Clarification on Course Copy

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Community Participant

We are new to Canvas. Can someone please help me better understand "copy course" versus "import course content"?

Specifically: Are there pros or cons of either approach?

For example: 

Importing courses and course files count against course file quotas. However, copying existing Canvas courses and course files reference the original Canvas course file quota and do not count against course file quotas.

What happens to a copied course if the original course is deleted?

Is the Copy Course from Settings different from Copy a course in the course Import tool?


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2 Solutions
Coach Emeritus

Hi @rexj 

"Course copy" is done from within an existing course where the content is, and it creates a new (empty) course and then copies all the content into that new course.  At that point, the old course could be deleted and it has no effect on the copied course.

"Import course content" is done from within a course that already exists, and imports content from another course.  "Import..." is also how you would import content that is exported from another LMS (Canvas, Blackboard, etc.) as a course export file.

If your school is going to automatically create courses, assign instructors, and enroll students based on the official information in your student information system, you will want to use "Import...", because instructors need to be importing the content in to the courses that are being created from them from the SIS, not creating new courses on their own (since none of the automatically enrollment process from your SIS will apply to those...)

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From the "Import..." option, "Copy a course" as a source means that you are importing the content of an existing course into the current course.  So no, it's not the same as "Copy course" to create a new course from the current course.

Quotas are applied on a per-course basis.  When "importing...", the current course that you're importing into may already have content in it, so it's possible to hit the course quota as part of an import.  On the other hand, "Copy course" is creating a new course which has no prior content, and the same quota as the current course that is being copied.

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