What is a Combined D2L Course?

Tags Combined ctl

Why request a "Combined Course?"

Two example scenarios:

  1.  If you have a cross-listed course that is listed in multiple departments (i.e. ANTH/SOC/WMST), you should consider a combined course in D2L Brightspace.
  2. If you will be teaching three sections of the same course (i.e, PSYC 1000 10, 11, & 21) and would be using the same materials for all three sections, a combined course would manage content for all three courses in a single course shell. This would save you time.

Pros of a combined course:

  1. You can upload content into only one D2L course shell.
  2. You can compose Announcements for all your courses in one place.
  3. You will not need to use the "copy" process into a separate D2L course each time you create a new item in D2L.
  4. FERPA guidelines state that students in separate sections MAY interact in discussion boards, zoom meetings, etc. as long as the course name and the instructor is the same for each section. 

Cons of a combined course:

  1. You'll need to be diligent about using "Release conditions" for items that are only needed for specific sections.
  2. Combining courses that use different delivery methods (ie - Blended/Hybrid vs. Completely Online) may take more time to sort out release conditions for announcements, content, etc. Because teaching methods in different delivery modes vary, it is recommended to only combine courses within the same delivery method.*
    *Exceptions may apply - for example, a Hybrid course and a Synchronous Online course that meet at the same time may be combined.


1. Can I view each section of students separately in the gradebook, or other tools?

Answer: Yes! D2L will automatically separate students by section throughout the tools in D2L. Look for the "View by" menu in places such as the Gradebook, Quiz tool, Discussions, etc. 

View By: Sections

2. Can I make Announcements or other items that are only viewed by a single section?

Answer: Yes! Use the "Release Conditions" tool, which can be found throughout all D2L tools. From the "Condition type" menu, select "Classlist > Section enrollment", and then select the section number for which you'd like the item to be available.

Condition Type > Select Condition Type > Classlist > Section enrollment


3. Will students see names and email address of students from different sections in the "Classlist" tool?

Answer: No. By default, students see only their own section's names in the Classlist tool.

4. Should I let my students know that they are in a combined course?

Answer: If you require or allow interaction between students in different Sections, then yes. See more info below.

Student interaction between sections:

To inform students about possible interaction with students from other sections, it is a best practice to include a line on the syllabus which states that interaction in D2L and/or Zoom/Teams may include students from the instructor's other sections. If a student raises a concern about cross-section interaction, and you are unsure how to handle it, please consult with your Academic Dean or with the Dean of Students.

Sample syllabus statements appear below - feel free to copy/paste and revise if needed for your own Syllabus.

  1. "Please note that Discussion boards or other group activities in D2L may include students who are registered in one of my other sections of this course. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please let me know."
  2. "Please note that Zoom meetings may include students who are registered in one of my other sections of this course. If you have questions or concerns about this, please let me know. Also note that if Zoom meetings are recorded by the instructor, any student images, voice, or other identifying information will not be shared outside of this course, or in a different semester."
  3. "Zoom meetings are held only for participants of this course. Recording or sharing a recording outside of the course's meeting time is at the discretion of the instructor only."

How do I request a combined course?

  • Watch your email and/or D2L homepage announcement for each term's deadlines and instructions for requesting combined courses.
  • Use this Combined Course Request Form

Was this helpful?
0 reviews
Print Article


Article ID: 155299
Tue 10/31/23 1:45 PM
Tue 10/31/23 2:11 PM