Canvas Student Sign-up Tool

There is a new tool in Canvas to help you set-up groups. You can designate which locations and how many students will be allowed in that location on each given day.

Enable the Tool


In the Canvas course, click on the Settings link


On the Navigation tab, move Student Sign-up from the hidden items to the visible items


Click the Save button

Set-up Groups


Click Student Sign-up in your course navigation


At the top of the page, click on Edit Groups


Edit the instructions that will be displayed to students, if desired

Edit group sign up instructions


At the bottom of the page, set up the group sets

  1. Edit the name of the default location to reflect the building and room number where students will attend class

Canvas sign-up location

  1. Add additional locations, this might be lab rooms, other campus locations, or Zoom
  2. Add groups for each location using the + Group button. You can click and drag the groups around to get them arranged appropriately
  3. Next to each location, indicate the number of groups within that set for which students can sign up. In the example below, students can select one class session to attend and two Zoom groups

assign number of groups

  1. Enter the classroom capacity for each day option

Enter classroom capacity


Press Save Instructions and Groups


Click on Student View to preview what students will see when they access the sign-up

Student View preview

Video Tutorial

This short video will walk you through the process of setting up sign-up groups in your Canvas course.

Allow Viewing Before Start of Semester & Publish Course


Finish any preparations you want to make in Canvas prior to making it available to students


Click on the course Settings. On the Course Details tab, uncheck the setting "Restrict students from viewing this course before start date." Click the Update Course Details button


Go to the Home page


Click the Publish button

(See What can students see when in Canvas for more details about what students see in Canvas before the start of the semester)

Direct Students to Sign-up

You can use the Email All Students button on the People page to send students an email instructing them to access the course and go to the Student Sign-up link to pick a day of the week to attend class in person or designate their desire to attend on Zoom.

View, Print, or Download Group Roster

Click the name of the group you would like to view.

Student Sign-up Lists

Then, use the appropriate button to view, print, or download the roster for the filtered/visible group

Signup actions

Email Group

After filtering the list, click on the Email List button to send a message to all students in the selected group. Your preferred email client will open with the student names in the Bcc: field and the name of the course and group name will appear in the Subject field.

If you don't have a default email client set-up, you'll need to use the Copy Email List button and then paste the email addresses into the Bcc: field of a new email.

Moving Students Between Groups

As the instructor, you have the ability to adjust a student's group sign-ups. You might use this feature if you have previously had students submit their preferences to you. The tool will not notify the student of a change, so you would need to let the student know if you are changing what they have done.

On the Sign-Ups tab, click on the Edit User Groups button next to one of the student's names.

Group edit user

Make the appropriate selections and click on the Save Choice button.

Student view editing groups

Students can also change their group preference, assuming you haven't added a past date for preventing changes.


This tool doesn't interface with Canvas or any other tools within Canvas. So, you won't be able to assign homework due dates, set-up Zoom groups, or automatically create Canvas student groups based on the sign-ups in this tool.