Duplicating Content between Subjects

| How-To: Copy existing content to other Canvas Subject Sites |

Copying content information, details and attributes from existing subject pages to new subjects can be done using two primary methods:

  1. Using the Copy to... button
  2. Using the Copy and Paste function.

1 | Using the “Copy to...” button

Using this method will migrate the page title, images, files and links (but not the linked pages) from one subject to another.

Step One

Open the page that you wish to be copied.

1 | Select the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner of the page.

2 | Select Copy To...

3 | Type the code/name of the subject you wish the page to be copied into, and select it from the drop-down menu. When ready, select Copy.

Step 2.

1 | Navigate to the subject you have just copied the page into, and locate the page by clicking Pages in the left navigation bar and selecting View All Pages.

If the subject contains a page with the same page title, the copied page will be named “original name Copy”. I.e [with the example above, the duplicated title would become “1. Subject Information Copy”.

2 | Using the Copy and Paste function

The second way to copy content between subjects is to use the copy and paste function.

Step One

Create a new page in the subject into which content will be copied.

1 | Select Pages from the left navigation bar.

2 | Select Create New Page.

Step Two

Copy the content from the desired page to the newly created page.

1 | Locate the page you would like to copy, and enter Edit view.

2 | Highlight the content you would like to copy and press CTRL + C. If you would like to copy the entire page, press CTRL + A to highlight the entire page, and then press CTRL + C to copy.

3 | With the content copied to your clipboard, navigate to the new page and press CTRL + V to paste the information and details from existing to the new page's Rich Text Editor.

Duplicating Content Tips + Tricks

| How-To: Copy existing content to other Canvas Subject Sites [Things to watch out for]  |

Copying content between subjects maintains links to pages and images from the SOURCE subject, therefore any links and images need to be re-linked to the appropriate pages within the NEW subject.


After copying, original images and links from the SOURCE subject might be visible to you, as an instructor has permission to view both courses.

A student will not be able to view these links as their permissions only allow them to view the subject in which they are enrolled in.

Canvas Subject Code

When copying existing images and buttons it is important to check their associated links and see if the unique Canvas subject code matches the current subject’s Code.

The unique Canvas subject code can be found in the Canvas URL address bar - located at the top of the web page [below].

Website Code

Copying content between subjects maintains links and will direct users/students to the original source.

This is identified by the website code found in the URL of the page [below].

Creating Groups and Adding Students

| How-To: Create groups and add students |

Groups can be used to manage tutorials and/or smaller student groups that might need to work together over the course of a semester.

Groups must be created manually, and then students must also be manually allocated to them. Students in a group can access the group specific homepage, files, discussion topics and announcements.

Step One

From the sidebar menu of your Canvas page, open People.

Step Two

Create a Group Set. Group Sets allow for different categories of groups to be created (i.e Tutorial Groups, Assignment Groups or Studio Groups) under the umbrella of a Group Set. For example, a subject may have a Group Set called Studio Groups, and then within that Group Set have a number of different groups for each studio.

1| Press + Group Set to create a Group Set.

2| Name your Group Set.

3| Choose whether to automatically or manually assign students into groups.

Step Three

Create a Group. 

1| Press + Group to create a group.

2| Name your Group.

3| Set a limit for the maximum amount of students in the Group.

Step Four

Manually assign students to their respective groups. Students must be allocated to a group to be able to access the group content.

1| Click and drag students' names from the Unassigned Students list to the desired group, OR

2| Click and drag students' names between groups to change which group they are in.

Creating a Group Homepage

| How-To: Create a Group homepage |

Groups are a great way to manage tutorials and/or smaller student groups that might work together over the course of a semester.

Students must be manually allocated to groups created and may access their own group-specific homepage, files, discussion topics and announcements.

Creating a Group Homepage is very simple.

Step One

Navigate to the homepage of your group.

1| From the left navigation sidebar of your Canvas site, select People.

2| Click the three dots on the right-hand side of the Group you would like to visit, and select Visit Group Homepage.

Step Two

Explore your group homepage! We recommend reaching out to the BEL+T team if you’d like to have a tile homepage style constructed for your group homepages.

Step Three

Group homepages create their own URL codes, different from the main homepage. Keep this in mind when creating links and/or migrating between semesters.

For guidance on using Sections, please refer to the Learning Environments Sections guide.

Adding Users as Instructors

| How-To: Grant staff access by adding them as instructors|

Staff must be added to Canvas sites as instructors to be able to edit, upload and publish content.

Only users already listed as a subject’s instructor, subject coordinator or division representative (admin) may add additional users as instructors.

Note: To be added as a subject coordinator or division representative (admin), individuals must request permission from Central IT and/or faculty heads.

Step One

From the left navigation menu of your Canvas page, open Staff Roles.

Step Two

Add staff members as Instructors or Tutors.

1| Press +Add Staff to Add a new staff member, or use the Search Staff in Subject box to search for staff members who are already a part of the subject.

2| Select the role (Tutor or Instructor).

