Course Import Tool


Using the Import tool it’s quick and easy to copy files, assignments, quizzes, modules, and other materials from one Canvas site to another.

Important Notes:

  • Import content from a Canvas site into another Canvas site only once. If you import the same content multiple times, previously imported assignments or quizzes may be overwritten by the newly imported version.
  • If you are want to copy items within a course, use the duplicate function to create unpublished copies of assignments, pages, or discussions.
  • Specifying “Select specific content” when using the import tool allows you to select which items get copied into a course site.
  • Some materials (like Course Materials @ Penn Libraries and certain LTI tools) need to be set up each semester.
  • The Course Import Tool can automatically adjust dates if desired.
  • Imported items retain due dates, availability dates, and published/unpublished status.


  • Importing content from a previous Canvas site can save time.
  • Importing content from a previous Canvas site makes it easy to reuse learning objects and assignments from a previous semester.

Recommendations when Importing Content from Another Course Site

Follow the instructions for using the Course Import Tool in the Canvas Guides.


Review files individually so that there are no surprises, like problem solutions or exam answers. 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.


Use caution when copying quizzes because they will be imported published and available in your new course with the same quiz configuration settings. You may wish to unpublish the quiz immediately, set the quiz availability dates, or both, as well as check settings that allow students to see their quiz responses and the correct answers.


When a group assignment is imported, a default “Project Groups” group set will also be imported. However, the group set will be empty and groups will need to be created.

Last Updated: 3 Jan 2019