Import or restore course contents

Using the Import feature under the Course Administration menu allows an instructor to transfer course materials from a previously taught course or template into a new course. This saves time and energy if you are reusing content from term to term.  This method imports content only. No user data is transferred during this process.

If your course is older than 13 months plus one semester, you will need to contact Help Desk to see if its content can be retrieved. If it is older than 2 years, retrieval may not be possible. If you have a backup file you created from a course older than one year, use the restore process, described below.

Note that in order to Import or Restore specific course formatting (i.e. nested/flexible sections, grid tile images) the new course must be using the same Course format as the previous course prior to performing an Import or Restore.

Steps for Importing Old Course Content

Make sure you are in your new course shell:

    1. In the Course administration menu in the Administration block, select the Import link.
    2. Another window will appear. You will be presented with a list of courses you have instructor access to. If there are more than 10 you will be asked to search for the course. If you cannot see your old course on the list (less than 1 year and a semester old) or it does not come up in a search, it is probable that the course has been archived. Contact Helpdesk with the course CRN number and course name/number that you need access to, and they will see if we can correct the problem for you.
    3. Now select the course you want to import and select the Continue button.
    4. The Backup settings page will appear allowing you to change whether you include activities, blocks, and filters. Leave these checked if you want these included. Click Next.
    5. The next page presents you with a list of all your course resources and activities. You can choose whether or not to import each individual item. Leave all boxes checked to import eveything, scroll to the bottom of the screen and select the Next button.
    6. The next page is a confirmation page showing what will be imported and what has been excluded. Selecting the Perform import button begins the import process.
    7. Be patient as the process continues. Depending on the size of the content you are importing, this can take some time.
    8. If the import was successful you will see a green bannner that says: "Import complete. Click continue to return to the course." If you see a red banner with an error message you will need to contact the Help Desk and please include information about the two courses involved and the error message.
    9. Selecting the Continue button will take you to the new course where you should see all your imported content. As the import does not transfer user data, the new course will not include your old students - only your content.

Steps for Restoring a backup file

Make sure you are in your new course shell:

  1. On the left-hand side, locate and select: Administration>Course administration>Restore
  2. At the top of the page, you can use the Drag and Drop function, and drag the backup file to the box or you can use the Choose a file feature and search for the file on your computer (Browse for the file, then Upload). Copying the file may take a few minutes.
  3. Please note, if the file size is over 128MB (max file size upload), you will need to contact CourseSpaces Support to complete the restore process.

import a backup file

4.  Now select the Restore button. You will notice a series of steps (7) at the top of this page that you must go through.

  • Each step may take a few moments to complete. Do not move away from the page – it will forward to the next steps automatically.
  • Leave each step at the default settings and just press the continue or next button at each stage.


1. Click 'Continue'.

2. Destination: Merge backup course into this course

3. Settings: (Restore settings)

4. Schema: (Course settings)

5. Review: (backup settings) This is a final confirmation page. It reviews via red and green check marks, what will be restored into the course shell.  Select the button Perform restore at the very bottom of the page.

6. Process: Depending on the size of your course, processing it into CourseSpaces may take a few moments. Do not move away from this page until you see the confirmation message (as in the image).

7. Complete:  Selecting the Complete button, will take you to your course, and its imported content.

Review imported course content

You must now check that all content has imported over for you. If you find that it has not, sometimes content must be either updated/edited, or re-created from scratch. This depends on content, and compatibility with CourseSpaces.

You will need to change the due dates for any assignment or other activities that you imported into CourseSpaces as the old dates are retained. This is similar to what happens when importing content from one CourseSpaces course to another.