Moving Students between shells

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Due to a change in student record/ administration system at my institution we are facing a situation where we have a 10 week course which lives in a shell, if a student fails this course they can join from the halfway point (week 6) of the next running course. Previously we were able to just add these repeating students into the shell at week 6 which meant all assignments etc were in the same place. 

Due to our new system, any repeat student will be put into a new class (in our admin system, not on canvas). However in reality these repeat students will be distributed across already existing 10 week courses (at the week 6 point). The issue we are facing is that it looks like we will be unable to add these students into the same 10 week shell as the admin system and canvas are linked, so when a new class is created in the admin system it will automatically create a new shell for the new students. 

I am aware we can cross list courses, which seems like half of a solution, however I can't see if it possible to move students from cross listed courses into other sections.



(Shell 1)  Term 1 Class Sections A, B and C  - 10 week course 

(Shell 2) Term 1 Class section A (15 students) - 5 week course starting in week 6 of Shell 1 

We can cross list so that students from shell 2 can access all of the content from shell 1 - is it possible to allocate students from shell 2 into shell 1 once they have been enrolled?

2 Solutions
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @MattJKelly,

It seems like crosslisting in Canvas is actually what you would want here, as it would essentially move the entire section with enrollments into a different Canvas shell.

Now with that said, I think this is more of a question about your new student information system (SIS) and its integration with Canvas, rather than Canvas itself.  You'd want to be sure that the SIS integration would not be broken by crosslisting in Canvas, and perhaps see if it can be coded to do the crosslisting for you automatically.  The way you want to run your courses seems somewhat unique, so it wouldn't surprise me if some kind of custom coding or modification would be needed by your sis vendor, or even a local team, to make all of this work.  If you can give more information about your SIS, I could possibly move this over to the SIS area of the community to see if there's anyone there with experience with your specific SIS to give you some further guidance.

Look forward to hearing back from you!


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Hi @MattJKelly 

The way I think about it is that the "course" (shell) is where all the course materials, assessments, student work, grades, etc. are stored.  The "section" is where the enrollments connect to the users.

In Canvas, each course shell has its own "default" section, but you can specifically create one or more sections within a course using SIS integration, and specifically enroll students in a particular section, rather than a particular course.

You can also "cross list" a section, which means that you are moving the section from one course shell to another.

The benefit of enrolling students in a specific section rather than a specific course in your SIS integration is that if you choose to cross-list a section, the enrollment feed for your SIS integration does not need to change.

Students can be enrolled in more than one section that is cross-listed into the same course shell, or they can be removed from one section and added to another section within the same course shell, and their course work, grades, etc. are all preserved.

However, if you remove the student from a section that is in one course shell, and add them to a section that is in a different course shell (or, alternatively, if you choose to cross-list a section to move it from one course shell to another), then any course work, grades, etc. from the first course shell will be lost.  That is why we do not allow instructors to cross-list their courses after the semester has started....

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