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Course Copy Guide and Post Copy Guide

Last updated on January 5, 2022

This guide will walk you through copying your course content to a new course shell at the start of a new semester or making a copy of your content for use in different sections.

Each course shell for the new semester will come with the 2022 Blueprint content provided, which means that your shell will already include the Course Information, University Policies and Resources, and Sample Modules. Your shell will also include the Syllabus template. For more detail on editing the pre-existing Blueprint templates, refer to tutorials on the Course Information Module, the Sample Module, and Using the Syllabus Tool.

Once you have access to your course shell, you may import the content from a previous course. To avoid creating unnecessary duplication, follow the instructions below. For a list of items to double-check in your course after copying the content, refer to the Post-Copy Guide at the end of this tutorial.


Course Copy Guide

  1. Go to MSU Denver’s Faculty and Staff Hub.
  2. Click Canvas in the Teaching & Learning section.
  3. Log in to your Canvas Account.
  4. Open your New Course from the Dashboard.
    1. Note: If the course does not appear in the Published section of your Dashboard, refer to our “Use the Canvas Dashboard” tutorial.
  5. Click Settings on the Navigation menu to the left.
  6. Click Import Course Content from the menu to the right.
  7. Click the Content Type Drop-Down List.
  8. Select Copy a Canvas Course.
  9. Type the Name of Your Existing Course into the search bar.
  10. Select the Name of the Course you want to copy.
  11. Click the button next to Select Specific Content.
    1. Note: This step is important to avoid creating duplicate Blueprint modules or accidentally bringing over outdated content from an older version of Blueprint. Do not choose All Content as this will negatively affect the settings in your new course.
  12. (Optional Step) Check the box to Adjust Events and Due Dates.
    1. To shift dates/year:
      1. Select Shift Dates.
      2. Enter the Beginning Date of the previous course.
      3. Enter the Beginning Date for the new course.
      4. Enter the End Date of the previous course.
      5. Enter the End Date for the new course.
    2. To adjust dates by day of the week:
      1. Click Substitution
      2. Adjust Due Dates by day of the week.
    3. To remove all existing dates:
      1. Select Remove Dates.
  13. Click Import.
  14. Click Select Content next to the Course Copy under Current Jobs.
  15. Select the Following Sections (it is important to select these specific options to avoid import complications):
    • Syllabus Body
      1. Note: The 2022 Blueprint provides a template for a Syllabus. You may choose to deselect this section and use the new template or select it to import your previous syllabus. The previous syllabus will automatically replace the 2021 Blueprint template when the course copy is complete.
      2. Remember to check dates and schedules after the copy is complete.
    • Modules
      1. If listed, deselect the Course Information Module, University Policies and Resources Module, and Sample Module to avoid importing duplicates into your new course. Remember to update your new course’s Course Information module by copying and pasting content from your previous course or typing new text.
    • Assignments
    • Quizzes
    • Question Banks
    • Discussion Topics
    • Pages
      1. Note: To avoid duplication or conflict with the 2021 Blueprint, select only the pages that are specific to your course. You do not need to select the pages from Course Information or Sample Modules (Course Overview, Course Grading Policy, etc.). 
    • (Optional) External Tools
      1. Note: Click the arrow next to this item and review what you would like to import. If nothing, leave it unchecked.
      2. Do not select YuJa and Report an Accessibility Issue as this will duplicate these tools in the new course with broken links.
    • (Optional) Announcements
    • Rubrics
    • (Optional) Files
      • If you want to leave behind old, unused files from your previous course, leave files unchecked. Active files (those linked/used in assignments, announcements, quizzes, discussion, modules, pages etc.) will still be carried over to your new course even if you leave Files unchecked.
  16. Click Select Content.
    • Your course copy job will take some time depending on the size of your course and the Canvas system. Your course may be noted as Queued for a while, but it will change to Running and then Completed once the copy job is finished. 

If any issues are noted to the right of your completed course copy job, follow Step 1 in the Post Copy Guide below to address them.

Post Copy Guide

The following list will guide you through some items you should double-check in your new course after copying your content.

  1. Address any Issues that occurred during the import.
    • If there are any issues, the number of issues will show next to the completed import job.
    • Click the Number of Issues to View the Issue Log.
    • If you do not see any information regarding issues next to the completed job, you do not need to worry about this step.
  2. Update the Course Information module.
    • Copy and paste the Information to your new course’s Course Information Module. Specifically, consider the following pages that need your input:
      1. Overview (Read Me First)
      2. Instructor Introduction
      3. Discussion: Student Introductions
      4. Course Grading Policy
      5. Navigating this Course
      6. Course Alignment Map
  3. Update the Syllabus.
    • The syllabus tool is most effective when there is a limited amount of information (this allows you to make the most of the course summary tool). Consider paring down your syllabus to the following sections:
      1. Course Description
      2. Prereqs/Coreqs
      3. Required Materials
      4. Citation Policy
      5. Schedule of Activities
  4. Review and update the Following:
    • Announcements
    • Assignments
      1. Check Rubrics.
      2. Check Points, Submission Types, Due Dates, Availability Timeframes, and other Associated Information
      3. Check Peer Review/Group Assignment settings. 
    • Quizzes/Tests
      1. Check Questions.
      2. Check Information such as points, due dates, and availability timeframes.
      3. Check Question or Item Banks, as relevant.
    • Module Pages
      1. Check that the correct pages are Published. Published pages will have a green circle with a checkmark to the right of the page title.
      2. Ensure that all Pictures and Videos are present.
      3. Check that Links are not broken.
    • Groups
      1. Note: Groups do not copy over. New groups will need to be created after each course copy job.
    • Wikis, Blogs, and Journals
      1. Note: Wikis, blogs, and journals do not copy over. Delete references to old wikis, blogs, and journals and create new, as relevant. 
      2. Recreate these Items as discussions in Canvas. 
    • External Tools
      1. Check that the Links to External Tools still work.
      2. Check that the Instructions for Students to use external tools are still accurate.