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Bb Tip #136: Merging Courses

Blackboard has a Section Merge Tool that allows faculty to combine two or more courses into a single course. Faculty do not have to make a request to the Information Technology Center to merge their courses.

image showing why merge sign

Using the Section Merge Tool to combine courses can be useful when you are teaching multiple sections of the same course or when you are teaching a course that is cross-listed. Merging courses allows you to have all the students in a single Blackboard course which can be useful for collaborative work. Merging courses reduces the number of courses an instructor has to manage within Blackboard, especially when each section has identical content.

Once you’ve merged courses you can upload your course content and assignments into the merged course; communicate with the students in the merged course; setup collaborative course work; and have one gradebook for the merged course. You can create groups within your merged course that correspond to the original course sections. This way you can target a particular course section (group) of students for specific things (e.g. send email to a specific group, make content available to specific group, enter/view gradebook entries for a specific group, etc.)

NOTE: Merging of courses is typically done at the start of the semester before content is added and before students submit course work. You should wait to merge courses if there is a possibility that there will be last minute changes to instructor course section assignments. You can request a Master Course Shell to build your course and then transfer the content into your merged course.

You should carefully consider whether merging courses is right for you. Some disadvantages to merging courses are:

  • Course enrollments for the merged courses will be combined which can make grading student work a challenge. You can use Smart Views to make grading easier.
  • If you decide you want to unmerge courses after students have submitted course work, student work and grades will be lost. Only student enrollments are retained when you unmerge courses.

Follow these steps to do it.

In order to merge courses you must be listed as the instructor for each of the courses.

  1. Login to Blackboard and click on the [Section Merge] tab.
  2. Click on [Click Here to Create and Manage Merged Courses] on the Section Merge Tool page.
  3. Click on [Setup New Merged Course] on the Manage Merged Courses page.
  4. Carefully select ALL courses you want to be merged (combined) from the list and click [Submit].
  5. On the Select Existing Course page, select the course you want to be the merged (combined) course (i.e. the course where you want all enrolled students to be and where you want to upload course contents). Click [Submit].
  6. You should see a green confirmation bar indicating the merge was successful. Only the merged course name will appear in the list of courses for both the instructor and enrolled students. 

Want more information?

Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Explore Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.
Check out help for instructors at help.blackboard.com.
Try these Blackboard How-To documents.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

2 thoughts on “Bb Tip #136: Merging Courses

  1. Pingback: CAT Food » Blog Archive » Bb Tip #140: Beginning of Semester Tasks

  2. Pingback: CAT FooD » Blog Archive » Bb Tip #148: Beginning of Semester Tasks

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