IDEA Courseware Team Support
Online assistance for Canvas and Learning Tools from Wharton Computing

Copying content from one Canvas site to another


Using the Import tool it's quick and easy to copy files, assignments, quizzes, etc. from one Canvas site to another. (You will still need to request the site if it doesn't exist yet, even if you plan to handle the copying on your own). Below are some recommendations based on our experience with typical course content.

The tool provides fine-grained control over which items get copied. You will definitely want to click "Select specific content." You will then need to click the blue "Select Content" button to select items to copy. Please see the warnings about Files and Quizzes below.


When selecting Files for copying, we suggest you review items individually so that there are no surprises. It's always possible to go back later and copy more content, so it doesn't hurt to be conservative. Since you're reusing content, keep an eye out for things like problem solutions, exam answers, etc. You can selectively copy files if you have time-sensitive content, or you can copy everything you know you'll want, and unpublish or restrict files that should not be visible immediately.

Assignments and Calendar Events

  • To reuse assignments and calendar events, you can select a target range of dates for the new term by checking "Adjust events and due dates." You can also define day substitutions (i.e., move Tuesday items to Wednesday).
  • While Canvas does its best to extrapolate new dates, you will still need to review dated items carefully. If the importer gets something wrong, the drag-and-drop functionality of the Calendar makes it easy to move assignments and events from one day to another.
  • To do a final confirmation of dated items, you may find it useful to check your site's Syllabus, where it will be easy to identify undated items and to confirm the order of events.


If you copy Quizzes, know that a quiz that is published and available in your old course will also be published and available in your new course; availability and due dates will be retained when the quiz is copied. Therefore, if you're concerned about restricting access, you'll either want to unpublish the quiz, or set the quiz availability dates, or both, as well as check settings that allow students to see their quiz responses and the correct answers. If it is critical that current students not be able to access copied quizzes and if your course is already published, you can adjust the quiz availability dates on the quiz you are copying (i.e., make sure you have "until" dates that are in the past).  Generally speaking, instructors are copying quizzes from old, concluded courses, so changing that setting can be done without affecting students in the concluded course.


Group sets can be imported as part of a site copy, but they will be empty, so the groups themselves must be created in the new site. That is, if you have an assignment called "Group Project" and if it was configured to use groups called "Teams," the copied assignment will also be configured to use groups called "Teams".  However, none of the actual individuals teams will actually exist at that point - they must be created separately on the People page.

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