Import Content from One ELMS-Canvas Course Space to Another

Table of Contents

This article will describe how to import course content and Panopto Recordings between courses, copy a course asset from one course to another, or share a course asset with another instructor or instructors.

Import Content From Old Course into a New Course

This feature is used primarily to import all of the content from a previous term course space into the current term course space. The process is initiated from the new course space.

Import Entire Course (All Course Content)

ELMS-Canvas allows you to import content such as files, assignments, discussion topics, modules, pages, and Panopto recordings from existing ELMS-Canvas spaces into a new ELMS-Canvas space.  To initiate this process, follow the steps below: 

  1. Navigate to the new (often empty) course space into which you wish to import content.
  2. Click the Settings link in the Course Navigation menu.
  3. Click the Import Course Content link in the Options list.
  4. On the Import Content screen, choose Copy a Canvas Course from the Content Type menu.
  5. Enter the name (acronym) of the course from which content is to be imported in the Search for a Course field, e.g., ENGL350-0101. All course spaces matching this course name in which you are an instructor, TA, or designer will be listed. Select the one whose content you wish to import.

At this point, you have two options.  

To import all content from the select course:

  1. Select All Content.
  2. Click Import.

Import Specific Course Content

To import specific content, but not the entire course: 

  1. Click Select specific content.
  2. Under Current Jobs, click Select Content.
  3. At the Select Content screen, click the checkboxes of the content elements you wish to import.
  4. Click Select Content button.

A progress bar shows the status of the import. Importing can take up to two hours to complete.  You will be notified via email that your course has been copied successfully.


Import Panopto Recordings

AFTER you have run the Import Course Content, click on the Panopto Recordings tab in the vertical lefthand ELMS-Canvas navigation.  The act of clicking on Panopto Recordings in the left-hand navigation of ELMS-Canvas for the first time is what provisions a folder for the ELMS-Canvas space in Panopto.  After clicking on Panopto Recordings in the ELMS-Canvas navigation, imported videos will take up to 24 hours to appear.  If any of the recordings have not been viewed in 13 months or more, then restore archived content.  You can remove Panopto recordings from the ELMS-Canvas course by following these How to Use the Recycle Bin and Permanently Delete Recordings directions.  Review the recordings to make sure you are Protecting Student Privacy and Personally Identifiable Information.

IMPORTANT:  If you click the Panopto Recordings tab in the ELMS-Canvas navigation BEFORE you run the Import Course Content, then the Panopto recordings WILL NOT import.


Copy Content from One Course to Another Course

This feature enables you to copy a specific element (assignment, quiz, discussion, survey, page) from one course space to another course space in which you are the instructor, co-instructor, course manager, TA or designer. The process is initiated from within the old or parent course space.

  1. Go to a course that houses content you wish to copy to another course.
  2. Click on the Assignments, Discussions, Pages, or Quizzes link to locate the asset you wish to copy.
  3. From the Assignments (Discussions, Pages or Quizzes) list, click on the 3Dots icon to the right of the item to expose the task menu.

    task menu featuring Copy To


  1. Click on the Copy To… link.
  2. Type the course acronym (e.g., UNIV200-0201) or course name in the Select a Course field.
  3. Select the appropriate course (often identifiable by having the term in the title information, e.g., UNIV200 Student Success Spring 2020).
    1. You can then optionally select a Module with which to associate the asset (if Modules have been set up in the course space) and a location within the module for the link to the asset to appear.
  4. Click on the Copy button.

    copy to dialog box

Note: if you wish to share course modules between two of your courses, either export those items to Canvas Commons, making them visible only to yourself, or use the Import "specific content" feature within the destination (new) course space (see the "import specific content" steps above.


Share Content from One Course to Another Course

This feature enables you to share a specific element (assignment, quiz, discussion, page, survey) from one course space in which you are the instructor, co-instructor, course manager, TA or designer to another instructor (or multiple instructors).   The instructor must proactively accept the shared content before copying it into the designated course space.

  1. See steps 1-3 above.
  2. Click on the Send to… link in the task menu.
  3. Type in the name or University of Maryland email address of the instructor(s) with whom you wish to share the asset.

    send to dialog box
  4. Click on the Send button.  You will receive a prompt when the item has been successfully sent.

The designated instructor(s ) will see a blue numeric (usually the number 1) "badge" next to their account avatar in the ELMS-Canvas global toolbar.

  1. Click on the Account icon in the global toolbar.
  2. Click on the Shared Content link in the Account menu.

See the Canvas Guide "How do I manage content shared to me from other users?" for details on how to accept and import "gifted" content from another ELMS-Canvas course owner.