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Merge D2L Courses and Sections

Many faculty teach multiple sections of what is essentially the same course. For their convenience, course sections can be merged within D2L. This means that student enrollments from two or more sections (for example, IAH-201-005 and IAH-201-006) are merged into the same D2L course shell, and thus see or interact with the same course content. Faculty can use “View by” search tools to filter by section in the Classlist, Grades, and Assignments. If your course content is significantly different between sections, merging is not recommended.

Things to note before merging your courses:

  • The merge process requires that all selected sections be completely empty of course material and content. This includes content files, quizzes, assignments, discussions, etc. If there is already content in the course you will need to remove it, either manually or by using the Course Reset tool.
  • Course content is not copied into the newly created course.
  • Student data (e.g., grades, discussion posts) is not transferred to the new course.
  • You must be Course Administrator in each of the courses you intend to merge.
  • Communities, Development, and Non-credit courses cannot be merged at this time.
  • After the merge, the course code will include the word “merged” where the section was previously located.
  • Special characters are not allowed in course titles. You will receive an error if your title includes any special characters.
  • You will not be able to unmerge a course after it is merged.
    *If you believe you may have merged courses incorrectly, or forgot to include a course section in your original merge, please contact the MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 or

What does it mean to merge courses?

You can combine multiple course offerings into one central offering by merging select courses. The merge process copies all enrollments from the selected course offerings and places them in a newly created course space. The original sections will remain in D2L and the students will still appear on those classlists, but the sections will be set to inactive, by default, after the merge. Course Administrators and Course Editors will continue to have access to the original sections, but if kept inactive, the students will be unable to view or access those individual sections.

How do I merge my courses?

  1. From your D2L homepage, select Merge Courses below the 'My Courses' heading. You will be taken to the D2L Course Merge landing page.
  2. Select the semester containing the courses you’d like to merge. (Only the current semester, plus the next two consecutive semesters will be visible.)
  3. Provide a title for the new merged course.
  4. Select the courses you’d like to merge.
    Note: Courses that include any content will appear greyed out and you will be unable to select these courses until all content has been removed.
  5. Select Merge Course Sections.
  6. You will receive an email once the merge has been completed.

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 Development Course, move all content to the dev course, 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 fro a pre-existing backed-up offering.
  • Use the Course Reset tool to permanently remove content.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 or

MSU Documentation