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Community Member

Can I implement site-wide groups aka "cohorts" or many-to-many cross-listings?

One of our colleges was using cross-listed courses in our previous LMS for their RPT process. They created courses for various RPT committees and then cross-listed those courses with additional courses created for each faculty member. Since our previous LMS left the original courses intact rather than merging them into the cross-listed course, they could create many-to-many relationships between the courses without having to duplicate the enrollments manually. For example:

Course 1: RPT Committee 1

Enrollments:

  • All members of RPT Committee 1

Course 2: RPT Committee 2

Enrollments:

  • All members of RPT Committee 2

Course 3: Faculty Member 1 - Cross-Listing of Course 1 and Course 2

Enrollments:

  • Faculty member 1
  • All members of RPT Committee 1 (via cross-listing)
  • All members of RPT Committee 2 (via cross-listing)

Course 4: Faculty Member 2 - Cross-Listing of Course 1 and Course 2

  • Faculty member 2
  • All members of RPT Committee 1 (via cross-listing)
  • All members of RPT Committee 2 (via cross-listing)

This would be difficult to replicate in Canvas since the cross-listed sections are moved from their original course to the cross-listed course. For example, once Course 1 is cross-listed with Course 3, it could no longer be cross-listed with Course 4. To cross-list a course multiple times, we would have to duplicate the sections and the enrollments they contain.

Is there another way to accomplish this? Side-wide groups aka "cohorts" were another option in our previous LMS, but we chose not to implement them. Is there something similar in Canvas?

15 Replies
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I don't think you can assign admin level groups to a course.

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They won't work for what we're trying to do here then, but I can think of other cases where they would be useful so thanks for mentioning them.

garth@academicplatforms.com If we managed the groups/cohorts in our SIS, I assumed we would still have to assign the groups to courses externally, but it sounds like you're doing that in your SIS as well. Are you using Banner as your SIS by any chance? Do the courses to which you're assigning the cohorts originate in your SIS?

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We are not using Banner.

Also, we are not doing exactly the same thing you are doing.

We are managing cohorts of students, so yes, courses also originate from the SIS.

If your courses are created outside the SIS (I can understand why you would do that) then managing cohorts with the SIS may not be possible.

However, you could easily create your own "cohort management console" of sorts.

Do you have any programming resources available to you?Reading your response to chris@aspiredu.com​ below, it sounds as though you could do this using the SIS Import process.

All you need is a process to create the custom enrollment import file.

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In November, a feature idea opens for voting. Based on its description and comments, it appears to be about using groups across courses.

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Surveyor II

Mike -- What is your end goal?  Why do you want to do this?

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Our end goal is to have a Canvas course for each faculty member being considered for RPT. Faculty members will be enrolled in their own course as a student and the members of various RPT committees will be enrolled in certain courses as teachers. Faculty members will submit their RPT documents to Canvas assignments and then the documents will be evaluated by various committees.

Committees can be assigned to evaluate multiple faculty members, so the members of each committee will need to be enrolled in multiple courses. Since there is a one-to-relationship between faculty members and courses, we can add those enrollments manually, but we're hoping to automate the enrollments for committee members.