How To: Import Specific Course Content

The ability to import an entire course's content is a helpful tool and is especially crucial for setting up new courses each semester.  Whether you are getting your material from a Master Course or another section you have taught, this feature dramatically streamlines the course setup process.

Once your course is already set up, however, it is not the most convenient solution for other situations. For example, perhaps your course's Master Course has been updated, so you are using the new content for the first time – but there are one or two pages from the course's previous iteration you feel were substantive or especially helpful for students. Perhaps you have different classes and realized that a discussion in one of your sessions would work just as well in another one. Maybe you've created a new assignment or quiz in the one-course section and want to avoid setting it up all over again in another.

For situations like these, importing another entire course's worth of content on top of what you already have may create many duplicates or unnecessary assignments and pages that will need to be deleted. Fortunately, there is no need to create more work for yourself, as Canvas has another easy and convenient feature you can use – you can import just the content you need, and nothing else.

In this guide, we will be stepping you through the process of importing specific course content from one course to another.


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Step 1 - Go to Course SettingsStep 2 - Go to Import Course ContentStep 3 - Select Content-TypeStep 4 - Search for a CourseStep 5 - Choose "Select Specific Content"Step 6 - Adjust Events and Due Dates (Optional)Step 7 - Begin ImportStep 8 - Select Content to ImportStep 9 - Review of Imported Content

Step 1 – Go to Course Settings

To start, you will want to navigate to the Settings tab in the course you wish to import course content into. The Settings tab will usually be located at the bottom of your course's left-hand navigation menu.

Image showing the Canvas Navigation Menu with the word settings outlined


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Step 2 – Go to Import Course Content

In the course's settings, you'll see a few options, usually on the right-hand side of the page. Click on "Import Course Content" among these options to begin the import process.

Image showing the Canvas Menu with the import to course content outlined


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Step 3 – Select Content-Type

Once you get to the Import Content screen, you will be prompted to select the Content-Type you will be importing. Click on the drop-down list [1] and select the option "Copy a Canvas Course." [2]

Image showing the Import Content with copy a canvas course highlighted


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Step 4 – Search for a Course

Next, in the search box that appears, type the name of the course you wish to import content from. [1] Suggested results will appear beneath the box as you type the name in, and you should click on the suggested course section you want. [2]

Image showing the Search for a course menu with the tutorial series default term highlighted

You can also search for a specific course by typing in the CRN of the course. We recommend this method if you teach the course frequently or have many sections of it.

Please note that you'll want to check the box to the left of "Include completed courses" if you want to import content from courses that have already been completed, such as courses from previous semesters.

Image showing a check mark next to Include completed courses


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Step 5 – Choose "Select Specific Content"

You will see there are two options for content. As you will only be importing specific content from another course, you will want to click on "Select Specific Content" to make sure that option is filled in.

Image showing select specific content selected


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Step 6 – Adjust Events and Due Dates (Optional)

If you want to, you can adjust the dates for the imported content from here by checking the box next to "Adjust events and due dates."

Image showing a check mark next to Adjust events and due dates

You will get the option to shift the dates by including the start/end dates of the course you are importing from and the start/end dates of your current course. [1] You also have an option to remove the dates altogether. [2]

Image showing the box to adjust the dates

However, these changes can also be made manually to the content after you import it, so this step is entirely optional.


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Step 7 – Begin Import

Once you have adjusted the options for your import, you can click on the Import button to proceed.

Image showing the import button outlined
This will add the import to your Current Jobs queue, where you can see previously completed imports, as well as the current one.


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Step 8 – Select Content to Import

Under your "Current Jobs" queue, you'll see that your current import shows as Waiting for Selection. This is when you will get to choose what exact content to import into your course. Click on Select Content to do so.

Image showing the select content button outlined

You will then be presented with the course's content organized into various groups that you can look through to select your desired content. Note the sideways arrows along the left side; you can click on any arrow to expand that category, making the arrow point down. [1]

 If you want an entire group's items, you can check the box to the left of the group's name. [2] If you only wish to import specific items in a group, expand the group and check the boxes next to each particular item you want to import. [3]

Please note that some items might exist in multiple groups, so when you select an item, you might see that other things will get checked automatically. This is normal and will not impact your content import.

Once you have finished selecting items, you can click on the Select Content button to finalize your choices and begin importing them. [4]

Image giving an example of selecting specific content under Quizzes 1 and the example

FYI: When importing Quizzes from another course, please note that you will likely need to import the Question Banks from that course as well. If the quiz uses one or more Question Banks and you do not import them together, you may find that the quiz may be missing some or all of its questions and will not function properly. If you're not sure whether a Quiz you are importing uses any Question Banks, we recommend importing the Question Banks category to be safe, as this should not affect the rest of your course's content.

Image showing Quizzes 1 and questions banks selected

You'll see that your queued import's status will change from Waiting for Selection to Running, with a blue bar indicating progress.

Image showing the queued import process running bar

It will take some time for Canvas to process the request, depending on the amount of content you are importing. You will see the status change to Completed when it's done.

Image showing the import has been completed

If there are any issues with the content you imported, it will be indicated next to the "Completed" status for you to review.


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Step 9 – Review of Imported Content

To finish up, you will want to go into your course to verify that the content has imported successfully. You can also review the content and make any necessary adjustments at this time, such as updating the wording or information for the current semester, changing assignment settings and due dates, or any other modifications that may be needed.


We hope this guide has been helpful to you in learning how to import specific course content from one course to another!

You can also watch the above process on a video demonstration on How To: Import Specific Course Content.


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Article ID: 65086
Thu 10/11/18 12:04 PM
Mon 11/6/23 9:49 AM