Automatic Group Creation in Yellowdig Using Canvas Groups or Sections

It is now possible for organizations using Canvas to enable Yellowdig group creation via LTI from Groups or Sections that are created inside of the Canvas LMS.

To enable this functionality for your course, go to Settings -- Groups in the left-hand menu of your Yellowdig community.

Once there, enable groups via the "Groups Enabled?" toggle as seen below:

Once you have toggled groups on, you should* see a drop-down menu appear that says "LTI property to use to determine group associations". In that drop-down you should set the source of the grouping information:

  • Select "Canvas Group Context IDs" if you are planning to have Yellowdig groups honor the Canvas group feature. That feature is accessible in Canvas by clicking "People" and creating group sets in your Canvas course shell.
  • Select "Canvas Section IDs" If you are planning to use the Canvas sections feature. That feature is accessible in Canvas by clicking "Settings" and "Sections" at the top of their settings page.
  • Leave this field blank (or click the trash can icon to empty it) if you want to manually configure, rename, and reorganize your Yellowdig groups.

If you have not already done so, make sure you have configured your Groups or Sections in Canvas. Once students start launching in Yellowdig groups should populate according to the Canvas configuration.

Important notes about the automatic population of groups:

  • Anyone invited into the community outside of LTI will be randomly assigned to an existing group.
  • Yellowdig's system cannot create or populate groups from Canvas until learners launch into Yellowdig from those groups. Also, the groups are created in order of the first student that launches in. As a result:
    • You will not start seeing groups in Yellowdig until students have access to the course and are launching into YD.
    • If your groups are numerically named in Canvas and a student from Group 2 launches first, it will be the first group created in Yellowdig.
    • If you want all of the groups to be created before students enter, or to be created in a specific order, you will need to create/invite dummy users to launch into each group ahead of time.
  • Once you have enabled automatic grouping from Canvas, you will not be able to rename or reorganize the groups inside of Yellowdig's interface. If you want to modify what is seen inside of Yellowdig, you will need to reorganize the groups or sections inside of Canvas. 
    • Depending on the integration type, YD's system may not able to know the names of groups or sections from courses, in which case the groups are assigned an ID inside of Yellowdig but will not match the names set in Canvas.
  • If a learner is assigned to two groups or sections in Canvas, they will not be assigned to a group in Yellowdig because learners cannot be in multiple groups in Yellowdig.
  • We do not typically recommend switching the selection of the "LTI property to use to determine group associations" dropdown once community members have started participating. Here is what you can expect if you do: 
    • If you used the manual configuration already and you enable either of the automatic group configuration options, upon the first student launch the manually configured groups will be deleted and our system will start using the Canvas-specified groups. Any previous posts made will have their group tags removed, making those posts visible to the full community.
    • If you used either of the automatic configuration options and you click the trash can to return to a manual configuration, your groups will remain as they were. Any new students launching into Yellowdig via LTI will not be assigned to the group they are associated with in Canvas, but they will be randomly assigned to an existing group.
  • When automatic grouping is being used, any community member that is email invited into the community or gets into the community via an invite link will be randomly assigned to a group. When using automatic groupings it is important that each member that you wish to be in a specific group launches into Yellowdig via the LTI connection to your Canvas course.

*Each organization/institution needs to opt-in to this feature, which is currently only available for the Canvas LMS. Taking advantage of the feature also requires configuration in the Yellowdig-Canvas integration at your institution (i.e., updating the XML for LTI 1.1 or JSON for LTI 1.3). If you are trying to use this feature but are not seeing the option to select the LTI property to use or the feature does not appear to be working as expected, please contact and we will assist you.

Audience: This help article is for Instructors, Designers, and Administrators. Students or Learners cannot access these settings.

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