Blueprint courses vs Cross-listing

Community Contributor

Deciding whether to use a Blueprint course, cross-list or commons can be overwhelming.

blueprint vs cross-list flowchart

This ridiculous flowchart (see attached for a pdf version) is a very late response post to Tracey DeLillo's reply on the Blueprint release notes back in August. Commons really isn’t utilized currently by our instructors. They mainly just add each other into each other’s courses as designers and share by importing specific content.

A basic summary of my workflow for when people come asking for help

My first questions always is: How many instructors?
If only 1 instructor, cross-list. My reasoning is at most they will have 3 sections. They can use differentiated assignment for due dates and since it is just them they have full control over mute assignment when grading.

Multiple instructors… things get tricky

If it is only a few teachers I’d say less than 3 they can go either cross-list or blueprint. More than 3, I usually recommend blueprint if they have a designated course lead.




Updating content

Instant updating of all content by all users. All teachers have access to everybody’s content and can update/delete or do whatever it is they do.

Designated users sync for specified shared content

Grading – Mute Assignment

Mute assignment for grading is connected to all sections. When teachers mute/unmute all the students in all sections are impacted. So you if teachers don’t coordinate well or you have a slow grader, grades maybe released in a very confusing manner to students

Courses are their own entities’. Grading one section has no affect to any other sections (unless teacher has cross-listed their own sections)

Ability to lock content so others cannot edit

No control

Designated users and lock certain specified content in the blueprint course

Add own content

Using differentiated assignments it is possible to assign things to specific sections. But, as far as sharing things like pages or files all sections can see.

If the content isn’t locked, teachers are free to add new and modify items from the blueprint in own courses.

Need Admin or other help to setup

Teachers can cross-list their own courses. Combining multiple instructors/sections you need admin.

Admin needs to setup blueprint, associate courses and add initial teachers. All associated sections must be in the same sub account and term.


I am sure I missed several other import things to consider but, hey I made the flowchart not paying attention in an unrelated meeting. Hopefully my top rate graphics at least made you laugh.