Copying Brightspace courses

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About this article

This article describes how to copy content, quizzes, and other components from one Brightspace course to another. It is intended for instructors.

Using the Import/Export/Copy Components Tool

Using the Brightspace Import/Export/Copy Components Tool, instructors can copy just about anything from one Brightspace course to another at any time. Instructors can easily do this themselves, but need to keep the following in mind:

  • You can only copy Brightspace courses in which you are listed in both class lists as the Teacher.
  • You can chose to copy all of the components of a course or selected components. If you choose to copy everything, note that this will include date and time restrictions (e.g., hiding content or activities, quiz or dropbox deadlines). If this is a course taught previously, you will need to change those dates and times to correspond to the current semester.
  • If you are going to merge course sections, do not copy components until after the merge is complete and the new merged course appears on your class list.
Fig 1. Select the Import/Export/Copy Components Tool from the Edit Course page
Fig 2. Select Import/Export from the TOC action menu
Fig 3. Select Search for Offering
Fig 4. Enter a search term or select magnifying glass
Fig 5. Select course, select Add Selected
Fig 6. Select Copy All or Selected
Fig 7. Select course components
Fig 8. Select component items


For all instructions below, first navigate to the Brightspace course to which you want to copy content (i.e., the target course).

Option 1: From the Course Admin page

  1. Click the Course Admin link
  2. Click the Import/Export/Copy Components link (Fig 1)

Next see instructions under "Copying course components"

Option 2: From the table of contents

  1. Select Content from the Materials menu. This will take you to the Content Tool.
  2. Select Table of Contents from the sidebar region.
  3. Select the Import Course button and then select Copy Existing Course (Fig 2).

Next see instructions under "Copying course components"

Copying course components

  1. Copy Components from Another Org Unit should be selected by default. Click the Search for offering button (Fig 3).
  2. On the search page, enter a search term or just select the magnifying glass icon to see a full list of your courses (Fig 4).
  3. Select the course from which (source) you want to copy the material and select the Add Selected button (Fig 5).
  4. Select either Copy All Components, to copy everything, or Select Components (Fig 6). If you select the latter, the components of the course will appear in the Copy Course Components window. Check the components you want to copy (Fig 7).
  5. By default, Copy all items is selected for each component. If you want to copy selected items within a component (e.g., one of several dropbox folders), choose Select individual items to copy (Fig 7). Click the Continue button.
  6. If you chose Select individual items to copy for any of the components, you will be presented with a list of items for each component. Select the items you want to copy and click the Continue button to advance to the next component (Fig 8). Note that you may need to select the "+" icon next to the different categories that are listed to expand the list.
  7. Confirm the material you are going to copy and select the Finish button. Select the Modify link if you want to make any changes.
  8. You will see a Copy Summary page that will show the progress of the copy process. Wait until everything is copied. Successful copies will be indicated with a green check mark. Click the Done button

Additional information

  • When copying course content, make sure to select both the Content and Course Files check boxes. In the copy process, Content refers to your table of contents (i.e., the names of modules and topics). Course Files refer to the actual files to which some of your topics link (e.g., Word and PowerPoint documents). If you just copy Content and not Course Files, you will only get your table of contents and any topic link that connects to a file will be broken. If you do this by mistake, you can simply repeat the copy process and copy the Course Files only.
  • If you elect to copy all components from a previous semester's course, this will copy over all restrictions (e.g., end dates) with old dates and times. These dates and times will need to be edited to correspond to the current semester. If you don't want these time-sensitive settings copied, don't select the Content Display Settings, Grade Settings, and Release Conditions components. If you do copy time-sensitive information from a previous semester, use the Manage Dates Tool to edit this information quickly.
  • After a copy, review your course to confirm that everything was copied and is working properly.

Sharing course components with other teachers

There are three ways that you can copy Brightspace course components from a colleague's course:

  • Be added to your colleague's class list as a Teacher. You will then have access to that course as if it was your own.
  • Import an export package saved by your colleague as a zip file and provided to you.
  • Access components saved by your colleague in a shared learning object repository (LOR).

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