Copy Content From One Course To Another

Image of ink stamped word IMPORTCopying content (anything you build in a course) is an essential task when using Canvas.

An instructor will always need to copy content from one course to another for a variety of reasons.  Copying content from one semester to the next is essential, and the ability to make changes quickly and copy updates to multiple courses is helpful whether developing or teaching a course using Canvas.

Reasons To Copy Content

Common scenarios for importing content from another course:

  • The course is mostly the same as last semester, and you don’t want to recreate everything.
  • You are teaching a new class, and have been working on content in a development course.  Now you need to copy it to an official course for students.
  • An instructor has offered to share some of their content with you, and you would like to take a look at it before using it in your own courses.
  • Can you think of any other situations where importing content would be helpful?

Ways To Copy Content

There are several ways to copy content items from one course to another.  Instructors should be familiar with each method, as they can be useful in different situations.


Import Content From Another Course

This feature includes the option to import either an entire course, or multiple specific content items.
USEFUL FOR: Copying many content items at once.


Direct Share

This feature includes “Copy To”, which will quickly copy a specific content item from one course into another, with an option to specify where to place it.
USEFUL FOR:  A quick and easy way to copy individual items to another course.

Animation of content Copy To feature



This feature creates a copy of a content item in the same course.  The content can then be modified to be used elsewhere.
USEFUL FOR: Multiple items with similar qualities (instructions, settings, etc.).

Animation of content Duplicate option



2 thoughts on “Copy Content From One Course To Another”

    • Hi Tanya,

      We generally recommend that you not export content from Bb to Canvas, and instead encourage you to construct the course directly in Canvas.

      Canvas is very different than Bb, and it is highly advantageous to learn the basics of Canvas by rebuilding a course, instead of relying on an export/import process. Several course activities can be “migrated” to Canvas by simply copying and pasting the text of assignment instructions, discussion prompts, and text blocks from Bb to their Canvas equivalent.

      If you have not already done so, we recommend taking the Orientation to Canvas and Design & Development workshops specifically.

      Please review and bookmark our website at . It is the single best resource you have for staying updated on Canvas for BC. You can also login to Canvas directly from our website.

      If you still wish to try using your Bb course content in Canvas, here are the basic steps:

      Export Bb Course Content
      1. Go to Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive Course
      2. Click Export Package
      3. Select the checkboxes for each course area and tool to export
      4. Click Submit
      (the export will take from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on course size)
      7. Refresh the page every few seconds, then click the link provided to download the exported ZIP file
      7. Save the file to your computer for later importing into Canvas

      Import Course Content into Canvas
      1. Follow this step-by-step guide:

      We also strongly encourage you to review the Canvas Quick Start guide on our dept website to get started with your use of Canvas.

      / chris


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