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Course content copy problem

I just ran across this problem today with a course that I added content to from another course.  I am looking for some feedback/comments on this issue.  Is it a problem/bug that needs to be fixed?  Is there something that I need to do differently when importing that type of page? I performed the import by selecting content to import(it was not the complete class).

In my old course, I created a page that had a link to an assignment in the course.  When I copy that page to the new course, the link stays active and points to the old course assignment.   Links to files are okay and transfer to the files in the new course.  I can see the course ID number in the URL on the old course page and on the transferred page to the new course.  In the case of the file links, the course id changed and in the case of the link to the assignment the course id number did not change.

I forgot to mention.  I played around some with one of my dummy students and copied a page link directly from a course the dummy student had been enrolled in, copied that to a link on a page in my playground.  The dummy student was able to access all the content on that page - assignment and pdf files.

14 Replies

Looking around I found the question Re: Why is there so much confusion over concluding a course?​ I think some of what I am seeing would be dependent on the status of the older course.  So, depending on how the concluded courses are handled, the above issue may be resolved due to a broken link.

Community Member

So what you're saying is that links to assignments point to the old course even after you import them into your new course? I can't speak to whether you've encountered a bug or whether there is something different in settings between your school and mine, but for my own classes, that isn't how things have worked.

When I have copied pages or assignments from an old course to a new course using the import "select content" tool, the course ID on the links also change. If the link goes to something that I have copied into my new course, it stays active. For example:

IPA Overview in the old course links to various pages, assignments, in the old course.

IPA Overview in the new course links to the equivalent pages, assignments, in the new course.

The links adjust to the new course regardless of whether they point to assignments or quizzes or pages or files.  When the copied item links to something that is NOT present in the new course, the link breaks.

Sometimes I have run into problems because I have made changes to the items in the meantime. For example, I import a page, update it, maybe change its name. Then I import something else that points to that page . . . the link breaks. The import screen tells me that there was a problem, but it doesn't specify which link is missing, so I don't always find it. My students eventually do, however!

 @Beth_Young ​

That is exactly what I am saying - but only for one specific circumstance.  I do see the proper transfer of information from one course to the other (when the course ID changes) for everything except the following:  I have a page with information on it, and on that page I have links to files (those course id changes occur) and I have a link to an assignment in the course.  The assignment course Id in the link does not change when I Import the page to another course.  When I created the page, I added in the link to the assignment by clicking on it from the insert content area on the right.

After writing my question, I went back and looked at my pages and realized that I had missed something such that I can change the way I have my course content to avoid this problem.  However, having come across this issue I am curious as to what is causing it.  I can't imagine that it is a setting at our level, but I am not an admin, so I have no idea.

What you describe Beth is what I expected to occur - the link either works if the content is available or it breaks.

Huh, weird. I will pay closer attention the next time I am importing things. Maybe you have found a bug that only shows up in a very limited instance, depending on the type/arrangement of links on your page.

Great troubleshooting  @bowmanr ​ and  @Beth_Young ​.  I really appreciate the thorough dialogue here that will help others in the community.   @bowmanr ​ you mentioned that you "realized that you missed something such that you can change the way you have your course content to avoid this problem".  Will you elaborate here so that others will know what you discovered.

Also, if you are still finding that your one piece of content is not linking correctly please do submit a ticket.  The process described by Beth is the expected behavior!

 @Renee_Carney ​

What I meant by my statement was the way I created my content.  I had created an assignment and a information page for the assignment - the information page had all of the information and file links for a project.  I put a link on that page to the assignment so that students could just click on the link to go to the assignment page to make their submission.  While looking at this I realized (and why I did not see it earlier - tunnel vision during my first time setup) is that what I have on my information page I can put on the assignment and have everything in one location.  If I had done that, I would not have had the issue I described.

What I had was a module with an information page and an assignment.  And I made a module for each project.  Now I plan on having a single module with only the assignments and each assignment will contain the old information page content.

I will play around some more with that import issue and write up a ticket or have our admins submit the ticket.  Along those lines, I assume that tickets are for strange behavior that does not seem normal(or may be bugs).  I have one that I will submit that I found yesterday.  The until date cannot have a time of 12:00 AM it gets set to 11:59 PM.  My guess is that it may be intentional to avoid confusion of which day the 12:00 AM corresponds to.

Thank you!  I'm sure this will help others that might be considering their own project designs!

 @Renee_Carney ​ and  @Beth_Young ​

I just tried importing content that I had the issue with.  I can not duplicate what happened earlier.  The only difference is that I copied pretty much the entire course the first time, and this time I just copied the module, page and assignment for one project.  I either obtained a broken link (if I just copied the page) or I had the course number change to the course being copied into.

So, either I cannot duplicate the manner in which the problem occurred.  Or,  a fix has been implemented in some way. - Oh, I know what has changed.  I believe the admins had concluded our courses when I did the copy.  The way they did that restricted what kind of access instructors had to the material in the course - i.e. we could not see any work(assignments - which is the problem with the link) and we could not modify the course in any way.  I complained about that fact and they changed a setting so that now I have access to the course again.  That is the only difference between then and now.  I will have to send this off to our admins to write up a ticket for something Canvas needs to look at.

It looks like this problem may be one of those perfect storm situations.

update: I just sent a ticket into Canvas linked to this discussion and briefly described the problem again.  In the process I found out that I could not type the letter J in the description window.