UW Groups - Providing access to your Canvas Course

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You can provide access to your Canvas course site with a UW Group. If you have a group of instructors, tutors or cohort of students that are not officially registered for a course, but you would like them to be able to observe or participate in your Canvas course, you can grant this access with a UW group.


Create a UW Group

  1. Log in to the UW Groups service (groups.uw.edu) using your Personal UW NetID. (You cannot log in using a Shared UW NetID.)
  2. Click Create a group. This will display a form for creating a new group.
  3. Enter a display name. Some applications use this short name instead of the UW Group ID when referring to the group.
  4. Enter a UW Group ID. Note the input field is already populated with the home group based on your personal UW NetID (e.g. “u_sallysue”). Enter an ID based on this home group, or replace with a different ID. See How to Choose a Home Group above.
    Tip: You must have permission to create the ID you enter. The ID must be a subgroup of a home group or other group for which you are an administrator or subgroup creator.
  5. Enter a description. A good description helps others understand how the group is managed and how it should be used.
  6. Enter a contact person. This helps people who might have questions about the group.
  7. Enter group members by GMail, UW NetID, UW Group ID, Federated ID, DNS name, or UWWI Computer name. See How to Manage Memberships.
  8. Enter other Administrators, Member managers, and Subgroup creators, as needed.
    This way you can add and remove administrators in one place.
  9. Click “Create group” to create the group. If you have permission to create the UW Group ID, the group will be created and displayed back to you. If you don’t have permission to create the UW Group ID, an error message will be displayed to say you’re not authorized.

To add a UW Group to your Canvas course, follow these steps:

  1. In the course navigation, click on People.
  2. Click the role dropdown menu button. role dropdown menu image
  3. Click on Add and Manage UW Groups
  4. Type or paste the name of the UW Group you created in step # 4 above
  5. Choose the role for the UW Group  - please read "Protect Student Privacy" below.
  6. Save


Protect student privacy

When adding people to your course, and any time you engage in any course-related activity that may expose student information, it is critical to be aware of FERPA guidelines. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protects the privacy of students' education records. Generally, the guidelines mean that the University and its employees may not release or share a student's educational records, or information from a student's education records, unless it has the student's written consent to do so. Canvas role definitions and some exceptions to this general rule can be found at FERPA for Faculty and Staff. It is important that you understand when it is appropriate and allowable to release information from students' education records to third parties, such as faculty, staff, parents, and other students.