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Clarify the "Importing the same course content more than once" message.

Clarify the "Importing the same course content more than once" message.

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(5)

Today we received a message from an instructor:

I am looking to import material from a previous module/Canvas "course" to this year's version.

If I choose "copy Canvas course" or "Canvas course export package", I get the following message: "Importing the same course content more than once will overwrite any existing content in the course."

Does this mean that old material in the previous course will be overwritten?

Can I just copy some sections of material, without this constraint? I don't need everything anyway.

The ambiguity of the message is causing confusion, even myself as admin am having a hard time in phrasing a response that explains the behaviour.

There are more users experiencing the same issue. Here is a proposed change in language, derived from a suggestion in the Release Q&A Releases Q&A: 2021-12-15 Course Import Warning Mes... - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) from @SusanNiemeyer  @erinhmcmillan 

"Importing the same course content more than once will overwrite any existing, previously imported content in the target course."

4 Comments
SusanNiemeyer
Community Participant

@fred_bonatto 

Your proposed wording is eloquent and clear:

"Importing the same course content more than once will overwrite any existing, previously imported content in the target course."

^^^This is the solution.^^^ I wonder if the developers at Canvas can simply make the change. 

 

KristinL
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open for Conversation
 
mskoch
Community Participant

Regardless of the wording (and I like the proposed change), I think some faculty will always be confused by the warning itself when they went to work on a brand new course and see this. It's one thing to want the system to be smart enough to know when you're importing the same item again, but quick another to want to system to know when the course is blank and there is no chance of the issue in question happening.

Is there a scenario in which something could be imported without a record on the Import Content page? If not, then is it possible for the system to check whether there is any previous import job (as shown on the Import Content page) and not display the message when there is nothing in the import job history?  

Drew-Hopkins
Community Member

Piggybacking off @mskoch I completely agree with this feedback. Our users are conditioned by modern web design that colors such as orange or red indicate they are about to do something wrong or irreversible. The warning message appearing before they have created or imported any content into a brand new course has resulted in increased stress on our Canvas helpdesk. Our instructors are confused why they are receiving a warning about overwriting content in a fresh course. 

I have never saved a document and have been warned that I might hypothetically overwrite a document with the same name that doesn't exist. 

I would prefer if Canvas could just handle overwrites just like many other softwares do by appending a number onto things with the same name.