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Welcome to Learning Technology

Importing Components and Files into a D2L course

Most components can be imported from other D2L courses. Components are often imported when an instructor has different D2L courses for multiple sections of a class or is re-offering a D2L course and wants to reuse the earlier course components. The components typically imported are Files and Content, Gradebook structure, Dropbox folders, and Quizzes. Imported components never include any student information, e.g., actual student grades or discussion postings.

Instructors can only import components from their own D2L courses. But, in some instances instructors want to share components with other instructors. This sometimes happens when different instructors are teaching different sections of the same course or an instructor is taking over a course formerly taught by another instructor. In these cases, contact the Learning Technology Center and we'll help make it happen. We'll need something from the original instructor saying it's ok, of course.

To import components:

  • Enter the course you want to copy course components into.
  • Click on Edit Course on the right side of the banner, next to logout.
  • Click on Import/Export/Copy Components
  • is selected
  • Click the Start button
  • Use the "Existing Offerings" dropdown menu  to select the course you want to copy from.
  • Click on the checkboxes to the left of the components you wish to copy.
    For example, to copy content, check content, content display settings, and course files , as shown.
  • For each component choose whether to copy all items or selected items (if "selected" is selected, specific items will appear on the next page)
  • At the bottom of the page, click the Continue button.
  • On the Select Course Material screen, choose specific items if applicable, click a modify link to return to the previous component selection screen, or click Continue to proceed.
  • If successful, a green check will appear next to each copied component. Click Finish when finished.
  • Click Go to Course on the navigation bar to view your results.

Notes and caveats:

  • Semesters are identified by a four-digit number, e.g., 1129. Numbers ending in 2 are spring courses, those ending in 6 are summer courses and those ending in 9 indicate a fall semester course. The second and third digits refers to the calender year, e.g., 11 = 2011, 12 = 2012, etc.
    The semester digit above, 1129, refers to Fall (xxx9) of 2012 (x12x)
  • There is no 'undo' for this other than going in and manually removing the erroneous material.
  • You cannot import just part of a component. It's all of the component or none.
  • Importing Content and Files are separate but if you want to import Content you'll also need to select Files. They are kept separate because sometime instructors import just Files so they can reorganize their content structure.
  • Imported files will overwrite existing files with the same name. Please be careful. The best insurance is to keep the original file locally, e.g., in a folder on your M: drive.
  • The Quiz Library does not automatically include the quizzes. Click the radio button to include them.
  • Repeated Content imports will probably result in repetition in the Content structure that will have to be corrected.
  • QuickLinks are the single most serious problem with imported components. Please read the section below on Probable Problems with QuickLinks and Imported Content.

Best practices:

For courses repeated from an earlier semester: Import all the components you think you might need before you start customizing (adding your new material). This way there's no chance of overwriting your revisions.

For multiple sections of the same course: The best option is to fully develop one section first and then import the desired components into the other section(s). If that's not practical, keep in mind that later imports will overwrite earlier files. If the files aren't changed it's less of a problem.

For multiple sections taught by different instructors: The best option is to fully develop one course that includes all components that will be used by the other D2L courses. Then, import those components and customize each of the sections.

Potential Problem with QuickLinks and Imported Content:

This section only applies when components are imported from D2L courses created prior to 2005. QuickLinks are D2L links created in the HTML editor that link to other content, quizzes, surveys, etc within a D2L course. Conventional hyperlinks between content pages that were not created with the QuickLink tool are not affected. This message is NOT for you if this is your first semester with D2L, or you never imported content from one of your D2L courses to another, or never used the QuickLink tool in the HTML editor.

Background: QuickLinks refer to hyperlinks created in the HTML editor of D2L that were created with the QuickLinks tool. Other conventional hyperlinks that you might have created to navigate from one page to another are not considered QuickLinks. Links created by D2L that list content or quizzes are not considered QuickLinks. In most cases, QuickLinks link from a content page to a quiz or survey, but they can link from one content page to another. QuickLinks point to a database item rather than a file.

Problem: QuickLinks is a powerful and useful tool. The problem arises when content that uses QuickLinks is imported into another D2L course. The QuickLinks still point back to the original D2L course, not to the new course. This is unusually problematic because everything appears normal to the instructor, but that's because the instructor has access to the original course. Students do not have access to the original course so they get an error message when they click on the QuickLinks.

Example: I created two D2L courses to demonstrate this problem. I created content and quizzes in the course "Speth1" and then imported everything into the course "Speth2." To see it for yourself logon to D2L using "genstua" as the username and password. Genstua is a test student that has access to Speth2 but not Speth1. Go into the course Speth2, go to content, and see the first item.

Check: To check the content in your D2L courses for QuickLinks add a new and different generic student to each of your classes and try the links as that student. You can add any of our generic students "genstuX". If you have troubles adding a generic student contact the LTC.

Solution: The only solution is to remove the QuickLinks and reenter them pointing to the current course components. If you have any questions contact the LTC.