What is Combining Course Sections?
Combining course sections (also known as cross-listing) is used in Canvas to combine the enrollments (students) from two or more courses into a single Canvas course shell.
Cross-listing is typically used in the following scenarios:
- There are two (or more) levels of a subject (such as PETHEORY 44A/B/C/D).
- A teacher has multiple sections of the same course (ENG 1A -13035, ENG 1A -13046), and chooses to combine them to streamline workflow.
- The same course is taught under different subject names for different degrees (i.e. ANTHRO 4 and HUM 4), but the content is the same.
Fill out the Canvas Shell Combining Request From if you would like to combine two or more courses. This must be done before the start of the semester.
There are pros and cons to combining course sections:
- Once and done content creation (add content in one course section and the other course sections will see it as well).
- Less updating needed (if you make a change in one section, the other sections will automatically update with the changes).
- Access the full course roster (students in all the combined course sections will show up in the Gradebook and under People).
- You can create section-specific assignments (Links to an external site.), events (Links to an external site.), graded discussions (Links to an external site.), and quizzes (Links to an external site.) or assign a common activity to all sections.
- Low-enrollment sections can be combined for better student collaboration.
- No reversing (once the course is cross-listed, you cannot separate the sections without losing all student submissions and grades).
- All the cross-listed sections or courses will now have the parent course's name in Canvas (e.g. if you are combining ENG 1A 34507 and ENG 1A 34518, both these courses will be named the parent course, ENG 1A 34507). Students may get confused and think they were enrolled in the wrong section (which they weren't), so you might just want to make an announcement or send them an email about it.
- Creating section-specific announcements, files, pages, and modules is a bit more complicated (As of now, it can only be done by setting up Student Groups) for each section and adding content within the group pages. Otherwise, all sections will see the content you add to these areas).
- You cannot mute section-specific assignment grades. You either have to mute all sections or none.
- Combining multiple full-size classes can lead to an unwieldy Discussions, Gradebook, Speedgrader, Analytics, etc.
- If the two courses have different outcomes, assignments, or due dates, it can be difficult to juggle the necessary settings.
- While you can filter by section under People and in the Gradebook, if you export the Gradebook into Excel, all the sections will be exported.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
- Combining and de-cross-listing should be completed before students begin to work in the course shell. If students are moved out of their native course shell (by cross-listing), their work in the class will no longer be accessible.
- If you want to keep students from seeing and/or interacting with other sections, you will need to select the "Limit this user to only see fellow section users" option for each student. This is a great best practice for large classes. If students registered for an ENG class expecting to work with 30 classmates, they may resent having to shift through posts of 60-90+ students.
Please post any follow-up questions on this functionality in this forum.