Re-use Content in New Semester
From e-Learning Documentation
Content you've created in one semester can be imported into your course for the new semester. This tutorial will provide instructions for the most efficient methods of re-using content from one semester to the next.
You do not have to import all content from a previous semester. You choose to import content from specific tools. For example, you may choose to import your Reources, Lessons and Assignments, but not your Calendar or Discussions.
Some tools have no content to import - such as the "Feedback" tool which is student specific. Since the same students are not in the new course, there is no content in Feedback that can be imported into the new course.
|Tools That Can be Imported||Tools That Cannot Be Imported|
|RSS Feeds||Section Info|
|Tests & Quizzes|
Before you import your content from a previous semester, you want to make sure your new course has all the tools you will be importing. For example, if you used "Lessons" in your previous semester, make sure "Lessons" has been added to the toolbar in the current course. If the tool is not in both courses, you will not have the option to import content from that tool.
In the new course:
- Click Site Info in the left menu bar.
- Click Import from Site in the top menu bar.
- "I would like to replace my data" Any existing data will be overwritten, replaced by your import data. This method allows you to import Gradebook settings such as categories and associated weights. This is the choice most Instructors will want to use for copying content from a previous semester.
- "I would like to merge my data" Your import data will merge with existing data. Does not allow import of Gradebook settings. You would use this option if you have created new Assignments or other content and you want the imported data to merge with this content instead of replacing it.
- If you want to use this option, but still import your gradebook, you can merge your data first, then come back and replace your data and only select "Gradebook."
- "I would like to merge my users" Your imported users will merge with existing users. This would only be useful in non-registrar courses where all participants will be enrolled in the new course as well as the old.
- Click option 1 or 2
- Select the course that contains the content you want to import and click Continue.
- Check the box beside the tool(s) from which you want to import content.
- Click Finish
Prepare Imported Content for the Current Semester
Your imported content will need to be prepared for the current semester. This tutorial will list each tool and outline the preparation needed to re-use the content.
Announcements from the previous semester come into the new semester as "hidden." Adjust the dates and change the availability to "Show." NOTE: If you used the Content Editor inside the Announcements tool and created links to files within Resources, those links will have to be recreated.
Assignments from the previous semester come into the new semester as "draft."
- Click Edit under the name of the Assignment.
- Adjust the Open, Due and Accept Until dates for the new semester.
- Check "Use Turnitin" and "Allow students to view reports if desired."
- Grading - if this is a graded Assignment, you may leave it at the default of "Add Assignment to Gradebook" which will create a column in the gradebook once the Assignment is published. Or if you have a column in the Gradebook that you want to associate with this Assignment, select "Associate with Existing Gradebook Item" and choose the column from the drop-down menu.
- Make any other desired adjustments to the settings and click Post.
NOTE: If you used the Content Editor inside the Assignments tool and created links to files within Resources, those links will have to be recreated.
Assessments from the previous semester come into the new semester as "unpublished."
- Click the Publishicon to the far right of the Assessment Title.
- Make any adjustments to the dates, settings, etc., and click Publish.
NOTE: If you used the Content Editor inside the Assessments tool and created links to files within Resources, those links will have to be recreated.
Most Instructors will probably not want to import the Calendar since every entry will have to be edited to show the correct dates in the new semester anyway.
Discussions (Forums) are imported from the previous semester as "Draft."
- Click Forum Settings, make any adjustments to settings and/or permissions.
- Click Save
Topics under a Discussion become available when the Discussion is posted. If the Discussion and/or Topics are graded, you will need to enter each Discussion/Topic and reassign the Gradebook column, or you can choose the column from the drop-down menu when grading. NOTE: If you used the Content Editor inside the Discussions tool and created links to files within Resources, those links will have to be recreated.
Columns that are created within the Gradebook will import into the new course and be in their respective Categories (if Categories are used). If you have set up Assignments, Assessments and/or Tests & Quizzes to automatically create columns in the Gradebook, those columns will not appear until the assignment or assessment has been published. Those columns will then need to be added to their respective Category. On the "Gradebook Items" tab:
- Click Edit beside the name of the column and choose the Category from the drop-down menu.
- Click Save Changes
Imported Gradebook columns are not released to students. You will need to release each column to students.
- Click Edit beside the name of the column and check the box beside "Release this item to Students."
- Click Save Changes
By default, the Course Letter Grade is not displayed to students until you release it.
- Click Course Grade Options
- Check the box beside "Display course grade to students now."
- Click Save
Since you can only import Gradebook settings and not Gradebook 2 settings, any options that are available in Gradebook 2 but not Gradebook will have to be reset. Those options are:
- Dropping the lowest score(s)
- Weighting items within a category
- Extra credit
- Using Letter Grades
- Displaying Statistics to Students
See the Gradebook 2 tutorial for specific instructions on setting these items.
Home (Site Info)
The content on the Home Page does not import and will need to be recreated. This can be easily done by one of two methods:
If you created the Home Page content in the original course using the Content Editor on the Home Page:
- Go to the original course and click Options at the top of the Home Page.
