Canvas Sections

Written by Kara Osmundson

Last published at: November 8th, 2021

What are Canvas Sections?

Canvas Sections are lists of students that can be used to assign assignments, quizzes, and discussions.

Why use Sections?

Because you can create your own Sections in your course, you could create a list of students that get accommodations for their tests and/or assignments. This allows you to quickly assign content to a subset of students within your course to differentiate content and meet Special Education accommodations and modifications. You can also use Sections to change the end date of a course for a specific group of students that potentially need to access materials in your course for the entire year or test out of the subject even after the course has ended.

How do I use Sections?

While the video below looks outdated, the process is still the same! This is a lot of work up front but is incredibly useful over the course of an entire term. 

Note: If a student drops your course, they will not be automatically removed from manually-created sections. You must manually remove students from your manually-created sections if they have a schedule change.

Video Directions

Remove a user from a section

In the People tab, click on the 3 dots to the right of the user's name and choose Remove From Course. 

While you generally should never need to remove a student from your course, when you manually create sections in your course you will need to manually maintain those sections.

In the People tab, you can see which sections a student is enrolled in. In the case below the student is enrolled in a course section (15501A) and a manually-created section (Day 2). If the student dropped the course you would only see Day 2 enrollment and that would require manually removing the student.

When a student's schedule changes their enrollment is concluded so their grades can be viewed later. Removing a student removes the record of their participation so if you are ever in doubt, contact 


Set up a section for Incompletes

In order to extend course access to just those students with incompletes once a term ends, you will need to create an Incompletes section. Please read this Tech Tools article for directions.