Combining courses means combining more than one section in BOTH eLearning AND SIS.
When the courses have different faculty, merging them into a single course would give faculty members access to academic record information for which they do not have a legitimate educational interest under FERPA, and therefore cannot be combined.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of a student’s education record, which includes access to student information of course sections they are not enrolled in. This means that students should not be able to see or use UNI records to identify students in sections other than their own. Blackboard does not allow for complete anonymity which is why combining sections must occur in both eLearning and SIS.
More than one section of a course may be combined or cross-listed. This means the courses share enrollment limits and share an eLearning course, if applicable. Courses can only be combined if they meet one of the options below:
- Are identified as “same as” courses in the Course Catalog and meet at the same time and place.
- Are combined undergrad/grad courses in the Course Catalog. These were previously referred to as 100g courses.
- Contain the same title, instructor, time, AND have a Note in the Schedule of Classes prior to registration indicating they will be combined.
- Be a Studio or Lab section that meets at the same time and place as another studio or lab section AND has a Note in the Schedule of Classes prior to Advance Registration.
Courses listed as combined in SIS should only be combined with sections of the same class, taught by the same instructor, and at the same time.
- Online, arranged sections cannot be combined with face-to-face sections with a fixed meeting time.
- Online, synchronous sections CAN be combined with face-to-face sections provided they are the same course, taught by the same instructor, and meet at the same time.
Steps for Combining Sections
In advance of publishing the Class Search/Schedule of Classes for a term:
- Identify needed combinations for sections of the same class, taught by the same instructor, and same time/place.
- Add a Class Note in the Schedule of Classes on each of the impacted sections. This must be done for the appropriate student notification
- Complete the Combined Section Request Form.
For those situations for which there is uncertainty about the combination of sections in advance, but believe there will be an institutional/administrative need to do so after the publishing of the Class Search/Schedule of classes for a term:
- Identify potential combinations for sections of the same class, taught by the same instructor, and same time/place.
- Add Class Note number 0035 in the Schedule of Classes on each of the impacted sections. This must be done for the appropriate student notification.
- If it has been determined the sections will be combined, complete the Combined Section Request Form.
When the need to combine these sections has been determined after the Class Search/Schedule of Classes is published but before the first day of classes, the department should complete the Combined Section Request Form. Once approved, the department must notify via notice through UNI email to all enrolled students that the sections are being combined.
- If any student responds with an objection, the department would either need to not move forward with the combined sections or determine an appropriate alternative means for handling the situation. The objecting student cannot be penalized (e.g. an objecting student cannot be moved to their own independent section.
- If no student responds with an objection, the appropriate level of due diligence of notification would be considered as completed and the department can move forward with the combination.
Combined Sections Requests will NOT be approved once the semester begins.
If you are considering creating a combined section, please contact the Office of the Registrar at email@example.com or 319-273-2241 for assistance with the set-up.