What is Cross-listing in Canvas?

Cross-listing allows you to move section enrollments from individual courses and combine them into one course. This feature is helpful for instructors who teach several sections of the same course and only want to manage course data in one location. Instructors can create assignments/assessments for individual sections or all sections and can also choose to communicate with all sections or individual sections in their course. Section names do not change when they are cross-listed; the section is just moved into the “parent” course.

If you have many courses to cross-list, please contact the CVPA ITC for assistance.

Before Beginning

Cross-listing should only be completed while courses are unpublished. 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. If you have cross-listed courses and are experiencing errors or data loss, contact the CVPA ITC for assistance.

Courses in Canvas contain one or more “Sections.” To view these sections click Settings (left navigation list) and click the “Sections” tab at the top of the page. 

When combining courses you are, in fact, “cross-listing” one Section into another course shell. In essence, one course section is removed from its current Canvas course and placed into a different parent course shell.

Follow These Steps to Cross-list Courses

  1. Identify the course that will be the “parent” (typically the lower-number course). The course SIS ID will be used in this process. Find the course SIS ID by navigating to “Settings” within the course and the SIS ID appears in the list of Course Details. The SIS ID is a three-segment ID formatted in this way: COURSE___######___#####. Copy this course ID to your computer clipboard.
    screen shot of Canvas
  2. Navigate to the course that you would like to combine with the parent (typically the higher number), and find the section that is contained within. To find the Section SIS ID, click Settings and then on the resulting page click the “Sections” tab at the top of the page then click on the blue link to view the section page.
    Screen shot of Canvas
  3. Once on the Sections page, the “Cross List this Section” button will appear in the right margin (or bottom of the page if you are working on a smaller sized computer screen). Click the “Cross-List this Section” button to view the cross-list dialogue box.
    Canvas screenshot
  4. Paste the course SIS ID that was copied in step 1 into the first field. Canvas will search dynamically for the parent course and it should appear below the search box. Click on the course that appears to select it for cross-listing.
    Canvas screenshot
  5. Once confirmed, click the blue “Cross-List This Section” button in the dialogue box. Repeat for any other course(s) you want to include in the parent course, making sure to use the same parent Course ID each time.
  6. After cross-listing, some instructors opt to change their course name and course code to something that more accurately reflects the combination. For example, if you combined MUS 101-01 and MUS 101-02, you might change the course name and code to MUS 101-01/101-02, or simply MUS 101 instead. More information about changing the course name can be found in Instructure’s help documentation

More information about cross-listing courses can be found here.

Dr. Daniel E. Rice, Instructional Technology Consultant
UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts
[email protected]