word of warning. This function is not fully supported by Canvas. Therefore, it will not work 100% of the time. It appears that only the last 25 items are available to restore. If you need an item restored that is not showing – you will need to contact Learning Tech for support.

Did you know…

Course announcements are automatically emailed to the students in your course. They do not show up in their Canvas inbox. A message in Canvas will show in the Canvas inbox and can also be emailed, texted, tweeted, etc.

Therefore we highly recommend you let students know how you will be contacting them and advise them to set their Canvas notifications appropriately.