The start of a new semester can be a stressful time. Fortunately, one major part is quick and painless: copying forward a Canvas course into a new shell. With just a little preparation, you can copy your course into the new semester in about 10 minutes. 

To make sure you’re copying the right content and not accidentally creating duplicates, the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design strongly advises faculty members to follow the provided instructions. While it may seem simple to just choose a course and copy all of the content, this can create duplicates of template material and make finding the correct content more challenging.  

CTLD instructional-design support specialists are ready to help during drop-in hours or via email or voicemail. 

Best practices 

  • New course shell(s) for the upcoming semester will be available in the account a couple of months before the new term, but the CTLD recommends holding off on copying until the current class ends. If any changes are made, they will be reflected in the new course. 
  • It’s a good idea to make changes for the new semester after completing the copy process. That way, faculty members can maintain a record of exactly how the class looked in the previous semester. 
  • Faculty members can copy any course they have taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver on Canvas. Please note that MSU Denver switched from Blackboard to Canvas as its Learning Management System in summer 2020. If you are trying to copy a course that was last taught on Blackboard, please follow the “How do I move my Blackboard course” instructions. 
  • Faculty members will want to do some prep work in the new and old courses before they copy. This takes just a few minutes and will help ensure that there isn’t duplicate content. 
  • If things look wrong, don’t worry! The CTLD can help fix nearly any kind of problem, and whatever has happened is almost certainly reversible. If something is wrong, please reach out to the CTLD instructional-design support specialists during drop-in hours or via email or voicemail.  
  • Finally, once you have copied the course into the new shell, follow this simple tutorial to easily update all due dates in a matter of minutes using the bulk-update tool located in Assignments.  

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