How do I import outcomes into a course in Improved Outcomes Management?

You can bulk import outcomes for your course using a CSV file. A bulk import allows you to add new outcomes to your course or update the details of multiple outcomes at one time.

The CSV file must be formatted correctly according to the Outcomes Import Format Documentation. Download a sample outcomes.csv file with one outcome group and six outcomes.

After your CSV file has been processed, you will receive an email notification confirming a successful import or displaying errors with your file. If there were errors, the email contains details about the first 100 errors including the row of the error and a short description.

This lesson displays how to import outcomes in a course within an account that has enabled the Improved Outcomes Management feature option. If the Outcomes page in your course displays differently than the images in this lesson, learn how to import outcomes in the classic Outcomes page view.


  • Outcomes import supports CSV or JSON files.
  • Importing outcomes is a course permission. If you do not have permission to import outcomes, your institution has restricted this feature.
  • In new outcomes, the vendor_guid field must not contain a colon.

Open Outcomes

Open Outcomes

In Course Navigation, click the Outcomes link.

Import Outcomes

To import an Outcome at the root level course outcome group, click the Import button [1].

To import an Outcome in a specific outcomes group, select an outcome group [2]. In the outcome group, click the Options icon [3], then select the Import Outcomes option [4].

Upload File

Drag and drop your CSV file to the upload area, or click in the upload area to choose a file from your computer.

Note: Outcomes import supports CSV or JSON files.

Open File

Open File

Locate the CSV file [1] and then click the Open button [2].

View Import Status

Canvas displays a loading page while the file uploads. Large CSV files may take time to import.

Note: You can leave the Outcomes page at any time without disrupting the import process.

View Import Success

View Import Success

When the file has been successfully imported, Canvas displays a confirmation message. You will also receive an email that the import was successful.

View Import Errors and Warnings

Import Error

If the import was not successful or if the import altered existing outcomes, Canvas displays an error message.

The error message displays for outcome import errors and for outcome import warnings.

You will receive an email with details about the first 100 errors and warnings. Each error or warning includes the CSV row number and a description of the error or warning.

Import errors stop the import process entirely and need to be fixed before outcomes can be imported successfully. The following types of errors may occur in CSV files:

  • Import file contains no data
  • Invalid headers are present
  • Invalid UTF-8 string
  • Required fields are missing
  • Required headings are missing
  • Other headings are placed after the ratings header

When an import warning occurs, Canvas skips the affected row and the import moves on. The following types of warnings may occur in CSV files:

  • Calculation validation method not specified
  • Group receives invalid fields
  • Object type is incorrect
  • Outcome edits are not within the same context
  • Parent groups are invalid
  • Parent group refers to missing outcomes
  • Rating tiers have invalid point values
  • Rating tiers have missing points
  • Rating tiers have points in wrong order
  • Workflow state is invalid

Correct the errors in the CSV file according to the Outcomes Import Format Documentation and re-import the file.

View Outcomes

View the outcomes imported into your course. Learn how to use the Outcomes page.