Multiple Sections - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I request a consolidated Master course?

Please refer to this page on how to request a master course. You can select the course sections that you would like to combine into the master course and designate one of those sections to be the master course. Requests for Master Courses are completed by the end of the next business day. Student rosters from the Registration and Records database will be automatically populated into the master section from all related sections. Drops and additions will be automatically maintained in the master section with daily feeds from the Registration and Records database (on business days). You will find that all sections will appear in your Blackboard course list. You only need to add new content to the master section and make only the master section available to students.

I am considering consolidating a multi-section (4 or 5 sections) lab course into a single master 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 consolidated master course still retain (or can it be added) a designation as to the original section identifier for each student?

When a consolidated master 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.

We do have the option when creating a master course to create an entirely new master section rather than using the first section as the master. If we did that, each individual section, including the first one, could still be used by the TAs to identify their students. The individual sections could also be made available to students for discussion with their section.

An alternate option would be to use Smart Views in the master course Grade Center to display only students from a certain section. However, all TAs in the master course would still be able to view or modify grades for all the students.

I have made the master course for my upcoming semester courses available. Do I also have to make the other three available for those students to get into the master?

When the semester starts, you only need to make the master section available, not the other sections. You can just ignore the other sections in your course list. The enrollment for all 4 sections should show up in the master course roster and be updated automatically from MyNIU on the following business day when there are add/drops. Once you set it to be available, all the students in the roster will see the master course.

I need to set up a master 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 the department chair or individual permissions from each faculty member to create the master course. That permission and the request to combine sections into the master course can then be forwarded to DoIT at for processing. DoIT will notify the faculty member who submitted the request when the process is complete.

Looking for More Answers?

Ask Your Blackboard Question

Not finding the answer to your Blackboard question? Submit your question to our NIU Blackboard support experts!

Ask A Blackboard Question

Login to Blackboard

Get Help

Technical Support and Student Help

Division of IT Service Desk


Teaching Support and Faculty Help

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning


Back to top