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Importing content from one of my other classes

how does a teacher tell which course they need to export and import if they have worked in courses with the same name

4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @critesj , greetings! I've had this problem and what works for me is if you try searching with the "SIS ID" for the course instead of the name. To find the SIS ID for the course you want copied, go to the course, click on Settings, and then scroll down and look for the "SIS ID" field (it's 6th from the top). Copy this ID and then go into the blank course and paste it in for "Course Name" in the Import Content screen. This should then bring up the exact course you want! 🙂

Hope this helps!


Community Coach
Community Coach

PS - The SIS ID should be a completely unique identifier for your class, so no duplicates. If you don't have a SIS ID for your course (this would depend on how your school creates courses), then you could utilize some of the tricks/tips Kelley provided. 🙂

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @critesj  

There is no one answer to this question, as it will depend on your school or districts course naming conventions.

  • Is there a unique course or section ID number?
  • Are Term identifiers used in the course names?

When we first moved to Canvas as a state systems we changed our naming conventions state wide after the first pilot term to put key identifiers towards the front.  For example, one of mine is HIT 105 2522 - F19 - Comprehensives..........

So I have the Course ID, the Section ID and the term all in the first characters so that the show up in the truncated fields Canvas seems to adore. Also, we can search by section ID.  So if your names include a unique identifier, you can search with.

I hope this is helpful,


Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @critesj ...

When we first started using Canvas, we also ran into this issue where instructors were having difficulties figuring out which of their two similar courses to copy content from.  Then, a few years back, we decided to make a change that has helped instructors better identify each course.  The following is an example of information from our SIS (Banner) that is passed into a Canvas course shell.  In a course "Settings" page, it might look something like this:

Name: Basics of Tent Camping (12345)

Course Code: 12345

SIS ID: CCRS123-456-12345.202010

Instructors will see the five-digit CRN (in this case, 12345) displayed next to the course name to help identify this particular section when importing course content.

I hope this helps, Jana.