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New Member

Course Template - Mass-Copying to Many Courses?

Hello to all,

I'm not sure if this is the right community to ask this question. Anyway, I'm trying to apply a customize course template to many courses for a total 12 schools/instances (each instance is unique). Is there a way that will allow us to use a customize template by applying it to 12 schools/instances without importing them course-by-courses (which will takes very long to complete)?

Appreciate your assistance on this!



13 Replies
Community Member

 @ystan001 ‌ I have not had to copy a course across multiple instances, but there are a few ways you could do that.

  1. Through the use of Commons - not ideal, unless your intention is to share the course with others
  2. Export the master copy of the course and import it into the other instances - still requires manual work
  3. Use the Canvas API:  Content Migrations - Crate a content migration - requires less manual work

If you go with Option 3, you can leverage the API.  Here is a suggested strategy.

Personally I have not had to copy courses across instances, but I have used the Content Migrations to copy courses within the same instance, and it works well.

I hope this helps, and hope you will post back your solution to share with others.

Community Member

I have had good luck with the "Hammer of the Gods" method.   If you watch the video, they walk you through the entire process.

Also, as an account admin, I've uploaded a course template to Commons in a protected group. (A group that only certain people have access to, so it is not shared publicly, nor is it shared with my entire institution.) Then, I've run a provisioning report, and mass-enrolled myself as a teacher into all the courses that need the template. Then I import the course template from Commons into all the courses I've enrolled myself into. After the template is imported into all the courses, I change my enrollment status from "active" to "deleted" in my enrollments file, and re-run the file in SIS Imports to remove myself from all the courses.

Still a few steps, but seems to be much better than one course at a time.

Hope that all makes sense,


Community Member

 @lstickdo ‌ I haven't spent enough time with Commons, now I know we can share privately.

Valuable info, thank you Smiley Happy

Community Member

Would the new Blueprints feature meet your needs? 

New Member

Hi All,

I resolved this issue with a php script I found:

* Script updated by John Sheringer, 1/15/2016 from an example that Jared Stein created
* in 2013 that worked with a now-depricated API. Refer to
* for info on more API parameters and other issues/enhancments.

Let me know if you need the script.

I believe that Valerie has the best option here. Blueprint courses are perfectly suited to this task. They will also give you easier, more granular control about what syncs where.

New Member


Three Words:  Blue Print Course.    We have had this need for years and did API work arounds, tried some things with Commons (lots of issues there with overwriting when courses are updated) and built little PHP tools which all worked fine, but the new Blue Print functionality really negates all that.  If you leave the content unlocked, teachers can use the templates, edit, and so on without any concern about re-syncs changing their content.  You can also dis-associate the course once the templates have been distributed.  In addition, you can set the course settings, navigation, and other items just they way you want them, relieving teachers of the need to do this, or creating standardization within your district.   

Community Member

Has anyone actually used Blueprint courses for this purpose? We are thinking about this, but are uncomfortable with tying up the Blueprint functionality for managing the course shells. While it would be great using the SIS import to apply the masters, we would need to disassociate the courses from the blueprint once the initial push was done so that other content blueprints could be applied at a sub-account level. Just wondering if anyone has a model for this that is working.


Because Blueprint is a relatively new tool, I thought I might chime in to add some clarification.


 @ystan001 ‌ -  

This all boils down to the words 

a total 12 schools/instances (each instance is unique)

The Blueprint tool is fabulous if the blueprint course and associated courses are in the same instance, but will not work if they are in different instances.

If you really mean 12 different instances of Canvas (not just 12 different sub-accounts), then Blueprint will NOT work and  @garth  is spot-on with his 3 suggestions for you. (As well as all those who elaborated on any of his ideas.) 

If those courses are actually in 12 unique sub-accounts in the same instance, then Blueprint courses should work very well for your situation.

I hope this helps!  Please post back and let us all know what you decided to use and how it went for you.