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Duplicating folder structures

Hi - I'm a canvas newbie here but I have lots of Moodle and Blackboard experience.

I'd very much appreciate any help with the following little problem.

I'm playing about the different ways that we might be able to share 'template courses'

I want to create a fairly blank course that can be duplicated across Faculties that has placeholders for content.

I see that there are a number of ways to do that and I'm digesting lots of content most notably this thread

My question is about the backend file structure though.

As part of these structured courses I want to create a file tree that will house the content - Unit 1, Unit 2 etc. 

I have created the necessary structure in my 'Parent' course but I can't seem to duplicate this automatically no matter what method of copying I use (Copy, Export / import, Blueprint)

Now, importantly these folders are empty and I realise that this could be one issue.  If the folders have content they are copied/syncd.  

To add an extra touch of weirdness though the first time I did try it I somehow managed it.. or did I?  I think I did... but now I'm not sure...

Anyway - lovely to be here
Many thanks


5 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach


The best tool for providing structure in your courses, and one that works regardless of how the course is reproduced, is to use Modules. I have uploaded a couple screenshots below of the module structure used in a general template we developed.

Once the structure is in place you and/or faculty or course builders can add the appropriate files, document, links, etc needed to complete the course.

Collapsed Module Structure - Modules listed are meant to be weekly, and continue off the screenshot to the total number of weeks in a term


Module Content Structure - Each weekly module is structured exactly the same.


Module Introduction and Learning Objectives Page Template

  • Each modules introductory page is set the same
  • Includes preset headers for required content to be added by instructors,
  • {} used to identify text that must be replaced by instructors


I hope this is helpful!


Wow Kelley - I didn't expect a reply so soon.

Thank you I really appreciate this.

I don't think I was clear enough in the first post though.  I've actually structured the page using modules already.

I know there are differences between this and your thorough example.

266607_Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 18.41.05.png

What I want to have is a nice folder structure set up 'at the backend' to keep files and resources together.

Perhaps its a vain wish but I really want to instil good resource management strategies in our users.  

One of the hurdles in our Blackboard migration is that files are just saved to a root folder... hundreds of them!

This is what I want to somehow duplicate but I don't it's possible without having content in each of the folders.

266608_Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 18.42.46.png

Many thanks again for your help


I have the same issue.  We have standard courses, but each instructor has their own PPT presentations that they use in class.  To accommodate this we have a template that contains the following structure:

321706_Canvas folder structure.jpg

The folders for Instructor 2 and 3 are identical to the Instructor 1 folder.  Recreating this for every course is very time consuming, especially as we have 40+ courses.  The only way that I can get the folder structure to replicate is to have a file in each folder, which again is very time consuming.  Either there should be an option to copy the folder structure when you import a course into another or it should happen automatically.

Community Coach
Community Coach,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



Would be good if Canvas allowed Importing empty directories. Still not fixed as of Dec 2020.