Merging Courses in Canvas (Cross-Listing)


Merging courses in Canvas allows you to combine individual course sections (child courses) into one Canvas course (a parent course). Canvas refers to this process as "cross-listing". Cross-listing does not affect course registration or how course sections appear in the University's Course Offerings but allows instructors to facilitate instruction for multiple sections in one space. 


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  • Cross-listing (merging) course sections
    • You will need to have at least one student enrolled in each child course
    • You should merge the courses before you publish your course for students
    • Students from the child courses will only see the course information about the parent course
      • For example, if the parent course is Math 1200 section 1000, but the student is enrolled in Math 1200 section 700, they would only see Math 1200 section 1000
      • To reduce confusion for students, we recommend changing the "Course Code" in Canvas to reflect only the subject and catalog number (example: Math 1200) 
  • Separating course sections
    • If you choose to separate previously merged (cross-listed) courses, you will lose any student work that has already been submitted  
      • If you need to retain student grades, you should export the Gradebook before you request that your courses be separated


Preparing your Courses for Cross-listing

  1. Make sure your sections are labeled in a way that will allow you to identify them during the cross-listing process
    1. In each of the courses that will be merged:
      1. Go to Settings in the course navigation menu
      2. Select the Sections Tab
        • Here you will see your section name. Think of this as the container the enrollments are in.
        • The section names sometimes only display the name of the course (i.e. Intro to Algebra), and doesn’t specify that it is Math 1200 section 101 for Fall 2024
      3. If your section name does not uniquely identify it as a specific course, section, and term, use the Pencil icon to edit the section name
      4. Repeat this for each course you intend to merge, including all child courses and the parent course
  2. Identify your parent course
    1. The parent course is the course where you will build your content, and the course that will contain all the enrollments
    2. Once you have identified your parent course, navigate to that course and select Home from the course navigation menu
    3. In your web browser’s address bar find the URL for your course. (For example,
    4. Make a note of the number that appears after /courses/, in our example 120. You will need this for the cross-listing process.

Merging/Cross-listing Courses

Note: Child courses should be merged before they have been published and each child course should have at least one student enrolled. 

  1. Navigate to your child course, the one whose enrollment you would like to add to the parent course
  2. In the child course, select Settings from the course navigation menu
  3. On the Settings page, select the Sections tab
  4. On the Sections page, select the Name of your Section
  5. This will open the section information page. You will see your section name at the top along with the enrollments in this course. On the right side of the screen, select the button called Cross-List this Section.
  6. In the pop-up window that appears, in the “Or Enter the Course’s ID:” box, enter the number you gathered from the "Identify your Parent Course" above.
  7. Select the Cross-List This Section button
  8. Repeat this process for each of your child courses

Outcome: Your child courses sections should now be merged as a single parent course. 

Separating/De-cross-listing courses

Note: If you choose to separate previously merged (cross-listed) courses, you will lose any student work that has already been submitted. If you need to retain student grades, you should export the Gradebook before you request that your courses be separated.

Outcome: Your child course(s) should now be separated from the parent course. 

Get Help from Canvas

  • Live chat with Canvas support (Faculty) 
  • Get 24-hours/7-days a week Canvas support  
    • Dial the Canvas Support Hotline number located under "Get Help" in the Canvas Global Navigation Menu 
    • Contact OIT at 740-593-1222 for questions related to logging in, test courses/manually created courses, or third-party tools (Panopto, VoiceThread, Inclusive Access, etc.) 

Get Help from OIT

Additional Resources 

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Article ID: 711
Wed 12/6/23 12:06 AM
Thu 5/30/24 4:45 PM

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Canvas is an online Learning Management System designed to facilitate communication and the sharing of course content between instructors, teaching assistants, students, and guests.