Skip to content

Cross-listing in Canvas

What is cross-listing?

Cross-listing is when you put two sections of students into a single Canvas course. Sections are what normally define the roster of students for any given class. If you teach the same content to multiple sections (for example: HUM-101-MM01, HUM-101-MM02, HUM-101-MM03) then you might want to cross-list those sections into one Canvas course that hosts all of the sections.

Benefits of Cross-Listing

  • Instead of copying content and pages for multiple courses, you only have to upload the content one time.
  • Students remain in their Colleague/MU-HUB assigned sections. If you need to send out messages to only one section, you can still do that in the Inbox and/or Announcements fields.
  • You retain control over timelines of when each group can see announcements, assignments, discussions, AND you get to control the deadlines for when items are due for each section. For example, if your MM01 has an assignment due on Monday and the MM02 has the same assignment due on Tuesday, you can set that up in the assignment settings.

Drawbacks of Cross-Listing

  • It must be done as early as possible in the term. Grades from non-cross-listed courses can be moved with the students but submissions cannot.
  • While dated material (assignments, discussions, etc.) can be given different timetables for each section. Content (pages and modules) are shown to all students at the same time. For help in restricting these, contact the CTL to ask about setting up modules with prerequisites.

How to cross-list your courses?

The process for cross-listing is fairly easy but, remember it should be done early in the year if possible. Preferably before the first assignments are turned in.

First, choose which course will "host" the other sections. If you already have content in one of the courses, choose that one. If you do not, the choice does not really matter. The only thing to think about is that whatever course you choose will be the one that shows on all of the students' dashboards (regardless of what section they are actually assigned).

Second, follow the instructions in this video to cross-list your courses. If you have questions at any time, reach out to the CTL.

How to target Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, to each section?


While adding the announcement, you will notice that the "Post to" field is set for "All Sections". If you want to target just a single section click the X on the All Sections selection and then you can search the sections in your course to target either by typing the name of the section or clicking the down arrow on the right side of the box.


While adding the assignment (or editing it), look at the Assign box at the bottom of the page. By default a new assignment is assigned to "Everyone" but you can change this to match a single section in the same way that you can change it to match a single student. Click into the Assign To box and you should see your section appear at the top of the list. Select the section that you want to target and then fill out the Due, Available from, and Until sections with the timeline associated with that section.

If you want another section to have that same assignment but want any of that timeline to be different, click the + Add button at the bottom of the box and select another section to associate with the custom timeline.


Discussions are a little more difficult in cross-listed courses. By default discussions take place at the course level and including "Everyone" as we did in assignments will put all sections into the same discussion board (even if they have different timelines).

However, if you do not want all of the sections to participate in one discussion board, then you have two options.

  1. Create a discussion specific to individual sections. This means that if you wanted to have a discussion regarding Classical Literature in your course you would create three separate discussions: Classical Literature MM01, Classical Literature MM02, and Classical Literature MM03.
  2. The other option is to go to your People page and create a group for each section in your course (MM01, MM02, MM03) and then create one Classical Literature discussion and check that it is a group assignment.

The drawbacks of number 1 are that you are creating multiple assignments that will clog up your grade book. By identifying the different sections (as we mentioned in Assignments), the students will not be penalized for not participating in a discussion for a different section (they won't even see the other sections on their grades), but it will still show up in the Instructor's view of the grade book.

The drawbacks of number 2 are that it takes a little longer to set up the first time but it only has to be set up once for the entire semester.

For more detailed descriptions of these options, see the document here. If you have any questions reach out to CTL.

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Search for it.

© 2021 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.

Submit a Marketing Request

Website built with