- Click Source at the upper left corner of the Content Editor. This reveals the HTML code for the content on the page.
- Click anywhere in the Content Editor, hold down the CTRL key while you hit "a" and then "c". This copies the content.
- Go to the new course and click Options at the top of the Home Page. Delete the default text.
- Click Source at the upper left corner of the Content Editor.
- Click anywhere in the Content Editor, hold down the CTRL key while you hit "p". This paste the content into the Content Editor.
- Click Source to view the content as it will appear.
- If you had images on the original Home Page, they will need to be inserted into the text. If you copied the Resources from the old course, your images will be there for easy insertion.
NOTE:If you used the Content Editor inside the Syllabus tool and you linked to content within the Resources (including images), those links will need to be re-linked. To avoid this problem in future semesters, see the Create Relative Links tutorial.
If you created the Home Page content in the original course by linking to a HTML file in the Resources:
- In the current course, go to Resources and locate the file you will use for your Home Page.
- If you had images on the original Home Page, they will need to be re-linked so that they point to the images in the new Resources tool. Note: You may create "relative" links to images that do not have to be relinked every time. See the Create Relative Links tutorial for instructions on how to do this.
- Beside the file, click Actions and then choose Edit Details
- Beside the "Web address (URL) click Select URL (for copying). While holding down the CTRL key, hit "c." This copies the URL.
- Click Cancel
- At the top of the Home Page, click Options
- Click in the box labeled "Site Info URL," and while holding down the CTRL key, hit "p." This pastes the URL into the box.
There is very little you need to do to Lessons. You may want to update dates available, but otherwise, Lessons are ready for student use.
There is an important element about Lessons that you need to understand, though. If in your original course, you created a link to a file in Resources, in the current course, that file will have been copied from Resources into the Lessons inventory. It is no longer a link to a web address, but is now a link to a file.
The Podcasts tool does not appear in the list of tools to import, but if you have created Podcasts in your original course and you have the tool added to your current course, the Podcasts will be imported.
If you have made certain changes to your Resources in the original course, those changes will also have to be made in the new course:
- If you made files or folders in the original course "publicly viewable," those items will default back to "only members of this site."
- Beside the file or folder, click Actions and then click Edit Details
- Select "This file is publicly viewable."
- Click Update
- If you made files or folders in the original course "displayed to selected groups only," those items will default back to "Only members of this site."
- Beside the file or folder, click Actions and then click Edit Details
- Select "Display this file to selected groups only" and check the box beside the group(s) who will get this content.
- Click Update
- In the original course, if you rearranged files in the root folder, those files will be returned to their alphabetical state. If you created folders, the files within the folders will retain whatever order you gave them. You can eliminate the need to reorder files if you create a folder called "Root" and place all other folders and files within that folder. From that point on, the files and folders will maintain the order you establish through import.
If you used the "Create/Edit" option to add the Syllabus in the original course, the Syllabus will be imported into the new course if you used the Content Editor. If you added the file as an attachment, you will need to reattach the file.
If you used the Content Editor inside the Syllabus tool and you linked to content within the Resources (including images), those links will need to be re-linked. To avoid this problem in future semesters, see the Create Relative Links tutorial.
If you used the "Redirect" option to point to a file in Resources, that link will need to be recreated.
Any reports that you saved in the original course will be available in the current course. You may need to make adjustments to dates.
Tests & Quizzes
All assessments are imported as "pending." You will need to adjust available dates and publish the assessments for the current semester. NOTE: If you used the Content Editor inside the Tests & Quizzes tool and created links to files within Resources, those links will have to be recreated.
You should not need to make any changes to Web Links unless the Web Link points to a file an HTML file in Resources andthat file links to other files in Resources, those links will be broken. To avoid this problem is future semesters, see the Create Relative Links tutorial.
Create Relative Links
When content is imported from one course to another, most items copy over well. The problem occurs when the Content Editor was used inside tools to create links to files in Resources. Those links will continue to point to the files in the original course. The links will appear to work fine for the Instructor, because she/he is enrolled in both of those courses and therefore has access to the Resources in the original course. But students, who are not enrolled in the original course, cannot see the files in the original Resources and will get a "403 Error" when they click on the link.
If HTML files were created in Dreamweaver and uploaded to Sakai, those links should be fine since Dreamweaver creates Relative links by default. It is also possible to create relative links when creating HTML using the Content Editor in Resources, in the Syllabus and on the Home Page. When using the Content Editor in other tools, it is not possible to create relative links and so links will have to be recreated each semester.
The idea of a relative link is that it points to a particular file name, not the file location. If the file location is irrelevant, then the link can find the file in the current course and the link will not be broken.
We will use the example of inserting an image on the Home Page to learn how to create a relative link. First, upload any image files you want to use into the Resources. Relative links are kept simple if you do not place the images in folders. If you need to organize your images into folders, it will add a level of complexity to the relative link, but it is still possible. From the Home Page: