How do I import outcomes for an account?

You can bulk import outcomes for your account using a CSV file. A bulk import allows you to add new outcomes to your account or update the details of multiple outcomes at one time.

The CSV file must be formatted correctly according to the Outcomes Import Format Documentation. If you don't want to create a new CSV file, you can download the Outcomes Export report from Canvas, change it, and re-upload the same file.

After your CSV file has been processed, you will receive an email notification confirming a successful import or displaying errors with your file. If there were errors, the email will contain details about the first 100 errors including the row of the error and a short description.


  • Outcomes import supports CSV or JSON files.
  • Importing outcomes is an account permission. If you do not have permission to import outcomes, your institution has restricted this feature.
  • In new outcomes, the vendor_guid field must not contain a colon.
  • Depending on your institution's preference, your Outcomes page may not match the images shown in this lesson. However, functionality of the page remains the same.

Open Account

Open Account

In Global Navigation, click the Admin link [1], then click the name of the account [2].

Open Outcomes

Open Outcomes

In Account Navigation, click the Outcomes link.

Import Outcomes

Import Outcomes

Click the Import button.

Upload File

Drag and drop your CSV file to the upload area, or click in the upload area to choose a file from your computer.

Open File

Open File

Locate the CSV file [1] and then click the Open button [2].

View Import Status

Canvas displays a loading page while the file uploads. Large CSV files may take time to import. You can leave the Outcomes page at any time without disrupting the import process.

View Import Success

When the file has been successfully imported, Canvas displays a confirmation message. You will also receive an email that the import was successful.

View Import Errors and Warnings

If the import was not successful, or if the import altered existing outcomes, Canvas displays an error message.

The error message displays for outcome import errors and for outcome import warnings.

You will receive an email with details about the first 100 errors and warnings. Each error or warning will include the CSV row number and a description of the error or warning.

Import errors stop the import process entirely and need to be fixed before outcomes can be imported successfully. The following types of errors may occur in CSV files:

  • Required headings are missing
  • Other headings are placed after the ratings header
  • Invalid headers are present
  • Required fields are missing
  • Import file contains no data
  • Invalid UTF-8 string

When an import warning occurs, Canvas skips the affected row and the import moves on. The following types of warnings may occur in CSV files:

  • Rating tiers have missing points
  • Rating tiers have invalid point values
  • Rating tiers have points in wrong order
  • Object type is incorrect
  • Parent group refers to missing outcomes
  • Parent groups are invalid
  • Workflow state is invalid
  • Calculation validation method not specified
  • Group receives invalid fields
  • Outcome edits are not within the same context

Correct the errors in the CSV file according to the Outcomes Import Format Documentation and re-import the file.

View Outcomes

View the outcomes imported into your account.