Constructing a new course site and organizing your course materials can be a time-consuming process — but it doesn’t have to be.  Canvas offers tools that can streamline the process, cutting down substantially on the time and effort needed to set up your course structure.


Course Content Duplication

Most major course content types in Canvas support duplication.  If, for example, you have weekly assignments in your course with identical or very similar instructions for your students, making multiple copies is an excellent way to avoid the work of creating each one manually.  There is no need to redo the settings after creating copies — all you need to do is change the assignment title and update the due date, which allows you to save a great deal of time.  The following is a list of Canvas content types that support duplication now or will in the future:

  • Modules: You can duplicate a module by clicking the Options menu (the column of three dots) at the upper right of the module and selecting Duplicate.  Canvas will then make a copy of the module and all the content items within it, with “Copy” appended to the module name.  At this time, you cannot duplicate a module that contains a Canvas Quiz (see Quizzes below).
  • Assignments: You can duplicate an assignment either in the Assignments section of your course or, if the assignment has been added to a module, within the Modules section.  Only the assignment details will be duplicated; no associated student submissions will be duplicated.
  • Content Pages: Again, you can duplicate a content page either in the Pages section of your course (click “View All Pages” to see a list of your current content pages) or within a module.  If you have embedded multimedia content within the original content page, the duplicate page will contain it as well.
  • Discussions: Similarly to Assignments and Content Pages, a Discussion can be duplicated either in the Discussions section of your course or within a module.  Note that when you duplicate a Discussion, only the original prompt will be duplicated; any replies to the original prompt will not be duplicated.
  • Quizzes: At this time, you cannot duplicate a Canvas Quiz (indicated by a rocketship icon) or any module that contains a Quiz.  When Canvas’ updated quiz tool, Quizzes.Next, is released, it will support quiz duplication.

When you duplicate any of these content types, the resulting copy will be unpublished by default.  Be sure to publish any content that you want your students to be able to see before you publish your new Canvas course.

For step-by step help with duplicating content, see Canvas’ guides:


Event Duplication

When you create a Canvas event (a non-graded course activity), it will show up on your students’ calendar.  Canvas allows you to duplicate an event one or more times when you are creating the initial event, which is very useful when you have regularly recurring events in your course (discussions, film viewings, etc.) about which you wish to remind your students.  See Canvas’ documentation to learn how to duplicate an event.


Copying from a Previous Canvas Course

Another efficient method of course creation is to copy content from one or more of your previous Canvas courses.  See ATS’ blog post on course-to-course copying for more information.


Help and Further Resources

If you need advice and assistance with course site construction, or if you have other questions, Academic Technology Solutions is happy to help.  You can attend one of our walk-in sessions held in the TechBar of the Regenstein Library (see our workshop schedule for upcoming sessions) or contact us at