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Copy Course: How do I copy the structure and content from one course to another?

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An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about how to use the copy course function. A written manual can be found below the video.

Step-by-step instruction how to copy a course

It is possible to copy both the structure and the content (modules and activities) from one course to another. This way you can use the course you have built over the year for another year. If you want to learn more about copying your carefully created Brightspace course to a new Brightspace course, follow the steps in this article.

From now on the old and built course will be referred to as the source course, and the new and empty course will be referred to as the target course.

The steps you will have to follow to copy the source course correctly are:

  1. Set a start date in the target course: the course will be visible for students on the Brightspace homepage, but students can only access the course on or after the "start date".
  2. Copy the content of the course using Import/Export/Copy Components.
  3. Maintain the group restrictions (if you are using group restrictions with the old OSIRIS groups).
  4. Delete double OSIRIS groups.
  5. Check the most important components of the target course for errors.
  • Do you have an extensive course with release conditions, Assignments, Quizzes or do you use Grades? Then we recommend copying all components from the source course at once, because this is the easiest way to move all components to the target course while being sure that everything functions properly. However, certain items and settings must be removed or changed due to the link with OSIRIS. We therefore urge you to follow this manual step by step until the end.
  • Do you have a simple course with mainly documents?
    Then follow the manual How do I copy components from one course to another course?
  • Does your course contain SCORM packages? Then follow the manual How do I copy a SCORM object?
  • Are you copying a quiz with images? Do not forget to copy those files as well. If you do not do this, the images will not appear in the copied quiz.

If you use Rubrics, they will be copied to the target course. If a rubric is attached to an Activity in the source course and you also copy the Activity, the link between the rubric and the Activity will continue to exist. However, the rubric statistics are not copied! The advice is therefore to rename the rubric in the target course.

The items/settings of the source course you do not copy

  • All items and settings that are specific for students (such as handed-in assignments, posts in discussion fora, achieved grades, display options, etc.).
  • Release conditions based on items specific for students (such as special access).
  • Release conditions linked to Awards.
  • The Kaltura Course Gallery (and all links to material from the Course Gallery).
  • Manually added events from the Calendar.
  • Learning objectives, branching and release conditions that have been linked to Surveys.

The items/settings of the source course you copy with alterations

  • Group assignments that have been linked to the OSIRIS groups in the source course will lose their lnik. You have to link these assignments to the OSIRIS groups in the target course.
  • SCORM-objects will lose their link with a grade item. This has to be set up again.
  • Surveys with special settings (special access, release conditions) will lose their settings after they have been copied and these settings need to be set up again.
  • Settings for Tool Status will return to the default settings. This means that the content for the tools Awards, Attendance and Surveys is copied to the target course, but is not visible by default. You have to make it visible once more by going to Administration > Course Admin > Tools.
  • Intelligent agents are copied, but they will be deactivated after copying. You have to reactivate them for the target course. 
  • External Learning Tools (like Weblectures, H5P, Pitch2Peer)

To create a clear overview of the components in your source course, you can use Manage Dates. This overview allows you to see whether you have worked a lot with data, restrictions and other functionalities in the source course.  For more information about Manage Dates, please read the article How do I use Manage Dates?

1. The copying of the content from one course to another: Import/Export/Copy Components

  1. Navigate to the target course to which you want to copy the items. 
  2. Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  3. Click Course Admin.
  4. Click Import/Export/Copy Components.
  1. Select Copy Components from another Org Unit to copy components from the source course to the target course.
  2. Click Search for offering. A pop-up window will appear where you can search for the right course. Select the right source course and click Add Selected.
  3. Make sure the box for Include protected resources is selected.
  4. Click Copy All Components to copy all components from the source course to the target course. This way all content and almost all settings will be transferred correctly.

Wait until the bar has disappeared and a green check mark appears. This may take a while, depending on the size of the course. As soon as the course is copied, continue with step 3.

When you try to copy a component to a course that already exists in the target course, you will receive a notification stating that the component already exists. This prevents the creation of duplicates.

When you only import content, the External Learning Tools will appear as a broken link. Use the workaround below to copy the right links.

Navigate to Course Admin and then click Import/Export/Copy Components

  1. Click  Search for offering, which can be found below Copy Components from another Org Unit. A pop up window will appear where you can search the course you want to copy the links from.
  2. Click Select Components.
  1. Select Content and then click Select individual items to copy and Include associated files
  2. Select External Learnig Tool Links and then click Select individual items to copy. 
  3. Click Continue.
  1. Select the topics you added the links to.
  2. Click Continue.
  1. Select the External Learning Tools that belong to the topics you are going to copy.
  2. Click Continue.
  • Click Finish in the next screen.

2. Have you frequently used group restrictions that were attached to the old OSIRIS groups? If so, follow these steps. If not, continue with step 4.

Because you have copied all components from the source course to the target course, the old OSIRIS groups of the source course have also been copied. These need to be removed in the following step (step 4) which means all group restrictions will be lost.

Do not continue with this manual.

3. Remove duplicate OSIRIS groups.

The groups that OSIRIS has automatically created in the source course will be copied to the target course. This can lead to problems for both you and your students because of the link between OSIRIS and Brightspace. The (old) groups that have been copied from the source course must therefore be deleted. Follow the following steps to prevent problems.

Note: If you want to reuse a group assignment from the source course in the target course, first create the new groups and attach the copied group assignment to it. Then delete the "old" copied groups. Otherwise, the group assignmment is also deleted when deleting the old OSIRIS groups in Brightspace.

In the target course, navigate to Administration > Groups.

  1. Below View Categories, select the OSIRIS GRP Groups category. These are the old OSIRIS groups from the 2018-2019 academic year.
    In this example OSIRIS GRP Groups, but this can also be other groups from OSIRIS, with the description OSIRIS CUR Groups, OSIRIS LEC Groups, OSIRIS PRJ Groups, etc.
  2. Check the box next to the group category name (with which you select all groups in this category).
  3. Click Delete and confirm.

Both the groups and the category that these groups belonged to now have been deleted.

The groups and group categories from OSIRIS for the 2019-2020 academic year can be recognised by the teaching method and year that has been added to the category and description.
In the image below the word practicum and year 2019.

4. Check the most important components of the target course for errors.

  1. Navigate to Manage Dates to check and alter all restrictions and data at once. Read the article  How do I use Manage Dates?to learn more.
    • Because the groups that came from OSIRIS have been removed from the source course, the group restrictions on these groups have also been removed. These need to be set up again.
  2. Navigate to Content > Table of Contents and check whether all content items are in the right place. Remove the undesired items, but never click Permanently Delete and remove all nested modules.../Permanently delete both the topic from Content... randomly because this does not only delete the content-item, but also the activities and/or files associated with it.
  3. Go to Activities > Assignments and check whether all desired assignments have been copied. Remove assignments that are abundant.
    • Group assignments that were linked to the OSIRIS groups of the source course have been disconnected. These assignments need to be reconnected to their groups.
    • Rubrics that were connected to assignments have been disconnected. These rubrics need to be reconnected.
  4. Navigate to Administration > Grades and check whether all grade items have been copied correctly as well as whether they have been connected to the right grade schemes and acitivities.
  5. Go to Administration > Course Admin > Manage Files and check whether all desired files have been copied correctly. Remove abundant files.
  6. In case you used Surveys, navigate to Activities > Surveys and edit the surveys to check the settings.
    • The branching of the surveys need to be set up again.
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