If you merged multiple sections into one Canvas course, you may be wondering how you can differentiate assets in your course based on sections. Any Canvas tool that includes assignment details will allow you to differentiate according to section, but you can also post announcements to sections, send conversations to sections, assign TAs to individual sections, and manage grades by section. Content in Canvas tools such as Files, Pages, or Modules cannot be differentiated by section and is seen by all students in a course.

Section-Specific Announcements

Canvas recently introduced the ability to send announcements to specific sections, rather than the entire class. To select specific sections for your announcement, open the Post to drop-down menu and select one or more sections from the list provided. To remove a section you have selected, click the next to its name. Users will only view announcements for the section in which they are enrolled.

Canvas Guide: How do I add an announcement in a course?

Section-Specific Assignments

When creating assignments in your course using Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions, you can differentiate the assignment details. For example, your course sections may meet on different days of the week, so you can vary availability and due dates for each section. By default, Canvas will assign to everyone in your course, so to change to a section, click the X next to “Everyone” and choose a section. To add another section with different dates, click the “Add” button and start to type the section name in the new “Assign” field.

If you did not add all course sections to the assignment, you will see a warning message to add missing sections when you save. Not all sections need to be added, for example, if you combined an honors section in your course, you may only wish to make an assignment specifically for the honors section.

Students only see assignments and details assigned to their section. When using differentiated assignments, the assignment appears as one column in Grades for all students, and grade cells are grayed out for any student not included in the assignment.

Canvas Guide: How do I assign an assignment to a course section?

Adding TAs

In Canvas, you can assign teaching assistants to specific sections in a course and limit their access to those sections only. When you restrict TAs to their assigned section(s) only, they will not be able to see or grade students in other sections of your course. To do so, make sure to check the “Can interact with users in their section only” option when adding your TA with the People tool.


Canvas Guide: How do I add users to a course?, How do I edit sections for an enrollment in a course?

View/Manage Grades by Section

By default, your course gradebook shows all active students in all sections. But you can filter your gradebook by section, while in Grades.


You can also filter directly while using SpeedGrader, just click the drop-down arrow next to a student’s name and choose a section.


Canvas Guide: How do I use the Gradebook?

Remember, you cannot edit sections since they are defined by the courses and sections you combine when you create your Canvas course. If you want to customize the organization of students within sections to work on projects or assignments, use the People tool to create groups.

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