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Canvas How-To: Creating Sections

In today’s installment of our Canvas How-To series, we will cover course sections which will help to differentiate assignments between groups of students. This is especially useful in a blended 400/500 level course (undergraduates and graduates in the same course) but it can be useful in assigning groups for larger projects or for any other reason you decide. In short, sections help to organize your students in a way to help with issuing assignments and group work, and making grading easier for differentiated assignments.

Process Overview

The process is two-fold:

  1. You will have to create sections within your group then…
  2. Assign students to those sections.

The first part is a matter of a few clicks, the second takes a little more time but it will save you time in the long run.

Creating Sections

Go to the Settings menu option of your course then select the Sections tab

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Then in the form field, type in the name of your new section(s), then click Add Section.

Note: These section names can be edited at a later date by hovering over the list of created sections then clicking on the pencil icon.

Adding Students to Sections

Go to the People page. This will show all of the students enrolled in your class.

To add a person to one of your sections, move your mouse cursor over the person’s name and a gear icon will appear on the right-hand side of that row.

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Click on the gear icon, then select Edit Sections

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Then, type in the name of the section you would like to place them in or click on the book icon to pull up any available sections from which you can then select. Click Update to proceed.

Some benefits of using sections

After your sections have been created and filled, you will then be able to do a couple things much easier than you could before: differentiate assignments and grading.

How it can help?

When you create an assignment, you can select which section to which you would like to assign. You can select multiple sections if you have the administrative ability:

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When it is assigned to one section, the other students not in the section will not have it counted in their grades.

Can some of this be done automatically?

In some cases, when classes are blended under one CRN (e.g., first-year language courses with multiple instructors, etc.), sections can be made from individual CRNs when combined with other CRNs. Please consult CMET at the UO Library for more information.