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Course Merge


Are you teaching multiple sections of the same course and want a single Blackboard site to place content in for all of your students? Please follow the instructions below. The merging steps must be performed by system personnel.


  • Decide which Blackboard site you will use with all of the students. This site is referred to as the "parent." The other sites to be combined are referred to as "child" sites. Note: Nothing ever gets copied from the child sites except the enrollments. The child sites will become entirely useless to you, and will never be opened by the students.
  • If this is an eCampus class, you can depend on the course designers from the Instructional Development Center to accomplish the course merging for you. Be sure the course designer knows which site you want as the parent, and which site(s) to include as child sites.
  • For all other course merges, you must contact the IT service desk at 859-622-3000, or use the Web form at State clearly which site you want to use as the parent, what name you want to see for the parent site, and which site(s) to include as child sites. (Note: the name you designate for the parent site will be seen on My Courses by you and the students who are registered in the parent CRN. Students in the CRNs for the child sites will see the name for their registered section on My Courses, but will automatically be connected into the parent site.)

What happens:

  • On your list of My Courses, the parent site is shown as usual. Each child site gets the special notation "unavailable - Child course of [parent site]." You should ignore the child sites completely, and you can hide them from your view by clicking the "gear" icon atop My Courses and changing the settings on the personalization page. Students never enter the child sites, but the name seen by students on My Courses reflects the class for which they registered. (Students in the CRNs for child sites never see the name of the "combined" site.)
  • In the parent site, the Roster tool and the option for students to email "selected users" are disabled. These features have to be turned off to comply with the FERPA rules for student information privacy, whereby a student is not allowed to discover enrollment information about students who are registered in other sections. You, as instructor, have all the usual privileges for email.
  • As students add to or drop from the sites, the system synchronizes all of the enrollments for you in the parent site.
  • Inside the parent site, the Grade Center automatically gets a new column called Child Course ID, identifying the source site for each student from a “child” section. Students who are registered in the CRN for the parent site get “nothing” in that column. Clicking the header for Child Course ID sorts the rows for you, with the students who are registered in the CRN for the parent site grouped together by that empty value, followed by groupings for each child CRN. (This feature makes it easy to view the grades for a particular section, or to select those students as recipients for an email message, etc.)
  • To create Smart Views for the individual sections, begin at Grade Center > Full Grade Center > Manage > Smart Views > Create Smart VIew. Enter a name (such as one of the child section's CRN) and set this as a Favorite. Set the Type of View to "Custom," and then set the User Criteria to "Child Course ID." Set the Condition to "Contains," and then set the Value to the relevant CRN. Under "FIlter Results," change the setting so that you will see "All Columns." Then click Submit. This places the name of the Smart View under your Grade Center links, and when you click it, you see the rows for the students from that CRN. Note that students who are registered in the CRN used for the PARENT do not have any value in the Child Course ID column, so you cannot create a Smart View with this technique. The best way to accomplish that is to form a Group for those students; as you create the Group you have the option to create a Smart View directly from there!
  • Should you decide that you want to unmerge the sections, you must contact the service desk at 859-622-3000.


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