In EC Learn you have the ability to create User Groups for assignments. This allows for group members to submit a single assignment together and for all members to receive the same grade (a feature you can turn off if you want). Setting up a graded discussion as a group assignment creates separate threads for each group. This makes the discussions easier to navigate and grade for you, and students often find participating in the discussions easier because they have fewer posts to read.
In addition, Groups make collaboration on projects much easier. Each group has a private workspace similar to a course site – it includes Files, Discussions, Collaborations, Conferences, even Pages where students can create a wiki. Only you and the students assigned to a group can view the workspace. Using these workspaces allows for collaboration on assignments even when students are off campus. Conferences can be used to have online group meetings, Collaborations allows for simultaneous editing of documents, and Pages can be used for task sign-up and managing the group work.
There is no limit to how many sets of groups you can create in a course. This allows you to simultaneously have discussion groups, project groups, sets of lab partners! If you are interested in creating User Groups for your courses, check out the Canvas Guides. They have instructions on how to view existing groups, create a set of groups, and how to allow self-sign-up for a group.