Canvas @ YaleInstructor Guides User ManagementCreating Manually Created Course Sections

Creating Manually Created Course Sections

Instructors can create custom, manually created course sections within their Canvas course site.  These manually created course sections can be useful if you need to separate users into custom groups (like having one group for each TA in your course).  Having custom course sections can allow instructors and TAs post target content in Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, and the Inbox tool.

NOTE:  Not all Canvas tools are section-aware.  For these tools, when you post content, all students in your Canvas site will have access to it.  These tools include (but are not limited to):  Files, Pages, and Modules.

When you enroll students in your manually created section, do NOT add students with the "shopper" role.  The "shopper" role is a protected role used for official enrollments coming from the Student Information System.  At the end of add-drop, all extraneous shopper enrollments are purged - including any students who have "shopper" enrollment in a manually created section.

Please click on the links below to view more information:

How to Delete a Manually Created Course Section

NOTE:  You cannot delete course sections that are created from official course data (e.g. Official Course/Discussion/Lab Sections).  If you have extra "official" sections in your course, please contact your registrar to have the sections officially canceled in the registration system.  Once the registrar cancels it, the section will be auto-removed from your course in approximately 2-4 hours.

You cannot delete manually created sections that still have users enrolled in them.  You will first need to un-enroll the students from the manually created section and then it.

How to Add Users to a Manually Created Course Section

The roles of "Student", "Shopper", "Auditor", and "Instructor" are protected roles - they should never be used when manually enrolling a user into a Canvas course or manually created section.

We recommend that you add users to the manually created section the same way that you add new users to your course site and use the "Guest Student" role.   The "Guest Student" role is a fully functional student-type role which is used to help identify users who were manually enrolled into the section.

Please refer to the FAQ section at the end of this article for additional information about what happens at the end of the add/drop period.

How to Remove a User from a Manually Created Course Section

NOTE:  You will not be able to remove an official enrollment from your course site - you will only be able to remove manually enrolled enrollments.

How to Post Content Specifically To One Manually Created Course Section

Reminder:  Not all Canvas tools are section-aware and will therefore not allow you to include content that is only for one section.


FAQs:  Manually Created Course Section Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the links below for details.

1. At the end of add/drop - My students were removed from my manually created course sections

PROBLEM:  At the end of the add/drop period, all remaining "shopper" enrollments are removed from academic courses.  If a student was added to a manually-created course section with the role of "shopper" - this enrollment will also be removed during the end of add/drop shopper purge process.  For more information, check out our help article on what happens at the End of Add/Drop Period.

SOLUTION:  It is important that you do not add students to your manually created course sections with the role of "shopper".  Instead, we recommend that you add the students to your manually created course section with the role of "Guest Student" to ensure that the enrollment is not impacted by the add/drop shopper purge.  For information on how to add users to a manually created course section, please refer to How to Add Users to a Manually Created Course Section in this help article.

2. At the end of add/drop - A student who dropped my course is still enrolled in my manually created course section.

PROBLEM:  At the end of add/drop period, some students remain in the course site with the role of "Guest Student" in the manually created course section.  

SOLUTION:  As students add/drop courses, their official enrollments (as "Student", "Shopper" or "Auditor") will be automatically added to and removed from courses depending on the student finalized course selection.  Additionally, at the end of add/drop, all extraneous enrollments with the role of "shopper" will be permanently removed from courses.  

Because manually added "Guest Student" enrollments are not managed by the end of add/drop processes.  Therefore, if a student has a "Guest Student" enrollment in your course, that enrollment will need to be removed manually.  For more information on how to remove users from your manually created section, please refer to How to Remove a User from a Manually Created Course Section in this help article.  

3. I need to switch a student from one manually created course section to another.

PROBLEM:  A student was added to a manually created section and needs to moved to a different manually created section.

SOLUTION:  Follow the steps above for both of the following:

  1. How to Remove a User from a Manually Created Course Section
  2. How to Add Users to a Manually Created Course Section
4. Why can't I remove a student's enrollment from a course section?

PROBLEM:  When going to the section enrollment list to remove a user, the remove button (red x) does not appear for the user.

SOLUTION:  You cannot remove official enrollments that are synchronized from the Student Information System into Canvas.  For these enrollments, if a student needs to be removed they will need to officially drop the course from their course selection worksheet or contact the departmental/professional school registrar for assistance with dropping the course.