Community Participant

SIS Generated Courses, Crosslisting, and Section Start/End Dates

Goal: I'd like to be able to crosslist sections of courses spanning two semesters that are generated by an SIS sync without students who are in separate sections each semester appearing in both sections at the same time. This will allow teachers of year long courses to keep all contents and grades for the year in a single course while ensuring students receive assignments only for the section in which they are currently enrolled.

Background: I'm going to try to keep this from being word salad here.

  • Our Canvas courses are generated through an SIS sync (Blackbaud).
  • We have two terms per year (1st and 2nd semester). Core courses are 2 semesters in length and electives are only 1 semester in length.
  • We are currently utilizing the One Roster setting to create one record per school year for sections of courses spanning multiple terms (i.e. core courses). See the image below. Courses spanning one term (electives) are created in their own term.
  • For each course regardless of length, we crosslist its sections with those in its respective term (e.g. each year-long course receives all sections in a single course, and each semester-long course receives all sections for only one semester at a time (e.g. 1st Semester PE receives all 1st semester sections, and 2nd Semester PE receives all 2nd semester sections).
  • We don't use the "One record per term" setting in One Roster because it also appears to provide no way to keep the section start and end dates once the sections are crosslisted in Canvas. Although we don't mind one-semester courses starting over, we do mind that for year-long courses.

Unfortunately, our current setup presents a dilemma with crosslisted, core courses if a student is in, say, section 6 during first semester and section 2 during 2nd semester. This happens because the student may have to take an elective during the second semester which is only offered at the same time as their core course. Since the student can’t be in two places at one time, the student has to change core course sections at the semester. As it sits now, the student ends up in both sections of the course during the first semester (see image below)

jbarr_1-1670617932173.pngScreenshot 2022-12-09 at 1.52.19 PM.png

The biggest issue with this arises when teachers give a single assignment with different due dates for different sections. Then the student in the example above ends up with a late penalty for missing work because even though they completed it on time for section 6, the due date is earlier for section 2. For middle-schoolers, and their parents, this is cruel and unusual.

This has been sent up the chain to our CSM, but we’ve heard…crickets. Since I’m not the field admin, I can’t beat down the CSM’s door, and I’m taking heat from our academic counselors and parents when students can’t get their assignments as well as from the teachers if I ask them to maintain separate semesters in Canvas.

If there’s a workaround, I’m all ears. If it can’t be done, then I can give our teachers a clear answer as to why. Any help is appreciated!

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3 Replies
New Member

We are on a call with our CSM about this issue right now and have been looking to partner with another Blackbaud/Canvas school . I'll let you know if we find anything.

New Member


We are having the same exact problem/conversation right now.  We've reached out to Canvas and have met with them to discuss how to transition between semesters.  Would you be interested in having a discussion with us? 

Community Participant


Like Tindr, but for Canvas admins, LOL!

I've been contacted by support, and I'm working on a response right now.  Should be in touch at some point here soon.

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