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Canvas - How do I combine (cross-list) course sections?

Cross-listing in Canvas is used to place multiple sections into one course. Content will be in one place where students will be able to participate and interact with all of the other sections in the course.

FERPA Considerations and combined multiple Canvas sections

When you cross-list (combine) multiple sections in Canvas, students have the ability to see information about students in all sections combined. Therefore, instructors who combine multiple sections should follow the instructions below in order to reduce potential FERPA concerns. Courses combined in WINGS come into Canvas already combined and do not present a FERPA concern. If courses are going to be combined out of convenience (rather than a pedagogical reason), one of the following steps needs to take place:

If you still want to post some things separately

If you combine your courses, there are only a few things that can be "assigned" to sections individually. Announcements and assignments (including quizzes and discussions) can be assigned to individual sections, but everything else (such as modules, pages, Zoom and Collaborate Ultra) will be visible to all students.

Instead of combining consider...

Canvas has an easy way to copy individual content between courses. It's recommended to start setting up one of your courses, making it as ready as possible before the semester and then importing that content into the other courses. You can then use that same course (or any of your similar courses) to create other content "on the fly" and then copy to the other courses, even having it placed directly in the correct modules.

Steps to combine (cross-list) sections

  1. Pick a course that will be the “parent” course (the course everything else will be crosslisted with). You will use that course name or ID to input into the remaining “child” courses. You can use the six numbers in the course URL for the course ID (
  2. In a child course, navigate to settings and sections.
  3. Click on the section name. Do not Add a New Section.

      crosslist section select
  4. Cross-list Section will appear (on the right or bottom). Select Cross-List this Section. 

    crosslist this section button
  5. A box will open. Here is where you put the “parent” name or ID. Once the course is recognized (hit the enter key if it's not showing up) the Cross-List this Section button will turn a brighter color.

    Crosslist this section box

  6. Then click Cross-list this Section. 
  7. You should notice the name at the top left change to the “parent” course name. 
  8. Verify the section is cross listed by navigating to Settings > Sections which will now have both listed. 

    section list

  9. Follow steps 2-8 for any additional sections. 


Tips and Tricks 

  • You need to be a teacher in all sections you are cross-listing.
  • Cross-listing should be done while courses are unpublished and before content is added. 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. 
  • May already be done through WINGS import; if you have combined courses in WINGS, they should come into Canvas as combined.  
  • If you have multiple sections of the same course with the same name, it may be hard to identify which courses you want to cross-list. It is suggested that you update the names of your courses to not only include the course title as pushed from WINGS, but to also include the semester or section number.
  • Instructors at UWL do not have the capability to de-cross-list courses. If you make a mistake in cross-listing your course and need to de-cross-list, contact UWL’s Canvas administrator. 
24/7/365 Canvas Support is available through the help icon in Canvas, by calling the phone support for faculty, staff and students or email us directly at

Keywordscrosslist, one course, FERPA, LMS, combining, crosslisting, section, multiple   Doc ID98280
OwnerStephanie S.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2020-02-27 12:36:05Updated2024-02-19 11:48:44
SitesUW-La Crosse
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