Small groups are great for online courses, but they do require a little babysitting on the part of the instructor. There are two types of group enrollments: auto enroll and manual enroll. This post will cover what instructors need to do for each. Your instructional designer can help if you’re not sure which you have.
Canvas can randomly assign students to groups. Students can be assigned to groups after they are added to the course. If your groups are set to auto-enroll, you will need to manage group sizes as students drop the course. It is also important to keep in mind that Canvas will not add students to groups, even those set to automatically distribute students. Once Canvas makes the groups, any students that add the course will need to be manually added to a group by the instructor.
Instructors might want to manually assign students to groups. Some do this to promote a diversity of experiences in each group, or to combine students with similar interests. If a student adds the course, they will also need to be manually added to groups.