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Canvas - Sharing Course Content With Another Instructor
This guide details three methods for safely sharing Canvas course content with another instructor.
Each method for sharing course content has its own unique strengths. If you need to collaborate with another instructor in the University of Wisconsin System to improve or refine course content, adding that instructor to a sandbox course (Method 1) is the best way to share materials and work together. The "Send To..." feature (Method 2) is best when you only need to share a single module or page from your course with another instructor. Sharing a course export package (Method 3) works best when working with an instructor at another institution or when you need to get course materials into a different (non-Canvas) learning management system.
- Method 1: Add a User to a Canvas Sandbox Course
- Method 2: Use the Canvas "Send To..." Feature
- Method 3: Share a Course Export Package
You can give another instructor access to an entire Canvas course by adding them to that course; however, it is important to take care to avoid sharing student information or giving another user the ability to edit or delete your course content. For these reasons, it is not recommended that you add users to an instructional Canvas course for the purposes of sharing course content. Instead, we recommend that you create a new sandbox course, import your content into that Sandbox course, and then invite the other instructor to that sandbox course. Using a sandbox course to share course content will avoid exposing student information and prevent other users from having the ability to delete or modify content in your instructional course. Here are the steps for creating a new sandbox course, importing content into the new course, and adding a user to that course:
- Create a new sandbox course. For instructions, please reference this UWGB KnowledgeBase article on creating new sandbox template Canvas courses.
- In the new sandbox course, use the content import tool to copy content from your existing Canvas course. Instructions for this step can be found in this Canvas Instructor guide page on copying content from other Canvas courses.
- Invite the other instructor to the sandbox course. This can be done by entering the instructor's UWGB email address in the + People menu of the sandbox course's People page. Full instructions for this step can be found in this Canvas Instructor guide page on adding users to a course. Please read the section below for information on which role to select when adding the other instructor to your sandbox course.
Which role should you use when adding a user to your course for sharing course content?
Course instructors have a large list of user roles to choose from when adding a user to their Canvas course. UW System has provided descriptions for all of the course-level roles in Canvas on the DLE KnowlegeBase. To protect student information and safeguard against the accidental deletion or modification of course content, it is best to use roles that have limited privileges when full (teacher-level) access to the course is not necessary.
A good role to use when adding a user to a course in order to give them access to course content is "Interpreter Pre-Semester." This role allows the user to access course materials and import them into other courses, but the role does not allow the user to create, edit, or delete content inside of the course. The "Interpreter Pre-Semester" role cannot see student grades or submissions in an instructional Canvas course.
Most Canvas course content items have a "Send To..." option for conveniently sharing the content with another instructor. The "Send To..." option is a great way to share an entire Module or an individual Announcement, Assignment, Discussion, Page, or Quiz with another instructor. The "Send To..." option is accessed by clicking the Options kebob icon to the right of a content item's line in a module or course index page (e.g. Assignments or Discussions page).
The Canvas Instructor guides contain full instructions for using this feature to share course content with another instructor:
- Send a Module
- Send a Module Item
- Send an Announcement
- Send an Assignment
- Send a Discussion
- Send a Page
- Send a Quiz
- Send a New Quizzes assessment
Once course content has been sent to another instructor, that instructor will see a badge on the Account icon in their Canvas Global Navigation Menu. Recipients can click Account > Shared Content in the Canvas Global Navigation Menu to view, manage, and import course content that has been shared with them via this method. For full instructions, please reference this Canvas Instructor Guide on managing shared content.
Canvas course content can be exported into a Common Cartridge (IMSCC ZIP) file which can be downloaded from Canvas and then shared with another instructor. The export file can be imported into a blank Canvas course to copy the content into that course. This method works well when wanting to share an entire course with another instructor. Sharing a course via a course export file can be accomplished with the following steps:
Create a course export file from the settings page of the Canvas course you wish to share. Full instructions for this step of the process are documented in this Canvas Instructor Guide page on creating course export files.
Send the course export file to the desired recipient. This step is performed outside of Canvas. Course export files can often be too large to email. Uploading the file to OneDrive and then sharing the file on OneDrive is one recommended method for sharing a Canvas course export file.
The recipient downloads the course export file to their computer and then imports it into their Canvas course. Course export files can be imported as a whole or specific content can be selected for import. Full instructions for this step of the process are documented in this Canvas Instructor Guide page on importing course export files.