Faculty Documentation: Importing Course Material

This video includes:

  • How to reuse content materials from past semesters by importing them from old sites to new sites.


Best Practices for Importing Content into Course Site (Click to Expand)


iLearn provides an “Import from Site” option that allows instructors to easily import content from one course site to another.  This is particularly useful if you need to import content from a course you previously taught into a new course site for the current semester. If you have questions about the information below, please contact Digital Education for a consult.



1. You MUST be an instructor in both the original Course Site and the new one in order to be allowed to import content from one to the other.

2. Some iLearn tools (Gradebook and Tests & Quizzes) have their own internal “export” and “import” options which work independently from the “Import from Site.” You should NOT use these without further training. Contact Digital Education before using these tools in this manner.

3. If you wish to import content into a Course Site that already has content in it, you should contact Digital Education for a consult before conducting the import.


Steps for Importing Content

Step 1: Determine what you want to import

Once you import content into a Course Site, you cannot easily “undo” the process.  Thus, it is recommended that you review the content in the original Course Site before starting the process.

When reviewing the course content, it is helpful to keep the following in mind:

1. Make sure you are reviewing the correct course from the correct semester – This will avoid accidentally importing the wrong content which can be time consuming to correct.

2. Importing the Calendar content is generally not recommended – This content is often semester/course specific and can lead to confusion if  imported into a new course site.

3. Importing Wiki content can overwrite existing Wiki content – If you already have content in the Wiki, you should not import additional Wiki content.

4. Threaded messages in the Forums do not import – Posts that you or your students made to specific Topics are not imported. Topic and Forum settings will be imported. If you need assistance importing threaded messages, please contact Academic Technology.

5. If you link to content in Resources from the Lessons tool, you must import both – If you only import your Lessons but not Resources, the links you created will not work for students.

6. Only some content from the Gradebook will import – All manually imported Gradebook items import but are not released to students. Because Assignments and Tests & Quizzes are also marked as drafts, the associated Gradebook items do not appear until those items are published. Gradebook configurations, such as settings for Categories and Weightings, will not import.

NOTE: The import process does not currently allow for “fine grain” importing – When you select to import content from a tool (e.g. Assignments), you have to import everything associated with that tool.  Once imported, you can delete content that you do not want. 


Step 2: Import content from the original site to the new course site

1. Login to iLearn and access the new Course Site.

2. Click Site Info on the left navigation bar.

3. Click on the Import from Site button at the top of the Site Info page.

4. Check the original Course Site from which you wish to import content.

WARNING:  Double check that you have checked the correct Course Site.

NOTE: You can check more than one Course Site from which to import.  This will allow you to import content from several courses at the same time.

5. Scroll down and click the “Continue” button.

6. Check the tools (e.g. Assignments) from which you wish to import content.

NOTE: You can only import content from tools which have also been deployed in the new Course Site.  For example, if you opted not to deploy the Lessons Tool in the new Course Site, then you would not be given the option to import Lessons from the original Course Site even if you had created Lessons in the original site.

7. Scroll down and click the Finish button.

NOTE: If you have a lot of content to import, it may take 3-15 minutes for the process to complete.  You will be notified via email when the import process is completed.

WARNING:  If you repeat the import process or import the same tool twice, duplicate copies of the same content will appear in the new Course Site.  Therefore, it is best to check the new Course Site to confirm what was imported (see below) before attempting additional imports.


Step 3: Review and Prepare Imported Content

It is very important that you take a few minutes to review the new Course Site to confirm that the import process worked as expected.  As you do this review, keep the following in mind:

1. Assignments and Forums will be marked as “drafts” – All Assignments and Forums are imported as “drafts” to ensure that students do not accidentally see them before they should. Click post or save to post the selected assignment or forum.

2. Announcements will be “hidden” – All announcements will be hidden when you import them so as to give you control over when/if they get posted.    If you click on the edit link under the announcement, you can then change the Availability setting from Hide to Show and click Save Changes button to save the changes that have been made.

3. Resources will be listed in alphabetical order – You will find that the folders in your Resources area imported in alphabetical order. Other settings, such as availability and access, are set as they were when you imported them from the other site.