file copy header

Quickly importing materials into your course

One of the best parts of an online course is that once you build it, you can use the same course year after year without starting from scratch. But to do this, you need to move your materials from the old semester course to your new one.

Here’s the steps of importing your materials into a new course in Brightspace.

Click below to jump to a section

If you are copying a complete course into a new course shell for the semester, these first sections are most likely what you want. But if you are planning to do some course cleanup, you may consider reading further about selecting individual components to copy.

A few things to know about copying

These are a few things you might want to consider before deciding how to copy your course. These were paraphrased by Brightspace documentation and you can find the full page here.

Overwriting and duplicate content

When you copy components, course files will overwrite and replace a file with the exact same file name. These are the files you have uploaded and will find in the Manage Files tool.

Copying anything else will make a duplicate and will not replace anything in the current course. For example, if you have a quiz names “Art History” in your old course and a quiz named “Art History” in the new course, you will now have 2 quizzes named “Art History” when you copy course information.

Can be overwritten = uploaded course files

Cannot be overwritten & will just create a duplicate = everything else

Student data privacy

User data is not included in a course copy. Some examples would be:

  • Forum discussions submitted by students
  • Assignment submissions
  • Quiz attempts

Links between Brightspace components

Components that are linked or associated together in Brightspace must be copied at the same time to keep those links and associations in the new course. Examples of links and association include

  • Assignments or Quizzes associated with a Grade Item
  • A Discussion topic with a Release Condition

Now that we’ve learned a bit about the copy process, it is time to choose how to copy components.

Get started with the import

In Brightspace, locate and access your new Course under waffle or pinned courses.

Then under the Course Admin tab, click on Import/Export/Copy Components.

brightspace course admin import export

Select the top option Copy Components from another Org Unit. This will allow you to directly copy all or pieces of you old course. No downloading or zip files needed.

Click the Search for offering button so search and select which course to copy from.

brightspace copy components from org unit

A popup box will now appear to enter your course search. Enter your course information in the search box and press the Search button. Entering the year of the course will make the course list more managable.

From the displayed list, select the course you want to copy from and then click the blue Add Selected button.

brightspace course copy course search box

The popup box will close and now your selected course to copy is displayed. If this is not the right course, click the X next to the course name to select a new course.

brightspace selected course to copy

From here you can choose to Copy All Components or Select Components to copy. Details for both are in the next sections.

Copy All Components

Brightspace recommends copying ALL components to your new course so you keep the links and associations between Brightspace components like discussed above. Then you can delete anything you do not want.

This works especially well if your new course is empty.

Once you have your course selected in Import/Export tool (what we did in the previous “Get Started with Import” section), click the blue Copy All Components button.

brightspace copy all components

Just a one click process for this one.

Course copy status page

Last of all you will get this status screen showing your components are copying. It will have a Copying in progress bar in the right side. When the copy is complete, this will change to a green checkmark with the copy date.

The Copy Another Package button will bring you back to copy more pieces into your course if want.

View Content button will take you the Content tool of the course so you can see the copied content.

Review and Manage Dates button takes you to the Manage Dates tool so you can update dates for your course. Head to this post to learn about bulk offsetting and updating course dates.

brightspace copy all components working screen

Select Components to copy

In some cases, you may only want to copy pieces of your course.

  • Created a new grading setup and want to start fresh? Leave the gradebook out of your course copy.
  • Set up an amazing rubric in one course and want to use it in another? Just copy the rubric section.
  • Need to copy over just one quiz or assignment? Just copy those pieces.

Once you have your course selected in Import/Export tool (what we did in the previous “Get Started with Import” section), click the blue Select Components button.

brightspace select components button

Now you get to select your components. If you have already copied things from this course, it will give you a warning just to confirm that you really do want to copy.

The list of components will look like this. You can select to copy a whole component (ex: Discussions) by checking the box next to its name or you can check that box then choose Select individual items to copy to get even more specific about which pieces you want.

The checkbox that say Include all associated files should be left checked. This will bring along any files you have uploaded and are linked to these components.

brightspace choose components to copy list
Choose component list

Once you have selected the major components, click Continue to go to the next step and select individual items to copy. You will see a page like this.

brightspace choose components discussion list
Select individual items to copy from within the component

You can click the Go Back button to select more pieces or change your selection.

After you have selected the components and/or individual component pieces, click the Continue button to move to the next step in the process.

The last step is to confirm the components you want to copy. This next screen gives a list of the components you have chosen to copy. You can always click to modify them. You can also offset dates here. Head to this blog post to learn more about how dates work in Brightspace.

Click Finish once you have double checked your course components to copy.

brightspace confirm component copy

After clicking the Finish button, you will be brought to the same Course Copy Status page that was detailed in the previous section.

This process saves a lot of working when moving to another semester but as always you can contact the IDAT team for any questions on migrating your classes.

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