Preparing For A New Semester – Import Course Content

Don't wait until tomorrow!Faculty can reuse course content from one semester to the next by simply importing content from an old course into a new course.

Official courses (with students enrollments) are created two weeks before the first day of each term.

There are two methods for moving course content from one semester to the next:

  • OPTION A:   Use A Temporary Prep Course
    If you need to make substantial updates to course content, or just want to get an early start, create a prep course (“sandbox”) to make changes before Official courses are available.

  • OPTION B:   Import Directly From Old Course
    If there are relatively few changes needed, simply import past course content directly into a new Official course any time during the two weeks before the beginning of the new semester.  No prep course is needed.

Prep Course

  • manually created by instructor
  • manually titled by instructor
    (cannot be changed)
  • can be created any time
  • no student enrollments
  • no student access
  • does not need to be Published
    (no effect)
  • no SIS ID
  • can be deleted

Official Course

    • automatically generated by District IT services
    • automatically titled based on course information
      (Ex: BIOL 012 – (MW 10-11:15AM) M1234 )
    • automatically generated two weeks before first day of term
    • hourly student enrollment updates
    • student access and participation
    • needs to be Published
      (by instructor, How?)
    • assigned specific SIS ID
    • cannot be deleted

OPTION A:  Use A Prep Course

Faculty can create a temporary course to prepare (“prep”) content for a future term.  Content from a previous course can be imported into the prep course, and any changes can be made (syllabus, date adjustments, etc.).  Think of it as a private course development “staging area.”

Use this option if you plan to make many changes, or just want to get an early start.

Prepare for a new semester

  1. Create a temporary Prep course
    See: Make A New “Sandbox” Course
    You may name the prep course whatever you like.  It is a temporary course, and can be deleted (or not) after the process of moving to a new semester in complete.  
  2. Import content from a previous Official course into the prep course
    See: How do I import content from another Canvas course?
    The purpose of the prep course is to provide a temporary place to work on a copy of the course content without altering the state of a past course (it is important that previous courses be intact for posterity and record keeping purposes).  
  3. Import content from the prep course to a new official course
    Finally, import the updated content from the prep course into the official course, so it can be available to students when the course begins.  
    Official district courses are created two weeks prior to the first day of each term.
  4. OPTIONAL:  Delete the Prep course
    Once the content has been imported into a new official course, the prep course can be deleted if no longer needed.
    See: How To Delete A Course
     

OPTION B:  Direct Import From Old Course

Any time during the two weeks before the first day of the semester, faculty may import content from a previous Official course directly into a new official course (without the use of a temporary prep course).

Copy content from an old course to a new course

See: How do I import content from another Canvas course?


 TIPS

  • A single prep course can be imported into multiple official courses.  This minimizes the amount of work required to make changes, and ensures consistency in all multiple sections.
     
  • Consider using a prep course to develop a “template” as a master course, then make minor modifications in the official course(s) each new semester, as needed.

One Response to “Preparing For A New Semester – Import Course Content”

  1. Michael Matiasek says:

    Very helpful guys! Thank you!

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