Merge Course Offerings

Instructors have the ability to merge two or more course sites into a single site. This process can be undone.

Individual Brightspace sites are automatically created for each course offering. Any secondary components (LAB, SEM, TUT, etc.)–what Brightspace refers to as “Sections”–are contained within the primary course site.

An instructor teaching multiple instances of the same course–what the Brock community refers to as sections–that share the same learning content and assessments may wish to merge the sites together to more easily track student progress and more efficiently share course material.

Upon merging, students will remain categorized by the secondary and/or primary course sections in which they were initially enrolled. All tools in Brightspace offer a “View by” filter to display members of the component sections, and it is possible to restrict assessments and materials to said select rosters (this is typically done using Release Conditions or Special Access).

Roster changes (both adds and drops) will continue to sync up with any relocated sections.

Merging sites should be used to combine courses that share learning content and assessments and not simply to make navigation easier for the instructor.

Merging Sites

The SIS Course Merge tool will quickly move selected sites and their rosters into a single site. A destination site must be chosen out of the initial selection, and any material in the other sites will be lost. Additionally, instructors will be unenrolled from the other sites and thus lose access.

  1. Locate the SIS Course Merge tool by clicking the Admin Tools gear or cog icon in the top-right of any Brightspace page.

screenshot showing the highlighted admin tools gear icon in the Brightspace navigation bar
Brightspace Admin Tools.
  1. Search for the desired courses to be merged [1] or click Filters [2] and then Semester to aid in locating a course within the list. Select [3] more than one course for the Merge Courses [4] button to become available. It is possible to select a site and then perform a new search to add to the merge list.

screenshot showing the The search, filter, and select options for merging courses using the SIS course merge tool
The search, filter, and select options for merging courses.
  1. Choose the destination course site that will absorb the others. This site will retain existing site materials, but be careful if there is content in any of the other sites getting merged as that will be lost. It will be possible to rename and transfer content into the newly created merged site (use the Import/Export/Copy Components tool to move content between sites).

  1. Upon selecting the site that will absorb the others, click the Merge button at the bottom of the window. This will begin the merge process.

  2. It is recommended that instructors rename the course site once the other sites are merged into it to avoid student confusion (e.g. if lecture sites 1-4 were merged, rename the site inclusive of all sections). A course site’s name can be changed in Course Tools → Course Admin → Course Offering Information.

Unmerging Sites

The SIS Course Merge tool offers instructors the ability to unmerge course sites that they may have merged accidentally or have decided would work better as separate sites.

Instructors should not unmerge courses that are in progress. Graded assessments and other site activity will not follow students back to the unmerged site.

  1. Locate the SIS Course Merge tool by selecting the Admin Tools gear icon in the top-right of Brightspace.

  1. Search for the desired courses to be unmerged [1] or use Filters to organize the search by semester.

  2. Search for the course code (e.g. ACTG-3P04, IASC-1F01, etc.) to pull up a list of all sites.

  3. Find the merged course site, which will be labeled with a View merged courses link on the right [2].

  1. The list of component courses in the merged site will be displayed. Select the checkbox next to the main course site to auto-select all of the courses and then unmerge. Or, select a specific course site to unmerge from the group.

  2. Use the Unmerge button to unmerge the courses and return them to separate sites.

Notes on merged sites

  • Official student adds/drops/changes will sync up properly.

  • Most tools within a site have options to filter the student list by the component Sections.

  • TAs can still be assigned specifically to the individual Sections.

  • You won't be able to use the Transfer Grades tool in BrockDB for the second Section. This was only introduced this spring and you may have never seen it (or expected to take advantage of it). You can export and transfer grades similarly to how you always did in Sakai, or even manually fill them in.

  • If different Sections need separate due dates for the same assignment, you will have to set up Special Access (which is relatively easy but not a single click).

  • Unique Section-specific assessments (quizzes, assignments, etc.) will require separate Grade Items.

  • Prior to a requested merge build, if student data has been generated in a course/section involved in the merge, the student data will be lost.

  • A course merge should always be made before instructors begin adding content and/or setting up common tool areas (Assignments, Discussions etc.).

What if my course already has content?

If your course already contains content but you need to do a merge, you will have to clear the content before proceeding. We recommend that you back up the materials to another offering space before deleting it from the sections that will be merged. You can do one of the following:

  • Create a Project Site, move all content to the Project Site, perform the merge, then copy your content back into the merged course.

  • Delete all content from your course, merge your courses, then upload content back into the merged course from a pre-existing backed-up offering.


Please contact CPI at with any questions or comments about the contents of this site.