Combining Course Sections

Instructors have the ability to request that multiple sections of the same course be combined into one course. In the past, this had been referred to as cross-listing. That terminology is not quite accurate and thus required a change.

Combining course sections more truly highlights what is actually taking place in the background: multiple course sections are being combined into a single course site. The combining process creates a new course site that has multiple ‘child’ sections under it.

NOTE: Instructors cannot combine course sections themselves. If you wish to have your course sections combined, please contact the CITL Support Centre.


The benefits of this process are the same as always:

  • Combining multiple sections allows instructors to perform fewer content updates if the content for the course sections are the same.
  • This is often done for sections of the same course, or grad/undergrad courses which share the same content, but different assignments.
  • It combines grade books, which can create efficiencies if the grading schemes and assignments are the same.
  • For sections that have different CRNs, but the same physical meeting time and instructor, this is likely the best and most logical configuration.
  • Communication tools are combined, meaning any discussion-based classwork will benefit from the larger student group. This can also be a drawback if the courses are too big, and the assignment does not fit.


  • Not recommended if the pacing of the combined sections varies and releasing timed assignments or content access is important.
  • While it can be done in a single course site, it is more complicated to manage different dates for different sections in the same site.
  • Assignments or grading varies for the sections.
  • If student work has been completed in any of the course sections. This type of information is lost when combining course sections, and cannot be moved to the new combined section. Thus, if student work has been completed (announcements, assignments, quizzes, surveys, discussions, etc…), combining is not recommended.


  • When course sections are combined, the existing sections remain in place, with whatever content/work completed was available at the time.
  • A new, blank course site is created with all of the students from the two (or more) sections.
  • Course content must be copied into this new site, and items reconfigured.
  • Also, the old course sites should be deleted once any content is migrated.