Multiple Sections - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I request a combined course?

Please refer to this page on how to request a combined course. You can select the course sections that you would like to combine and designate one of those sections to be the primary (PRIM) course. Requests for combined courses are completed immediately; the primary course is designated with PRIM in the course name. Student rosters from MyNIU will be automatically populated into the primary course from all related sections. Drops and additions will be automatically maintained in the primary section with daily feeds from MyNIU. You will find that all sections will appear in your Blackboard course list. You only need to add new content to the primary course and make only the primary course available to students.

I am considering consolidating a multi-section (4 or 5 sections) lab course into a single combined course. However, my lab TA's still need to maintain lists of students based on their original section assignments for attendance, grade recording, etc. Does the combined course still retain (or can it be added) a designation as to the original section identifier for each student?

When a combined course is created, each of the individual sections is also created and the rosters are filled by the Registration and Records database. Typically, a faculty member only makes the master course available and leaves the other sections unavailable so the students only see the master course. The usual procedure at this time is to designate the first section as the master. The roster of that course is populated with the students from all the sections that have been associated with it.

The course will also include a group for each of the courses that were combined. These groups can be used to filter the Gradebook in the Ultra Course View (or to create a Smart View in the Original Course View) to view only the students who were in that section. The groups can also be used to send targeted messages to students in one of the combined courses or to release content to those specific students.

I have made the combined course for my upcoming semester courses available to my students. Do I also have to make the other secondary courses available for those students to access the primary course?

When the semester starts, you only need to make the primary course available, not the other secondary courses. You can just ignore the other courses in your course list. The enrollment for all combined sections should show up in the primary course roster and be updated automatically from MyNIU on the following business day when there are add/drops. Once you set it to be visible to students, all the students in the roster will see the primary course.

I need to set up a combined course for all sections of the course; however, each section has a different instructor of record.

In order to combine course sections that are taught by different faculty members, the faculty member(s) teaching the course need to obtain the permission from each faculty member to create the combined course. That permission and the request to combine the courses together can then be forwarded to DoIT at for processing. DoIT will notify the faculty member who submitted the request when the process is complete.

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