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Replace 'Import Course' with Master Course

Replace 'Import Course' with Master Course

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This idea came to me during a tech support Zoom call with my college, and the topic has been festering in my mind ever since.

Rather than having to copy a specific course into the next term, why not create a Course 'Master' if you will, that can be used across multiple Terms or Sections? That way, instead of having to move all that data around each term, I can simply select the 'Master' I want to use, click a checkbox for each term it will be used for, and... done!

Some qualifiers...

  • Any updates to the Master course automatically get added to all current or upcoming course only
  • Course dates can be set independent of Assignments/Quizzes/Exams for each term in a calendar view
  • Course content could be marked as...
    • universal
    • per term
  • The 'Master' serves as a background database, while the Course serves as the interface for all people in the course

Here's my reasoning behind this idea...

Some challenging aspects of setting up a course is ensuring that all content was successfully copied, dates are updated, and all carryover, term-specific content like Announcements, gets updated or deleted. You have to do all this housecleaning each term. But if Canvas used a 'Master' file that includes all regular pedagogical content, designed by the instructor, then the process of copying and updating is essentially eliminated. The only thing an instructor has to do is set dates.

I recognize that this Idea would be a serious, fundamental change in how Canvas is built and operates, but once employed, may improve the lives of administrators, instructors, and most importantly, students.


1 Comment
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived


Most of the functionality you've described is encompassed in Blueprint Courses. This feature allows an organization to create a master course for a subject or discipline, centrally maintain changes to the course content, and push the content and any changes directly to instructors who are teaching that subject. Please read through the Admin lesson How do I enable a course as a blueprint course as ... - Canvas Community to see if this aligns with your needs, and if it does, please contact your local Canvas admin to inquire about the possibility of implementing Blueprint Courses at your school.


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