How can students share files with their peers?

Students cannot upload files directly to the Canvas Files tool. If students need to share files with one another, there are a few alternative options. Outside of Canvas, instructors can always create a Google Drive folder, share the link, and have students upload files to Google Drive. For options within Canvas, see below.


Students can attach files to discussion threads that have the Attach files to discussions option enabled. To check whether students are able to attach files to discussions, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to the Discussions page.
  2. Click on the Settings gear.
  3. Confirm that the Attach files to discussions option is enabled.

After confirming students can attach files, create a new discussion.

Course Group

When creating a Group, a separate mini-Canvas site becomes available to students who have been added to the group. In the mini-shell, students can upload files to the Files tool. Follow the steps below to set up groups. 

  1. Go to the People tool.
  2. Click +Group Set and give the group set a name.
  3. Select whether you want to students to self-sign up to a group or whether you will add students manually.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click +Group.
  6. Give the Group a name and click Save.
  7. Add the students to the group by dragging the names of all the students into the group. If you opted for self sign-up, students can enroll themselves.

Once students are added to the group, they will have a new group page, allowing them to upload files. You can access the group page by clicking on the Settings gear to the right of the group name and selecting "Visit Group Homepage”.


Harmonize is a discussion tool that allows students to engage in rich discussions and collaboration. Students can upload multiple files directly within posts and easily record audio and video comments.

You are welcome to explore our Harmonize Canvas course. The Harmonize tool is added to all Canvas courses and can be enabled by going to the course Settings > Navigation > drag Harmonize Discussions to the top section > scroll down and Save.