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Changes often force us to adapt in ways we’ve never experienced, which can be a major driver of personal (and even professional) growth and development.

Merging Sections

WARNING: If you want to create separate ZOOM meetings for your will NOT WORK with cross-listed courses. 


The act of merging your courses (sections) in Canvas is called "cross-list". Cross-listing should be done while courses are unpublished. Coursework is retained with the course, not with the section enrollments, so if a published course is cross-listed, all cross-listed enrollments will lose any associated assignment submissions and grades. If you have this problem, please email and request the sections (full course ID's - ex: ENGL-101-01-2228 & ENGL-101-02-2228) to be "de-cross-listed". 


Sections can only reside in one site at a time. So, you can't enroll students in a lab site AND a combined site.



  • 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 cross-listed course sections will show up in the Gradebook and under People).
  • You can create section-specific assignments,  eventsgraded discussions, and quizzes or assign a common activity to all sections.


  • 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 cross-listing BIO-101-01 and BIO-101-02, both these courses will be named the parent course, which most likely will be BIO-101-01). 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.
  • The courses that have been cross-listed (merged) will no longer appear in your Dashboard. 
  • Since the courses are now only one shell, you can not have different dates within the same course. You would need to use Groups/Group Sets to create activities for sections if you wanted different dates/times. You can also use the Assign To feature to create different dates/times (just like for DRC accommodations)
  • 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.
  • If you are using the Zoom integration in Canvas, students will have access to all Zoom meetings.
  • 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.
  • There is no way to view the course (student view) for a student by section. 

NOTE - Before you Cross-list read all the points below.... 

  • This process is the opposite of PolyLearn - Moodle and will cause problems if you do not follow the instructions carefully. 
  • Once you Cross-List, the child courses will no longer appear in your Dashboard. 
  • The Gradebook will allow you to sort/view by sections which will be listed after cross-listed. 

The process of Merging Sections (combining the enrollment from two or more courses) in Canvas is referred to as cross-listing. Before cross-listing, you must be a Teacher in all the sections, you need to determine which course will serve as the Parent (primary) course, and which course(s) will be the Child courses - cross-listed (moved to primary course).

Consider this scenario for the steps below: you are teaching ENGL-101-01 and ENGL-101-02 and would like to combine the enrollments into one course. You decide that ENGL-101-01 will serve as the primary (Parent) course.

What do your students see?

Cross-Listing in Canvas:

1st - Hide the People menu in your course. Students should not see the list of students in the class. 

  1. Navigate to the course you wish to cross-list (in our example, ENGL-101-02). Start in the Child course.
  2. Click on Settings in the course menu.
  3. Click on the Sections tab.
  4. Click the title of the course under Course Sections (ENGL-101-02)
    Merging sections 1
  5. Click on the Cross-List this Section button in the Side Bar.
    cross list
  6. Choose the primary (parent) course to cross-list (merge) into and click on the Cross-List This Section button.
  7. At any time you can edit the section name. 
    section name


If you have mistakenly cross-listed any courses, please email to request that the course section be De-Cross-Listed. Please provide the full course ID's (ENGL-101-01-2228) so that we can help.


What do students see?

After you Cross-Listed your course sections, students will ONLY have access to the Primary (parent) course shell on their Dashboard. 

For example, this student is enrolled in ENGL-145 section 13, but the primary is section 12. ONLY section 12 will be available to ALL the students.

Make sure to email your students that the courses are cross-listed and which section is the shell you are using. They may have to adjust their Dashboard to see your course or find it in the Courses > All Courses within Canvas. Since you cannot change the course name (uploaded by PeopleSoft), you can provide a title in the Home Page text. 

Cross-Listed course, only primary appears


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