Importing a Brightspace export package

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About this article

This article includes instructions for importing an archived Brightspace course from an export package or a publisher-provided course pack or cartridge. It is intended for instructors who are either using Brightspace or interested in using this instructional management system in the future.

What's an export package?

  • Archived Brightspace courses: When you export a Brightspace course, it generates what's called an export Zip package. This is a zip file, a special compressed file that contains all of the other files associated with the components you chose to export. The export process creates this file and then you download and save it. The zip file can then be imported back into a new Brightspace course when needed.
  • Publisher course packs or cartridges: Publishers often provide supplementary materials and test banks in the form of a zip file that they may call a course pack or cartridge. They either email this to instructors, provide it on a CD, or provide a link that instructors use to download it to their computers.

Using the Import/Export/Copy Components Tool

Using the Brightspace Import/Export/Copy Components Tool, instructors can import either an entire export package or selected components from that package, copying them to a new Brightspace course. Instructors can easily do this themselves, but need to keep the following in mind:

  • You can only import into D2L courses in which you are listed as the Teacher.
  • If you choose to import everything from an archived course, this may include date and time restrictions (e.g., hiding content or activities, quiz or dropbox deadlines) and you will need to change those dates and times to correspond to the current semester.
Fig 1. The Import/Export/Copy Components Tool
Fig 2. Select Import Components
Fig 3. Choose advanced options

Steps for Simple Import

Use these steps if you are importing everything in an export package into an empty course:

  1. Login to Brightspace and open the course into which you want to import the package.
  2. Click the Course Admin link.
  3. Click the Import/Export/Copy Components link (Figure 1).
  4. Select the Import Components radio button and the from a course package radio button (Figure 2). Select the Start button.
  5. Select the Upload button. Find the zip package you would like to upload. Either double-click the file or click it once to highlight it and then select the Open button. You will return to the Import Course Package screen.
  6. Select the Import All Components button.

Steps for Advanced Import

Use these steps if you want to select specific items to import, import to a specific folder in your Brightspace course, overwrite existing versions of files, import metadata, or offset the dates of all imported components:

  1. Follow Steps 1 to 5 above.
  2. Select the Advanced Options... button.
  3. Brightspace will then analyze your export package. Select the Continue button (Step 2 of 5) and adjust the advanced options as needed (Step 3 of 5; Figure 3). Then select Continue. Confirm your advanced options (Step 4 of 5). Select Continue. The import process will begin (Step 5 of 5). When it finishes, select Continue.

Important Details

  • If you choose the Import All Components button (i.e., the simple import), the process will not overwrite files. Any existing file with the same name will be duplicated.
  • When importing from an Brightspace course export package that includes course files, consider whether you should overwrite existing files of the same name. For example, if you are importing from a package that includes a file called syllabus.docx and you choose to overwrite, this file will replace the existing one. If you choose not to overwrite, this file will be added as if it was a unique file. Thus, you may have two topics in your table of contents called Syllabus. Duplication of topics and files can also happen if you upload the same export package to the same course more than once. In this cases, you should have decided to overwrite existing files.
  • Again, if you elect to import all components from a previous semester's course, this may copy over all display settings and release conditions from the previous semester. Obviously, these dates and times will have elapsed and will need to be edited to correspond to the current semester. If you don't want these time sensitive settings imported, don't select the Content Display Settings, Grade Settings, and Release Conditions components when you import the package.
  • When importing course files from an export package using the Advanced Options... button, you can specify the name of a folder in your Brightspace course to which to save the files. If you don't specify a folder, all of the files will be saved to the course's root directory. You can then organize them later using the Manage Files tool.
  • When importing an export package using the Advanced Options... button, you can choose to import metadata. If you select this option and metadata is associated with any of the content in the export package, it will be imported along with the corresponding content.

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