Does copying a page with course copy make a new copy or is it a link?

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I recently copied material from one course to another course shell using course copy. I edited one of the copied pages in the new course to make it unique to that course, but Canvas made the exact same changes to the original source page in the source course as if there weren't two separate pages, but a hyperlink of a page from the original course into the new course. That is not what I intended. Why did that happen and how do I make the copies of pages unique in each destination course shell?

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Community Contributor

That's not the behaviour that I would expect to see, or am accustomed to seeing, unless something has changed recently  - as far as I am aware copied Canvas pages can't mess with their ancestors  ......

It is the case that 'Course copied' content doesn't count to quota because Canvas is clever enough to refer back to the original source, but that doesn't extend to reverse updating the copy source.

One problem is that if file content is copied forwards again, it seems to copy from the original, rather than the intermediate source - a bear if the intermediate source has been improved for accessibility etc.

If you recopy the same content it *can* overwite the original.

I'd be interested to see more evidence of this - have you tried checking the version history under page settings ?



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Community Contributor

Hi @jfarrelly,

As far as I know, importing a course into a new one should create new, distinct pages that you can edit separately of the originals. There might be a number of reasons why yours seemingly created a link instead.

I remember once copying a page by hand and pasting it in another course, not realising that the links on that page would still be linked to the old course (if you copy the course, the new links are always to that new course). I clicked the link, thinking I was still working in course B, when in fact I had been transported back to A. I did not realise my mistake until later, when I checked both A and B and saw the changes were in the wrong course. Similarly, I created a redirect link to a specific page in a course last year. After copying the course for the new school year, the redirect link somehow still referred to the old course, meaning the students of the new course could not access it, and any edits I made were of the old pages.

I find it helps to check the course code in the url to see if what I am editing is the old or new course. If I see the course code change when changing pages, I know something is wrong. Could you check and see if the codes are the same, and if so, what might have caused the link?

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