Re-using a Course from year to year

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Community Member

Our instructors teach the same prescribed courses each year (allied health education certificate programs). They do make minor changes to the quizzes and content from year to year, but overall, the majority of the content is the same. What is the BEST way to go about using the same content/course from year to year?

  • Create sections for new students within the same course (i.e. 2021 Section, 2022 Section), deleting the sections when students are done in the course?
  • Copy the course content to a new course shell each year?
  • Something else?

The sections thing seems to be causing problems, as Canvas doesn't like it when you make changes to a quiz that one section has already taken. 

Any help is appreciated!

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@JordanSims -

The best method would be to create a master course shell for the course.  Put all of the information into that master course.  Then each semester copy the master course into the brand new course for the semester.  Any tweaks could then be made to the new course.

Trying to keep the same course and adding and deleting sections is going to have more issues than with just the quizzes.  Starting with a brand new course is always the best way to go.


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Hi there, @JordanSims ...

Totally agree with @Ron_Bowman on this (and your second bullet point in your original post).  At the Technical College I worked for, we used "master" courses as well, and instructors copied content from those to their semester courses.  We didn't really do anything as far as archiving the courses or deleting them from Canvas.  We kept the courses in the Spring/Summer/Fall terms.  If we had deleted those courses, then we would lose all the course content and data.  If a student, for example, needed to get work from a previous semester course, it wouldn't be there if the course was deleted.  The same held true for instructors who may have needed to look at the content from a past semester course.  Or, if a student challenged a grade after a course had been completed, we needed the ability to look back at the assignments and Canvas Gradebook.  There are just a variety of reasons why keeping the course in Canvas is of great benefit.

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