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What is the Import iSites Content tool?

This tool can import content from a previous course iSite into a Canvas site if they share the same teaching staff.  This tool is a good option for teaching staff who would like to reuse content from past semesters without having to upload it all manually or recreate it within Canvas.


Who can use the tool?

Only teaching and support staff can access the tool within Canvas; they will see it in their Manage Course dashboard if is available for the course. The tool is not available to students. 

How do I import content from a previous iSite?

From within the Canvas site for your course, click on "Manage Course" in the left navigation menu and then on the tool card titled "Import iSites Content." (If there are no previous iSites associated with your Canvas site, the tool will be disabled.) A list of previous iSites that are related to your Canvas course will appear.

  • See the iSite's term or click through the link to the iSite to identify the content you would like to import
  • Select the radio button next to the chosen iSite
  • Click on the blue button at the bottom of the iSite list labeled “Import."

A table on that page will be populated with a list of any in progress or completed imports.  The status of each import will change from "queued," to "active," to "completed." 

You can select additional iSites content to import, if available.

Which iSites will appear in the list of iSites I can import?  

For most schools, the tool checks to see:

  • If there were any previous offerings of the course AND
  • If any of the teaching staff of those previous course offerings match any of the teaching staff of the current course offering.

iSites that match both of the above requirements will appear in the list of previous courses from which you can import content.

For FAS, Summer School, and Extension School, the tool checks to see:

  • If there were any previous offerings of the course AND
  • If the course head for the previous course offering matches the course head of the current course offering.  Even if there are the same teaching staff in both courses, the iSite will only appear if the course head, specifically, is the same in both offerings of the course.

iSites that match both of the above requirements, will appear in the list of previous courses from which you can import content.

Why doesn't my course iSite appear in the list?

iSites that are not associated with the Canvas course you are in, and iSites that do not have the same teaching staff in the Canvas course, will not appear.  Also, if the Registrar's code for the course has changed over the years, the iSite may not appear in the list. If you need access to an iSite that does not appear in the list, please contact your local school support for additional assistance.

What content is imported?

  • Files (e.g. pdfs, Word documents, etc.)
  • Text box content (e.g. iSites text areas)
  • A ReadME file answering FAQ related to the Import Tool

Content that is not imported:

  • Lecture videos and videos from the Video Publishing Tool
  • Discussions
  • Student-generated content (dropbox, video submissions, quizzes)
  • Web links (including linked YouTube videos in the Video Publishing Tool)
  • Empty or blank files

What happens to the imported files?

Once an import has successfully completed, a new folder containing the content will appear within the "Files" section of your Canvas site.  Click on "Files" within the left navigation of your site.  The folder name will follow this pattern "isites_archive_knumber" e.g. isites_archive_k12345). For example:


Why can't students see these files? How do I publish the imported content?

Files in this main archive folder were imported from a Course iSite of a previous offering of this course. The files appear to be available to students because they have the "published" icon. However, this main archive folder that contains the files is unpublished, and therefore students cannot access the files. To make files available to students, you must publish this main archive folder before linking to the files from assignments, pages, or other parts of your site. 

If teaching staff are added to a Canvas course, how quickly will their associated iSites appear?

As long as the newly added teaching staff were also teaching staff in the previous offering of the course, the iSite should appear immediately.  In FAS and the Summer and Extension Schools, the course head must have been the same in the current and the previous offering of the course for the iSite to appear in the list. The tool checks users and iSites each time the page loads, so there is no delay.

What if the import fails or I need additional help?

Rather than seeing a green "completed" indicator next to an imported iSite, you may see a red "failed" indicator.  If the import fails, please try initiating the import again.  If it fails multiple times, if you have any additional questions, or for assistance migrating materials from iSites, please contact your local school support.


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