Del Helms

Tuesday Teaching Tip #11

Blog Post created by Del Helms on Nov 28, 2017

As you may or may not have noticed, your Spring 2018 course shells are now available in Canvas.  More than likely your spring courses are in your Dashboard. 


If they are not in the Dashboard area, then they may be in the Courses area.  You can access the Courses area from the global navigation menu.


Global Navigation Menu
Clicking on the Courses link will allow you to choose the link for All Courses



You should be able to locate your spring 2018 courses in either of those two areas—the Dashboard or within All Courses.  If your spring courses are not in your Dashboard, but you want them to appear in your Dashboard, then go to All Courses and click on the ‘star’ next to the course name and it will add the course to your Dashboard.  If you don’t want your spring courses in your Dashboard yet, just reverse the process—go to All Courses and deselect the ‘star’ next to the course name and it will remove the course from the Dashboard.


When you’re ready to copy your fall courses into your spring course shells, please follow the process below.

Course Copying

Course copying works differently in Canvas than it did in Blackboard.  Instead of starting in a previous semester course (FA17) and copying the course into a new semester course (SP18) from the old course, you will start in your new, empty spring semester course shell and copy the contents from your fall 2107 course into your Spring 18 course.  If this sounds confusing let me explain. 

  1. Go to your Spring 2018 course shell (it should be empty).  Remember, this is opposite of Blackboard.
  2. Go to ‘Settings’.
  3. Select the ‘Import Course Content’
  4. From the Import Content > Content Type use the pull-down menu to select ‘Copy a Canvas Course’.
  5. Search for a course menu will appear.  Select the Fall 2017 course in which you wish to copy into this course.  (You should see a list of all of your courses within Canvas.)
  6. You will select either All content or Select specific content.
  7. Select the Option to Adjust events and due dates, if you wish to have the due dates from your fall semester be updated to reflect dates for the spring semester.  (I will discuss this in more detail below.)
  8. Select the Import button


Read more about copying content from another Canvas course.

If you select All content you are pretty much done.  You just have to wait for the Fall 2017 course to copy into the Spring 2018 course shell.  There will be a progress meter showing you the course is copying.  You may get errors after the copying process has been completed.  I will discuss error messages in a later Teaching Tip.


*The option to Adjust events and due dates is an awesome feature.  It is a bit tricky as the spring semester has a week for Spring Break and the semester starts on a Wednesday.  Regardless, Canvas will allow you to shift and remove dates!  If you are interested in copying dates from the fall to the spring please read more about adjusting events and due dates in a course import.


You do NOT have to copy all of your content at one time, however.  You may wish to copy only some of the content from your Fall 2017 course into your Spring 2018 course shell.  I will discuss more about this option next week.


IMPORTANT: Please know your fall courses will remain available indefinitely.  You do not need to complete the course copy process immediately.  However, if you plan to edit your course between semesters, you may wish to copy your fall course(s) into your spring course(s) earlier rather than later.


If after reviewing the links to the support documents above, you still feel confused regarding the process of copying your fall courses into your spring course shells, then please submit a Help Ticket at: