Faculty may request to merge Canvas courses when they are teaching multiple sections of the same course in order to more efficiently share the same content across course sections, freeing up time for other instructional activity. This must be done prior to the start date of the course sections.
However, according to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, students cannot have access to student information (including the fact of their enrollment) of students in course sections other than their own (with the exception noted below). Because of this requirement, students are not allowed to interact within a Canvas course with students from another course section.
Canvas limits the visibility of students from other sections in a merged Canvas course. However, this does not cover all Canvas tools, so if you request to merge Canvas courses, you'll need to take additional steps to protect your students’ privacy, as outlined in this document.
In Canvas courses merged upon faculty request, students are prevented from seeing students in sections other than their own in
Under the Navigation tab, be sure that the Chat and Conferences items are hidden from students. If they are active (appearing in the top grouping of navigation items), drag them to the lower grouping or click the gear icon at the right of each and click Disable. Be sure to scroll down and click Save at the bottom.
Under the Course Details tab, scroll down and click more options.
Make sure that:
Let students create discussion topics is NOT checked
Let students organize their own groups is NOT checked
Disable comments on announcements IS checked
Click the Update Course Details button at bottom.
Ensure that each section has its own separate discussion:
For graded discussions, restrict each discussion to an individual section using the Assign to option. See Canvas guide for details. See further details on section restriction under the What You May Do section below.
For ungraded discussions, use the Post to option (immediately below the discussion description) to select an individual section for the discussion.
Select the option to Require group members to be in the same section when creating a group set. See Canvas guide for details.
Be sure to add students to Collaborations who are enrolled in the same course section. The Collaboration setup screen doesn’t display section information for students, so you will need to refer to the People area.
Select the option to Send an individual message to each recipient. This will send a separate copy to each recipient and hide the names of the recipients in the message header. You may also compose messages addressed to all members of a specific course section.
Hold separate synchronous meetings with each section. When you record a synchronous meeting, share the recording only with the section that participated in the meeting.
Be sure that you leave the “comments” tab disabled.
The following Canvas Guides will help you create Canvas activities/assignments specific to a particular section within a merged course:
(Discussions must be separated by section – see notes in the What You Must Do section above.)
Note that when creating events/activities that are differentiated by section, you will need to select the section name in the Assign to area, which displays only a few options and is not scrollable. If your desired section is not displayed as an option, you will need to type in the section name until it shows up as an option to select.
Section names can be seen if you click Settings in the Course Menu and then the Sections tab. You may also click People in the course menu to see which section each enrolled student is assigned to.
To request having classes merged, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Portions of this document are adapted from material originally developed by Seattle University and modified by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College district. Additional portions are adapted from material developed by Indiana University and modified by Cornell University.