Reusing Your Course in Canvas

The great thing about spending time to set up your course in Canvas is that you can reuse the materials when you teach the class again by copying the content from the previous course and then updating it.

Copy Content and Adjust All Due Dates

1

Access the Canvas course for the upcoming semester

 
2

Click on the course Settings from the bottom of the left-hand navigation

 
3

Click Import Course Content button

 
4

On the Content Type drop-down menu, click Copy a Canvas Course

Canvas Import Content page with content type of copy a canvas course highlighted

 
5

Select the name of the course you want to copy from (or type the name of the course in the search bar)

Prior to Spring 2020, the naming convention of courses from Banner was two-character term plus two-digit year, then a space, then the abbreviated department name, dash, course number, dash, section number, i.e. Fa18 ENGL-2060-001. Starting in Spring 2020, the naming convention of courses from Banner is full term name, then a space, then the year then the abbreviated department name, dash, course number, dash, section number, i.e. Fall 2020 ENGL-2060-001. If you start typing in the name, Canvas will populate options from the search results and you can click on the correct section.

Canvas course copy course search showing a partially typed course name and a list of options with one highlighted

 
6

Choose whether you would like to copy All content or Select specific content

If you used a lot of announcements that will not be relevant for the upcoming semester, we recommend that you select specific content and don't copy the announcements. You will pick which content will be copied in a later step.

 
7

Click the checkbox to Adjust events and due dates

Using this option will get your due dates close to the correct due dates, but you will likely need to make some adjustments later. Canvas should auto-populate the beginning and ending date of each course, but there may be circumstances where you want to make an adjustment to these dates or need to enter them manually. The start (A1) and end (A2) dates of the class you are copying from go on the left and the start (B1) and end (B2) dates of the upcoming course are on the right.

Canvas course copy date adjustment options showing the beginning and ending date

 
8

Optional: Designate substitution days

If you had most of your due dates on Thursday the last time you taught the class and you want those dates to shift to Saturday, you can use the Substitution option. Click on the + Substitution button, then choose which day of the week the assignments were due on the left and the day of the week you would like them due on the right. You can add additional substitution days, if desired.

Canvas course copy date adjustment after substitution button has been clicked showing Thursday dates will be changed to Saturday dates

 
9

Click Import

 

 
10

If you chose Select specific content above, you will now click the Select Content button

Canvas import options with select content button highlighted

Check the boxes to designate which content you would like copied. Click the arrows to see more details of a specific content type. Click Select Content to start the import.

select content page showing most of the content checked, the quizzes group open, and announcements unchecked

 
11

When the content has finished importing, the progress bar will show Completed

Progress bar with the label running

Import progress showing completed


Adjust Specific Due Dates

After the content has been imported, make additional adjustments to specific assignment dates. The easy way to do this (if you don't have availability and locked after dates) is on the calendar.

1

Go to the calendar tool

 
2

Check the guide to make sure you can see the course for which you want to adjust dates

 
3

Click and drag assignments to change the due date


Adjust Dates with Availability and Lock Settings

If there are availability and lock dates, making adjustments can be a bit more complicated. We have a tool for that!

1

Go to the course Settings

 
2

Click on the Navigation tab

 
3

Click and drag Multi Tool from the section of hidden items to the top

 
4

Click Save

 
5

Click on the Multi Tool link on the left-hand navigation

 
6

Click on Due Date Modifier (authorize Cidi Labs Tools, if prompted)

 
7

In the Assignment Data section you can made updates to individual assignments by entering the new date and time and clicking on the Update button

multi tool showing assignment data section with a change on one assignment in the until date with the original date showing under the change and the update button highlighted

 
8

You can also change multiple dates at once by selecting the new dates that you want (you'll see the original date below the new date), then click on the Update All button

multi tool showing the assignment data section with three assignments that have had the until date changed on them and the original date is showing below each and the update all button highlighted

 
9

To change multiple assignments and types of dates at once, check the boxes next to the files you want to change

(You can use the Assignment Type buttons—Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, Pages—at the top of the list to filter to just those assignment types.)

Multi tool showing the assignment data section with five assignments showing and the checkbox next to the name of each assignment selected

 
10

Navigate to the Bulk Updates section

Select (A) the types of dates and number of days you would like to adjust, then click on the Adjust Dates button, then (B) click the Update Canvas button

Bulk updates section of the multi toll showing the selected items on the left, then the bulk day adjust options with the until option selected and a 2 in the plus or minus days field

Video

This video shows how to execute the steps listed above on how to adjust dates with availability and lock settings.


Update Modules List on Homepage

If you have a course homepage that displays a list of modules and you want to make it so the current module will highlight throughout the semester, use the steps below.

List of module titles showing course introduction, modules 1-12, Thanksgiving, then modules 13-14

If you have days of the modules displayed in the module titles, you will want to Update Date References in Module Titles before you Update the Active Dates.
list of modules with start and end dates in each module title
1

Go to the course homepage

 
2

Click Edit

 
3

Launch the Design Tools

white spaceship on dark blue background

 
4

Click on Add Advanced Elements, then Module List

Design Tools panel with the add advanced elements section open and the module list item highlighted

 
5

Click the Show Dates button

Design Tools open with module list displaying the date fields section with the show dates button highlighted

(If there are already dates showing, click on the Clear button)

 
6

Enter the desired start and end date for the first module by clicking in each field and selecting the appropriate date from the calendar

Design Tools with the advanced tools open, the modules list section open and the date fields showing the start date field has been clicked and a two-month calendar is displayed to pick the start date

The rest of the dates will be auto-generated. The tool is designed to follow the pattern that is set on the first module through the end of the module list, as calculated by the number of days for the first module. The most likely scenario is to have a module that lasts for a week. So, on the first module you would set the start date for the first day of the semester (usually a Monday) and go through the end of the seventh day (the following Sunday).

In the Spring semester, it is a good idea to add an extra module for Spring Break that is placed in the appropriate position to show the break in coursework and have the dates automatically generated correctly, but you can also change dates of each module, if desired.

 
7

Optional: Make any required adjustments to the dates by manually editing to the desired dates

Design Tools module list showing the dates for a module called Thanksgiving and the start date being adjusted to the Wednesday before the holiday

 
8

Optional: In the Browser Only Features section of the Module List tool, click on Current next to the Include Quick Links option to have the module contents displayed on the homepage

Current Quick Links Option

Design Tools Module List showing the Browser Only Features box with Current highlighted in the Include Quick Links section

Module Contents on Homepage

A module list with the current module highlighted and the list of module contents displayed below the listt module

 

 
9

Click Save or Save & Publish

Video

This video shows how to execute the steps listed above on how to update the module list on the homepage.