Multiple Sections

This document will guide instructors who will be:

  • Teaching a course with multiple sections of the same course and would like to manage all sections from one Canvas course shell
  • Team-teaching courses from Canvas
  • Teaching in a Learning Community

Multiple sections with Cross-Listing

You can combine your sections by requesting Cross-Listing. (In Moodle, this same functionality was called Metacourses). Cross-Listing can only be done for sections of the SAME course being taught by the SAME instructor.

Cross-Listing is the process of taking a section out of one course shell and placing it in another so that you can consolidate multiple sections into a single course site and manage the content for all sections from one place.

What Cross-Listing will allow you to do

  • Maintain content for multiple sections in one Parent section so that you only need to create content in one shell. Course content in the shared course shell is available to all students. All course content is always viewable to everyone unless it is locked or restricted to a Canvas Student Group for specified students only.
  • Create separate Assignment due dates and times by section.
  • Filter students by section in the Canvas grade book.
  • Configure student groups to be created within sections. When cross-listing courses, discussion board forums in the shared course shell are available to all students. If you use discussion board forums, and do not want them available to all students, you will need to create Canvas Student Groups.
  • Assign a TA to one or more sections to help with grading.

Important Considerations

  • Cross-Listing can only be set by a System Administrator. You will need to fill out the Cross-List Course Sections form.
  • You must Cross-List BEFORE Classes start, so make your request well before your class starts. If Cross-Listing happens after your course starts, you will lose submitted assignments.
  • You must have the role of Teacher in each section that you would like to cross-list.
  • Cross-Listing will result in a Parent section where you add/edit all your content, and Child section(s). Only the Parent course shell will be viewable to you after Cross-Listing is applied. (You can access the Child sections by going to the Sections tab from Settings in the course navigation.)
  • Choose the shell that has the content to be the Parent section. This is important, as you may lose content if you set the wrong course as the Parent.
  • The cross-listed section name will be changed by a System Administrator to include all section numbers.
  • In order to maintain FERPA compliance, you will need to add a statement to your syllabus that notifies students that their names and/or coursework may be visible to students in another section. Here is a suggested statement:

This course may be taught in a format that combines multiple sections into one online course environment, or that allows students in one section to view or comment on the work of students in another section of the same course being taught by the same instructor. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your instructor for more details.

  • Adjust the Syllabus and wherever else you need to reference both sections.

Create different due dates for assignments by section

What Students WILL SEE

  • Students will see the Parent course with the adjusted course title to include both section numbers.
  • Seamless integration between original section and primary section.
  • Discussions will include all sections. Instructors wishing to have different Discussions per section can assign Graded Discussions by section (see the "How do I assign a Graded Discussion to an individual student or course section?" Canvas guide.) or create Student Groups (see the "What are Student Groups?" Canvas guide). 
  • Assignments and Quizzes can be set up with different due dates and access settings. Students will see only the dates for the section they are enrolled in. The screenshot below shows an Assignment from the instructor's view with different section due dates:

Assignment with different section due dates