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Merged Courses are a feature in Canvas which allows faculty to manage multiple student-facing course sections from a single course. Merged Courses can be enabled by setting up cross-listed courses within Banner; this will automatically configure the appropriate Canvas courses to sync with the Merged Course. Features include:

  • A single course to manage student learning resources and course materials.
  • Create course announcements that are specific to one, multiple, or all sections within a multi-section course.
  • Create conversations that are specific to one, multiple, or all sections within a multi-section course.
  • Have Assignments, Discussions, or Canvas Quizzes assigned to one, multiple, or all sections within the multi-section course.
  • All students will appear in a single gradebook; however, you can filter the grade book view when needed to look at particular students in one of the “merged” course sections (CRNs).
  • Merged Courses will not impact your Digital Measures Retention/Tenure faculty load information.

Key steps for utilizing merged courses in Canvas:

  1. You should only cross-list BEFORE students do any work. Otherwise, students will lose access to their assignment submissions and grades. We suggest doing this at the beginning of the semester prior to publishing your course to students.
  2. Once your multi-section course is available to you, you can begin course development and review any specific course content, assignments, announcements, and quiz settings to separate certain items by course CRN/section as needed.

The Office of the Registrar has adopted two definitions for “Grouped” courses at MSU Denver. Courses can be grouped via two methods:

  1. Grouped Course:
    • Why? To combine courses together for the purpose of a single course experience for students in multiple banner course sections. Courses that are taught by the same faculty member for a particular semester fall into this category, which may include one or more of the following types of courses: different level, course number, days/times, instructional method.
    • How? Faculty member requests their department class schedule coordinator have the Registrar’s Office cross-list the course in Banner. Once that request is received and processed by the Registrar’s Office, the Canvas multi-section “grouped” course is automatically generated.
    • What? This creates a “multi-section course” in Canvas following processing by the Registrar’s Office. Note this does not affect the Banner CRN listings for the course. Faculty will still need to submit final grades for students based upon the CRNs.

  2. Curriculum-approved cross-listed courses (Stacked or Curriculum Cross-listed):
    • Why? To combine courses together per the University's official process to create equivalent courses between academic departments. Courses can be different course numbers, levels, and/or from different departments as approved by the official curriculum processes.
    • How? Once approved via the official curriculum process, the department class schedule coordinators request cross-listing in Banner by the Registrar’s Office as part of the standard call-for-schedules process that generates the class schedule for each semester.
    • What? This creates a “multi-section course” in Canvas following processing by the Registrar’s Office. Note this does not affect the Banner CRN listings for the course. Faculty will still need to submit final grades for students based upon the CRNs.
  • Modules: Modules are NOT necessary when combining two sections of same course if there are no differences in assignments, discussion, due dates etc. If you want to keep discussions separate so you can manage them more effectively, you may want to use modules.
  • Gradable Items: If you need to have different availability and/or due dates, points, etc.… with your gradeable items (using the Canvas quizzes, assignments, or discussions tools), you will have to create different versions of these gradeable items by section. You may want to consider using modules in your grouped/cross listed Canvas course to separate the “sections”. Modules can be assigned to specific CRN’s that have been grouped in one Canvas course shell. Student who are assigned to specific modules based upon CRNs will not see the work in the other modules if the module has not been assigned to them.


  • When viewing the Grade Center, you can filter by sections with multi-section courses. You may also find a need to filter by modules as well- this may assist you in grading within a multi-section course.
  • Also, if a group of students is NOT assigned to a specific assignment you will not be able to inadvertently give those students a grade for unassigned work and the students will not be able to see those gradeable items that do not relate to them.
  • Click "Announcements" on the course navigation menu on the left.
  • Click the blue "+Announcement" button.
  • Type a title for your announcement in the "Topic Title" box.
  • In the "Post To" section, remove the "All Sections" option and click the down arrow to select one or multiple sections that are part of the multi-section course.
  • Type additional information about your announcement in the second, larger box.
    • Note you can also add links, images, videos, and other resources in this section. To learn more, view the “Use the Rich Content Editor” tutorial on the CTLD's Introduction to Canvas.
  • Click on Inbox and click the “Compose a new message” icon.
  • Select the multi-section Course.
  • In the "To" field, click the Add button and select Course Sections and the section you wish to send this conversation to.
  • Click the Add button to add any additional sections or users to the conversation.
  • Complete your conversation subject and message body.
  • Click the "Send" button to send the conversation.
  • Click on the Gradebook link
  • Click on the View option
  • Click on the Filters option and select sections
  • Click on right arrow under the option “All Sections” and select the specific section you wish to see
  • Once you are finished you can click the right arrow to selection another section or “All sections” to see all students within the multi-section course
  • Click the quiz, assignment or discussion you would like to edit.
  • Scroll down to the Assign section.
  • In the "Assign to" field, remove the “Everyone" option.
  • Click the down arrow to select specific sections that will be able to see this specific item.
  • Click the "Save" button.
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