CTL GuidesCanvas GuidesInstructor GuidesGroupsWhat are the differences between Groups and Sections?

What are the differences between Groups and Sections?

In this article we will discuss the differences between Canvas Groups and Sections, providing examples of when you might use each.


Groups are essentially mini Canvas courses housed within your course. They can be used by pre-created groups of students to work collaboratively on assignments or projects in a shared workspace.

Use groups to:

  • set up team collaborations for assignments.
  • allow students to facilitate their own study groups.
  • facilitate projects by allowing students to communicate and share documents.


Sections are used to separate a course, usually for administrative purposes. Cross-listed courses will contain a separate section for each combined course.

Use sections to:

  • set up differentiated assignments with varying due dates by section.
  • filter, or allow your TAs, to filter the Gradebook and SpeedGrader by section.