Crosslisting: Some unexpected results

Idea created by Griet Lust on Feb 14, 2019
    Open for Voting
    • Griet Lust
    • Vicky Van Den Heede
    • Liesbeth De Blaere
    • Bjorn De Rouck

    We notice that some functional enhancements can be made regarding the way Canvas deals with a cross-listed course in relation to self-enrollments versus SIS-imports. 


    Cross-listening means from a teacher's perspective that you connect course A to course B. As a teacher in fact you move the section of course A to course B. Enrollments to course A end up in course B via SIS import since Canvas recognizes this course as being crosslisted. Nevertheless, this is not the case with self-enrollments or enrollments via the UI. Two cases to illustrate. 



    (1) Case 1: The teacher invites students to participate on course A (for instance international students that visit our institution for one week), then decides to link course A to course B while the invitations are still pending. This is problematic since the invitations should be accepted before the crosslinking can happen. The invitations disappear on students' dashboard the moment that a teacher decides to crosslink those two courses. As in contrast to the SIS import, Canvas does not recognize this invitation as connected to course B. Result: the teacher is in course B waiting for his international students to arrive, the international students do not get an invitation. 


    (2) Case 2: The teacher allows students to self-enroll for a course for a limited timeperiod (the timeperiod that is necessary to formally register the individual study tracks in our data system). During that time period the teacher crosslists course A to course B, leaving no sections behind in course A. You would expect that Canvas recognizes (as with the SIS imports) that an enrollment for course A should go to course B. Nevertheless, this is not the case, self-enrolled students arrive in course A where a new section is automatically created (separate from the crosslinked course B). As a result, the students end up alone in this section in course A, without any teacher. The teacher can’t see course A and its students anymore since his enrollment moved to course B. If the sis imports of enrollments are done on course level, the following SIS import will create the enrollments in this new section of course A, creating an odd situation.


    Here are a couple of videos illustrating the second case:

    Video 1 'Cross listed courses and sis imports':

    We perform a sis import of enrollments to Course A and to Course B. Then we cross list the section of course A to Course B.

    We perform a new sis import to add an enrollment to Course A. The new enrollment arrives in the cross listed section that lives in Course B.


    Video 2 'Cross listed courses and self-enrollments':

    Starts right after video 1, we masquerade a user and self-enroll in course A. The user ends up in a new section of Course A. The user is completely alone in the course! The teacher and the rest of students are in Course B. Since the teacher is only in the cross listed section in the course B, he can't even see the student that self-enrolled in course A or change the settings so that no more self-enrollments arrive in the course.


    The initial response of Canvas to those cases is the fact that Canvas treats self-enrollments as an enrollment to a course whereas SIS enrollments to a section. Preferable it should be that the original section (the one with the name of the course) should be connected to a course-enrollment (whether that comes from SIS or self-enrollment). Their suggestion to (a) first wait for students to accept all course invitations (case 1) or (b) unpublish the course before cross-linking so that not self-enrollments can happen is not practical. Rather we would like to see this enhanced. 



    Our question is to treat self-enrollments in a similar way as SIS-enrollments. The latter end up in de crosslinked course B since Canvas recognizes them as linked. As illustrated in the two cases above this is not the case for self-enrollments which causes rather absurde situations.