Ways students can share files with their peers

Students cannot upload files directly to the Canvas Files tool. If students need to share files, there are a few options within Canvas. Outside of Canvas, instructors can create a Google Drive folder, add students to the folder, and ask students to upload files. 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 Discussions in the course.
  2. Click on the Settings gear.
    Arrow pointing to Discussions settings gear icon
  3. Confirm that the Attach files to discussions option is enabled.
    Arrow pointing to checkbox option to allow students to attach files

Course Group

When creating a Group, a separate mini-Canvas course within the primary course becomes available to students who have been added to the group. In the mini-course, 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.
    Arrow pointing to button to add a new group set
  3. Select whether you want to students to self-sign up to a group or whether you will add students manually.
    Group Set settings
  4. Click Save.
  5. Click +Group.
    +Group button
  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.
    Plus icon to add a student and drag options

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

Cog icon to visit group homepage


Harmonize is a 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.