Special Brightspace Merging Process for Hybrid Groups and Dual Delivery

For Spring 2021, there is a special merge process for Hybrid and Dual-Delivery courses. This special process applies to:

  • Hybrid—groups (Class is divided into groups (i.e., MWF class is divided into ABC groups). Faculty deliver instruction in person to alternating groups of students and the rest of instruction online or online live.)
  • Dual delivery (Faculty simultaneously deliver instruction in person and online live via Teams.)

For these delivery modes, the courses may appear to be “split” in Brightspace.  There is a manual process to combine or merge these sections. We are modifying our process for Hybrid-groups and Dual delivery courses. We will automatically merge these split sections. We will post a message in Brightspace when it is completed (no later than January 8, 2021). In the interim, you CAN begin (or continue) developing your courses today. During the merge for these unique cases, we will NOT delete any course offerings. This will give all faculty time to ensure you have copied all of your content into the correct merged section.

You should only develop content in ONE of your split sections. After the courses are merged, you will need to manually copy this content into your new merged course offering. It does not matter which course offering you work in, since you will need to manually copy your content into your new merged course offering. These are the steps to copy a course. (link to Keep Teaching Community site in Brightspace)

For any other scenario, including cases where you wanted additional (different) sections merged into these (e.g. want multiple sections of the same course or undergrad/grad courses, labs, etc…), you will still need to send a request to helpdesk@uakron.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need Assistance?

After hours, contact D2L at 1-877-325-7778 for 24/7/365 technical support, click here to CHAT with Brightspace support, or email DDS: ddshelp@uakron.edu

Do I need to wait until after the merge to work on my course?

No. You can develop your course now. Make note of the course offering you are using to build the course. When ready, copy the material from that section to the merged course. In general, we merge into the lowest section number. So, if you have a section 001A and 001B, we will merge into 001A, so you will not need to copy your course content when the merge is complete.

How do Course Offerings and Sections work in Brightspace?

When you login to Brightspace, you see a course offering for each course you are assigned to teach. In reality, every course offering in Brightspace consists of at least one section. Enrollment is maintained in the section(s). Course content is developed in the course offering.

How do Merges work in Brightspace?

Merging course offerings moves a section with all of its enrollments from one course offering to the destination course offering.

Example: Due to changes in course delivery (i.e. hybrid/online), many courses have been split into multiple sections. Section 100 might be split into 100A, 100B and 100C. When this happens, enrollment is removed from the original 100 section and split into the A/B/C sections. The original 100 course offering remains in Brightspace. If the original section remains (i.e. the split happened after the course originally populated Brightspace), then we will use the original section as the destination course. Sections 100A, 100B and 100C would be merged into section 100.

Normally, during this merge process, we would delete the course offering for Sections 100A, 100B, and 100C when we merged these into section 100. However, due to the unique situation, we will temporarily NOT delete any course offerings for these automatic merges. This will give faculty time to move any developed content from split sections into the combined course offering.

What are we changing?

For Hybrid-groups and Dual delivery modes, the courses may appear to be “split” in Brightspace. Due to the sheer volume of these, we are going to automatically merge any split hybrid-group and dual delivery courses into a new merged course offering. During the merge, we will NOT delete any course offerings. You can simply ignore the sections that you are not using. We recommend that you pin your merged courses and use the Pinned tab in the MyCourses widget.

Why are we changing this?

We are automatically merging split sections to help faculty manage their Brightspace courses and to eliminate the need to submit requests for these merges. We are NOT deleting sections, to enable faculty to work on courses now AND to ensure that faculty do not lose any content.

What is the downside to this change?

The downside is that temporarily, faculty will continue to see multiple sections after a merge. Faculty will need to be sure to post all content into the correct merged course. You will be able to verify this by confirming:

  • The course you are working has students in the classlist.
  • The course number will be labeled with the word “MERGE”

After the merge, what if I need to communicate with just a split section?

In Brightspace, you will still be able to:

  • View the Classlist by Section.
  • View the Grade book by Section
  • Release content only to one section within a merged course offering. 
  • Restrict a group-based activity to just a specific section within a course offering.
Use the Sections/Groups tab in the classlist to choose specific sections.
In the Brightspace Classlist, use the Sections/Groups Tab to View Individual Sections.
Individual sections can be viewed in the Grade Book by using the View By and Sections drop-down menus.
In the Brightspace Gradebook, use the “View By” Menu to View Individual Sections.
Use the Section enrollment condition and then choose a specific section to release content to a specific section
Use Release Conditions to Release Content or Assignments to a specific section based on Section Enrollment
Use the groups tool to create groups based on section enrollment or other criteria and then create group assignments based on those groups.
Create groups in the Groups Tool and then create Group Assignments based on those groups.

What will faculty see in Brightspace?

Before courses have been merged, the instructor may see 2-3 course offerings each with an attached split section. After the split sections have been merged, faculty will see all of the split course offerings in addition to seeing a new merged course offering. This new course offering will be the only site that contains enrollment. At this point, you can copy any course content into the new merged course offering. You can pin this new merged course offering and use the new Pinned tab in the My Courses widget to access your courses. You can ignore the course offerings that have not yet been deleted (do not pin these).

Screenshot showing original "split" sectons on the right with the "new" merged course on the left.
In the merged course on the left, notice the course number beneath the course name (5500_251_800_merge_4207).

What will students see in Brightspace?

Students will only see one course offering, whichever course offering the student’s section has been assigned to. The process throughout should be transparent to students.

How long will I have access to the extra course offering(s)?

The extra course offering(s) will not be removed from Brightspace. We do not want to risk removing a course that a faculty member has developed.

Will faculty still need to submit a merge request?

Potentially. We are making these changes for Hybrid-groups and Dual delivery courses only. You will need to submit merge requests for other modes of delivery or other scenarios.

For courses that were split, you will not need to request that these be merged in Brightspace. However, if you have multiple sections of the same course that you want merged, this will still require a support ticket.

For example, if you are teaching 1100_001_001_4211 and it has been split into 1100_001_001A_4207 and 1100_001_001B_4207, you WILL NOT need to request that these be merged. However, if you are teaching 1100_001_001_4211 (with sections 001A and 001B) and 1100_001_002_4211 (with sections 002A and 002B), then you WILL need to request that these 2 courses offerings (4 sections total) be merged if you want just 1 Brightspace for both/all sections.

Other scenarios where you may request a merge:

  • You are teaching a “slash” class (i.e. undergraduate and graduate sections together).
  • You are teaching courses that are offered in different departments that you usually teach together at the same time.
  • Lab sections. Many lab coordinators will request all of their lab sections be merged together into one large Brightspace course.
  • Lecture and Discussion sections can be merged.
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