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Section access after cross list

Question asked by David Rios on Sep 6, 2019
Latest reply on Oct 31, 2019 by David Rios



  We’ve created a tool to allow instructors to cross list courses, and some interesting behavior has been observed.  Immediately after the sections are cross-listed into the ‘master’ course, the instructor loses access to those added sections. 


  While acting as the instructor:

1)   In Settings -> Sections, the added sections appear in the list but are not selectable.  The section corresponding to the ‘master’ course is selectable (see screenshot ‘sections’). 

2)    In the People page, only the students in the section corresponding to the ‘master’ course are visible, although the instructor is enrolled in every section, as you would expect (see screenshot ‘people’). 

3)   The instructor is unable to create assignments or quizzes for any of the added sections, instead there is an error message displayed indicating that the added section id is unknown. 


  As an admin, I am able to access all sections within the course and see all enrollments from all sections in the people page.


 In production, this goes away after some time passes, and the instructor suddenly has access to all sections and can see enrollments in all sections, just as you would normally expect.  In test, this never happens, so I set out to determine why. 
After a few dead ends, I managed to fix the problem in test by running an enrollment import which essentially re-enrolled the instructor in all the sections with the ‘limit_privileges_to_course_section’ attribute set to ‘false’.  At this point, I thought I had it figured out, but there is a twist: I ran the enrollment import again, this time setting the attribute back to ‘true’, and it had no effect!  The instructor was still able to access all sections and see all people.  So, even though changing the attribute to ‘false’ fixed the problem, changing it back to ‘true’ did not re-create the problem.  This leads me to believe that there is an element to this that I don’t understand, so I am hesitant to apply this ‘fix’ to the tool.


I’ve compared the details of the enrollments, course info, course settings, course permissions, and section info using the Live API and there aren’t any differences that seem relevant.  This is true for settings before and after the cross-list, and before and after the enrollment import.    


Does anyone have any insight into this situation that might help me understand what exactly is happening, and whether or not this does represent a viable solution? 



David Rios

Oregon State University