Best way to update a template shared to Commons by someone else?

Jump to solution
Community Explorer

The Problem: 

We have a course template that was shared to Commons by our previous instructional technologist/account admin. Updates have since been made to the template by other users, but those updates aren't being pulled into Commons at all. As faculty has already been sent instructions on how to use that template and are beginning to create their courses, we need to have an updated version of this template in Commons ASAP. 


The Factors: 

  • The Commons template and its updated version no longer share the same name. One ends in –01, the other in .1 -- we aren't sure why.  
  • None of us are the user who originally shared the resource to Commons, which may be preventing us from making edits. 
  • The 'Enable course as a Course Template' option in Course Settings is greyed out and unselectable.  


We tried: 

  • Unpublishing and re-publishing 
  • Going through the steps on the "How do I update a resource I previously shared to Commons?" Community page, but since the course names no longer match, we aren't getting the 'Select Update Option'.  


We have a couple of plans, and my hope is that you'll be able to tell me a) which one is the best or b) a different, better plan.  

Plan A: Change the updated version's name to match the original template in Commons, in hope that the templates start speaking to each other again. 

Plan B:  Rename or remove the original template in Commons, make a copy of the edited version and give it the name of the original template, then share that to Commons.  

Potential Plan C:  Add the previous instructional technologist to the edited version and use the "act as" feature to import the updates from their account. 

For added permissions context, I'm the new instructional technologist/account admin. 


Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! 

Labels (1)
2 Solutions
Community Contributor

I'm not a tech expert here, but I would simply ditch the old template on Commons. The person who set it up is gone. Trying to update it sounds like a royal headache. Why bother?

Just start over. Create a new template. Give it a new name. Make life simpler for yourself and your faculty.

View solution in original post

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello @MiaPomales ...

I could be wrong on this, but I believe the person who left would be considered the "owner" of that template that was shared to Commons.  I assume that the person's user account still exists in your Canvas environment, correct?  If so, could you masquerade as that user, navigate to the course, make any necessary changes, and then update the course in Commons using this Guide?  How do I update a resource I previously shared to ... - Instructure Community (

Here's another thought for you...  If you went the route of creating a brand new template to share to Commons, maybe you'd want to create a generic admin account in your Canvas environment that your team has access to.  Then, share that content to Commons via that account instead of someone's personal account.  That way, if you run into the situation again where someone leaves, you still have easy access to that account and the content to update it as necessary.  Just a thought...for what it's worth.

Let Community members know if you have other questions...thanks!

View solution in original post