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Easier Importing/Exporting Content from One Course to Another

Easier Importing/Exporting Content from One Course to Another

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

 

Sharing assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc., is a tedious process with the current exporting and importing methods.  For teachers who want to import newly created content into several of their active courses in a subject area, the process takes more time than it needs to - it should be much easier and quicker for the end user.

 

The way Commons allows users to import content from the shared space into their courses (multiple courses in seconds with a few simple clicks) works very well (see attachment: Commons Import).  Teachers can share content with themselves through the Commons to allow quick importing; but this method does not transfer settings, such as due dates, shuffling answers, multiple attempts, etc.

 

I am proposing an idea that puts the ease of importing from the Commons into Canvas courses.  Rather than going through the multiple steps of exporting/importing through the course settings, users should be able to select the option to send an assignment, discussion, quiz, page, etc., by clicking on the settings icon.  Destination courses could either appear in a list connected to the option (see attachment: Import Connected Menu) or - to model the "Move To..." feature - clicking the import option could open a new box where the user would select the course (see attachment: Import Send To Box).  Content shared this way should include the settings the teacher has selected, as well.  This method of sharing content among courses a teacher runs will save a lot of time and lead to more use of Canvas, especially by those who feel less comfortable using technology than others.

 

    

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-06-12) .

11 Comments
Community Coach
Community Coach

aanthony@bendist25.org​...

In your Canvas instance, do you use "master" courses?  We also have Commons, but another option is to set up a "Master Term" where you house a "master" version of all your courses.  Then, what we do at our Technical College is enroll our instructors as either a "Teacher" or a "Viewer" (custom role that we created...based on the "Teacher" role type...with some options turned off).  This allows only the "Teachers" to make edits to the "master" courses but at the same time both the "Teacher" and "Viewer" can import content from these "master" courses into their own course(s).  For example, we have a full-time faculty member who is in charge of keeping our "Intro to Ethics" course up-to-date in Canvas.  This person has "Teacher" access to the "master" version.  Everyone else who teaches this course gets "Viewer" access so that they are not only able to import content but also to provide feedback to the instructor who maintains this course.  In a way, for us, this is a way of "sharing" content that is not viewable to students until said content is imported into our Fall, Spring, or Summer semester courses.

As for the issue with due dates not being included when content is shared to Commons...more information about why this is the case can be found here: Updating courses in Commons.

Hope this helps!

Surveyor

Thank you for your comment, Chris.  Our teachers do use Master courses for their own use and for sharing with colleagues.  When you have one teacher who teaches five different courses of the same subject area (this is at the middle school level), importing content from the master into each of those five courses become tedious and time consuming.  It would not be a huge deal if the courses were set from the beginning and teachers only had to import at the beginning of the term.  But our teachers are constantly making improvements and creating new activities for students, so they are having to import content on a regular basis. 

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  Let's say I am a social studies teacher, and I have just created a new assignment in my master course.  I have five social studies classes that I want to complete this assignment.  So I go to course 1, click on settings, click on import content into this course, choose my master course, select specific content, click the import button, click the select content button, select the content, then import.  Then I got to course 2, click on settings, click on import content into this course, choose my master course, select specific content, click the import button, click the select content button, select the content, then import.  I then go to course 3, click on settings, click on import content into this course, choose my master course, select specific content, click the import button, click the select content button, select the content, then import.  Is it getting tedious to read this description?

My point is that while the current features work to share content across courses, it could be so much easier!  I love how easy it is to import content from the Commons into multiple courses without leaving the page.  I would love to see importing become more intuitive and efficient for the users by incorporating that convenience into the courses.

Community Coach
Community Coach

I hear ya.  So here are a few links I found that may be of interest:

Batch copy course template to multiple sections?

Hope this helps!

Surveyor

Thank you, Chris!  These are great links!  I must not have seen those because I was using "import" as my main search term.  The ability to copy course content from the source to multiple destinations from one screen would make the day-to-day use much smoother.  I would love to see this change happen!  Thanks for your feedback!

Community Team
Community Team

aanthony@bendist25.org

Thank you for this submission!  It was great to see the information Chris provided above!  Those are the exact links I would have connected you with as well.

We're going to take this idea to our product team tomorrow morning to get their perspective.  As you can see from the links above, related ideas are marked 'in development' and 'complete' based on the functionality of Commons.  We do see how you are suggesting functionality beyond what is available in Commons, and that is a topic that keeps reappearing in our Community!  I am going to move this idea into 'awaiting response' until we have an update for you!

Surveyor

Great! Thank you!

Community Team
Community Team

We have great news to share!

This idea is going straight to 'under consideration'! (alongside )

The Community has been amazing in continuing to bring this idea to the forefront!  We appreciate how engaged everyone has been in communicating how Commons has helped accomplish related goals, but that it is not the ideal user experience. 

Please bookmark and follow this idea to receive updates as they are available.

Surveyor

Wonderful news!  I am so excited to hear it!  Thank you for the update!

Community Team
Community Team

For anyone interested in this topic, be sure to RSVP to the CanvasLIVE event Quick Demo: 5 Ways to Course Copy, which is coming up this Thursday, November 3, 2016. RSVP "Yes" if you plan to attend--and if you’re interested, but your schedule doesn’t allow you to attend in real time, RSVP "No" or "Maybe" to receive any post-event updates.

Community Team
Community Team

This idea was moved from Under Consideration stage (no longer in use) to the Product Radar stage.  

This change was made as part of a feature idea process evolution.  Find more information, and contribute insights, by joining Focus Group: DRAFT Feature Idea Space