My Canvas Course has been Cross-listed. What does that mean?

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Note: this article refers to the process of cross-listing in Canvas. Courses can also be cross-listed through a totally different process in Banner. If you are not sure which process applies to your situation, email with questions.

What is Cross-listing in Canvas?

In Canvas a course can be cross-listed into another course (technically what is cross-listed is a section of a course, but most often it is just the "default section" for the course that includes all students). All enrollments from the cross-listed course (course B) will be removed from the original course shell and added to the receiving course (course A). 

Instructors then use the course shell for Course A which now includes all students from the original courses A and B. 

One of the benefits of cross-listing is that it automatically creates sections within the combined Canvas course, based on which course the student was originally enrolled in. Instructors can choose to ignore the section designations, but if they choose, they can take advantage of some of the features of sections, as described below.

Some use-cases for cross-listing:

  • One instructor teaching 2 (or more) of the same class (different meeting times, but exact same course material)
  • "Associated" courses: science labs, recitations, discussion sections, writing studio, etc.
  • Honors course, independent study etc (one student)

Are there courses that should not be cross-listed?

In general, cross-listing should only be done for courses taught by the same instructor. In the case of separate instructors for science labs and other associated courses, it may be required to adjust setting such that the instructor can only interact with users in their own section. (See How do I limit a user to only interact with other users in the same course section?)

Courses taught in different modalities (online asynchronous vs. face-to-face or remote synchronous) should NEVER be cross-listed.

In general, undergraduate courses should not be cross-listed with 900-level graduate classes.

Can cross-listing be done mid-semester? Can cross-listing be undone?

Cross-listing should be done before any student work has been submitted, ideally before the course has been published.

Cross listing can be undone, but it should also be done before any student work has been submitted. If a section is de-cross-listed, any work submitted by those students will be lost.

In general, assignments (and any submissions to those assignments) stay with the course, not the user.

What are Sections in Canvas?

Sections allow the instructor to subdivide students within a course and offer section-specific options such as varied due dates for assignments, discussions, and quizzes. Instructors can direct announcements and inbox messages to particular sections only.

How do I view the Sections in a course?

You can find a list of sections (and add new sections) for a course by navigation to "Settings" in the Course Navigation Menu, and selecting the "Sections" tabs. You can see which students are in which sections on the course People page. Finally, in the Gradebook, you can filter your view by sections.

Can I Manage Sections as an Instructor?

Currently, Instructors are able to create a new section in a course, but can not add or remove users from the section. If you would like students added to a particular section, contact ETO ( with the name of the course, name of the section, and the names of the students to be added to the section. Ideally, include a list of students' login id, SIS id and/or email address. Note: Instructors will also not be able edit the section settings (including section name) nor will they be able to cross-list sections themselves. These are also functions that ETO can assist you with by request.

To create a new section: navigate to Settings in the Course Navigation menu, then click on the "settings" tab at the top. Type the desired name of your section then click +Section.

How can I use Sections?

Once you have sections (including through cross-listing), you can use sections to differentiate the course experience in a variety of ways:

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Article ID: 154422
Wed 9/20/23 4:52 PM
Fri 1/19/24 3:54 PM