NEW! Course Content Exports in Canvas

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What Is the Course Content Export Feature?

Overview

As of December 9th, the University of Pennsylvania’s Canvas environment supports exporting course content into an HTML format for offline viewing on a computer. This feature supports courses that use complex HTML or dynamic linking to downloaded files.

A typical use case for course content export would be when a student wants to export course content from a Canvas site.

The course content export downloads as a .zip file and a visual HTML index of files (hidden or unpublished files are NOT included). Essentially, the .zip file is a snapshot of how the course existed at the time of the content export. Within offline content, users can view assignment descriptions, points, and due dates. In quizzes and discussions, only the descriptions display in the export.  If a link can only be accessed online, the link includes an external icon identifying the content as online only.

Users will need to re-export the course any time they want to view updated course content. After the initial export, the “Exported Package History” page shows the history of each export, and the “Modules” page shows the last time the content was exported.

Important Information for Faculty & TAs

  • Exports are based on modules, so instructors must allow students to view the “Modules” page to export course content. If a course does not include modules but has the Modules button enabled, course content export packages will still include all course files, pages, and embedded files as long as the user has permission to view them. The Modules button is visible by default, so if you want to give students the option to download a course content export but do not intend to use modules, they will be able to perform this action if you do not hide the Modules button. Instructions for how to unhide the Modules button.
  • If you do not want students to download course content exports, you can disable this option by entering your Canvas site, clicking on Settings Course Details, scrolling to the bottom of the “Course Details” page, clicking in the check-box next to “Allow course content to be downloaded and viewed offline,”  and then clicking on the Update Course Details button. An example of the
  • Exported content does not expire, so it is recommend that you explain to students that they may not reproduce or communicate any of the content in your course, including files exported from your course, without your prior written permission if you do not want them to redistribute your course’s content. Additionally, the following message appears to users automatically on the “Exported Package History” page: “You may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this course, including files exported from this course without the prior written permission of your institution. Check with your institution for specific online user agreement guidelines.”
  • The course content export feature is separate from the ePub Exporting feature option, which is a course-level feature option that allows users to download simple course content as an ePub file on a course-by-course basis. Enabling course content exports will replace ePub exporting functionality and ePub downloads will no longer be available.

How to Use the Course Content Export Feature

Users can view the course “Modules” page to export course content. Content is exported as a .zip file and downloaded to the user’s computer. The file is essentially a snapshot of how the course existed at the time of the content export. A typical use case for course content export would be when a student wants to export course content from a Canvas site.

These steps show how to download a course content export from a Canvas site and can be shared with students:

  1. Enter a Canvas site and click on Modules.
  2. Click on the Export Course Content button.An example of the
  3. A page called “Exported Package History” page will appear, and you will see a progress bar once the export-download begins. An example of the
  4. Once the course content export downloads, you will be given the option to save the file. The course content export downloads as a .zip file Files and a visual HTML index of files (hidden or unpublished files are NOT included).

Please Note

  • If you do not see the Modules button in you course’s Canvas site, then modules have not been enabled for your course. For Canvas sites where modules are not enabled, to find the modules page as a student, which will give you access to the Course Content Export button, you can add “/modules” to the end of the course URL.
  • The Course Content Export button is unavailable in concluded past-term Canvas sites. By default, past-term Canvas sites are concluded, which means they exists in a read-only state. Consequently, any concluded past-term Canvas site does not display the Course Content Export button. If you would like access to content from a concluded past-term Canvas site, it is recommend that you contact your instructor to request access to this content outside Canvas.
  • Within offline content, you can view assignment descriptions, points, and due dates. In quizzes and discussions, only the descriptions display in the export. If a link can only be accessed online, the link includes an external icon identifying the content as online only.
  • You will need to re-export the course any time you want to view updated course content. After the initial export, the export page shows the history of each export, and the “Modules” page shows the last time the content was exported.

Questions?

Please email Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions or need assistance with course content exports.