Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata
This guide has information for faculty regarding organizing students into groups or sections ("teams") for collaborative work and assignments.

Groups vs. Sections


Groups are used as a collaborative tool where students can work together on group projects and assignments.

As an instructor, use groups to:

  • set up student group configurations at the course level for assignments and in-class work, both graded and ungraded

  • facilitate semester-long projects so that students can communicate and iterate on documents together

  • facilitate student-run study groups within courses

Once you create Groups, you can then:

For more information about Groups, visit the Groups Section of the Canvas Instructor Guide.


Sections in Canvas are used to segment the class list for administrative purposes, typically based on teaching assignment or meeting time. Every Canvas course at Geneseo has a section created. Faculty can also create additional sections using the Manage Sections Tool. 

Detailed information about managing sections can be found in the Settings Section of the Canvas Instructor Guide.

Once you create sections (Canvas Guide: How Do I add a section to a course?), you can: 

Enrollment Updates

If you are using “Sections” in Canvas to identify cohorts of students for your classes, please make note of the following enrollment update issue:

The Canvas / KnightWeb enrollment sync process uses sections. When a student is unenrolled from your class, they will be removed from the official course section, but they will remain in the faculty-created section. A student who has dropped will appear only with their faculty-created section designation (“Section B” in the example) but no official course section (“202009-17423-BIOL-106-01” in the example). You can view this behavior in your own classes by clicking on the “People” list.

Once a student is removed from the official course section, faculty can remove them from the faculty-created section manually. Click on the menu (3 dots) and select “Remove from Course”.


Graded discussions can be assigned to sections or groups. For more information:

Related Self Help Guides

More Help

For questions about Canvas, contact CIT via our online service desk or email Weekdays between 8am-4pm, you can also contact us via our real-time chat portal.

For tips, tricks, and updates on learning technologies at Geneseo, visit our Educational Technology ChatTo explore Canvas Guides (created by Instructure), visit