Collaborative assessment: Group submissions in Canvas

Canvas features a range of useful tools that facilitate group and collaborative work between students. These tools include collaborative Pages, Collaborations – online shared Google Docs or Office 365 documents, and Canvas Groups. In this post we are going to focus on Group assignments in Canvas.

In order to create group assignments in your Canvas module you will first need to set up student Groups. Groups are effectively a ‘mini module’ within your Canvas module site which provide students with their own tools for collaborative work. To find out more about Groups see our previous post Canvas Highlights – 2. Groups and to learn how to set up groups see How do I automatically create groups in a group set? or How do I manually create groups in a group set?

Once your student groups are created you can then move on to setting up your group assignment. To do this first go to Assignments in the module menu where you can create a new assignment. For Canvas assignment students can submit a range of content including any type of file, video or audio recordings, or a website URL. You then simply tick the box to indicate ‘This is a group assignment’ and select the Group Set that you have previously created.

screenshot of assignment settings

Students would then choose one group member to submit on behalf of their group, with Canvas applying this submission to each member of the group. You can then provide feedback and a mark on this one submission rather than marking the same piece of work four or five times, saving you time when marking. Once marks are released, this mark and feedback is then provided to all members of the group. If needed, for example if there is a peer marking element in the assessment, you can choose to assign marks individually to each student. 

There are a number of different ways that this type of assessment can be used, this could be:

  • Formative group work – students can submit draft work or formative tasks throughout a module, for example this could be weekly tasks associated with that week’s readings.
  • Summative group work – this could include group projects, reports or recorded presentations. Please remember that these marks must also be formally entered into Sussex Direct. 
  • Submission of additional/supporting documents – for example slides to accompany a face-to-face presentation.

If you would like additional information about Groups and group submissions in Canvas  these guides will be useful:

You can also contact if you would like further help or would like to discuss a specific idea that you have.

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