3| Find the staff member you wish to add by searching for their name or university username.

Announcements on Homepage

| How-To: Make announcements appear on the homepage of your Canvas Page|

Enabling announcements on the homepage of your Canvas site is very easy.

Step One

1 | Select Settings from the left navigational menu of your Canvas site.

2| Select Navigation from the list of tabs.

Step Two

Ensure that Announcements is in the top list of items. If it is not, drag Announcements to the top section and press Save.

Step Three

Select Subject Details

Step Four

1| Scroll to the bottom of the page.

2| Select More Options.

3| Press the first box to activate Number of announcements shown on the homepage, and select the desired number.

4| Select Update Subject Details to save your changes.

Student Marks in Canvas

| How-To: Calculate Student Marks in Canvas|

The Canvas Gradebook (accessible as the Grades tab in the left-hand sidebar of each subject’s Canvas site) is a repository of all student marks for that availability of the subject. It displays marks for individual assignments, and also collates those marks to provide a total mark. The Gradebook provides a convenient method to assess the overall progress of students in a subject, but the way it collates and presents marks can be confusing.  We’ll break it down here.

Canvas Gradebook

What is Gradebook capturing?

The Gradebook functions as a spreadsheet of marks for all students enrolled in the subject. Each row represents the marks of a single student. The columns show a variety of data: there are columns for each individual Assignment, columns for each Assignment Group, and a column at the extreme right that captures students' cumulative Total marks, calculated based on their performance in all Assignments.

The first thing to note is the difference between Assignments and Assignment Groups.  Both are accessible via the Assignments tab in the left-hand sidebar of each subject’s Canvas site.

Canvas Assignments Tab


An Assignment is an individual assessment task. These include regular Canvas Assignments, Canvas Quizzes, and Canvas Assignments linked to an external tool such as Gradescope or Cadmus. To be included in Canvas’ calculation of a student’s total grade, an Assignment needs to:

  1. Have a non-zero points value
  2. Be published
  3. Be graded, ie, have a mark entered for the student*
  4. Have that mark be visible to the student**

*If a student has earned a mark of 0 in an Assignment, that mark needs to be manually entered before it will be included in Canvas’ calculation of that student’s total grade.

**By default, Canvas will automatically make marks and feedback visible to students.  However, this setting can be changed to allow you to manually make marks and feedback visible to students. See Learning Environments’ Grade Posting Policy Guide for more information.

Assignment Groups

An Assignment Group is a set of Assignments.  A student’s subtotal mark for an Assignment Group is the average of their marks in those Assignments, weighted by their points values.

Example: In the Tutorial Quizzes Assignment Group, there are three Assignments, each set up to be worth 10 points, for a total of 30 points.  If a student scores 8/10, 5/10, and 10/10 points respectively on those Assignments, their subtotal mark for the Tutorial Quizzes Assignment Group is 100*(8 + 5 + 10)/30 = 76.7%

Calculating a Total

Canvas calculates a student’s Total mark as the average of the subtotal marks of all Assignment Groups, weighted by their designated weightings.

Example: A subject has two Assignment Groups. One Assignment Group is for the Reflective Essay, and one is for the Exams.  Each of our example Assignment Group has a designated weighting of 50%.

In our example Exams Assignment Group, there is only one Assignment: the end-of-semester exam, worth 100 points.

Within our example Reflective Essay Assignment Group, there are two individual assignments: the first is worth 40 points, and the second is worth 80 points.  The weighting of those two individual assignments within this group will be based on their point values relative to the group's total points, meaning the first assignment will contribute 40/(40+80) = 33.3% and the second assignment will contribute 80/(40+80) = 66.7% to the Reflective Essay Assignment Group subtotal mark.

Finally, the overall Total mark for the student in the subject will be calculated by adding the subtotal marks for the Exams Assignment Group and the Reflective Essay Assignment Group, applying their designated weightings.

If a student manages to score 100/100 points on the Exam, 30/40 on the first Reflective Essay assignment and 70/80 on the second Reflective Essay assignment, the overall Total mark for the student will be (100)*0.5 + (100*((30 + 70)/(40 + 80)))*0.5 = 91.6%

Keep in mind that Canvas doesn't restrict the combined designated weightings of your Assignment Groups from exceeding 100%. While this flexibility can be advantageous in some scenarios, it's generally recommended to ensure that total designated weightings of all Assignment Groups sum to exactly 100%. This allows for a straightforward understanding and calculation of marks. If the total exceeds 100%, it might lead to confusion and inaccuracies in understanding the contribution of each Assignment to the final Total mark.

For information on configuring your Assignment Groups’ designated weightings, please see the Canvas Community Assignment Group Weighting Guide.

Default Configuration

The University of Melbourne recommends that all subjects use Assignment Groups.  Canvas will automatically populate each subject’s Canvas site with Assignment Groups and designated weightings based on the subject’s assessment descriptions and percentages as published in the Handbook. For subjects with exams, the Central Exams Team and Learning Environments will create Assignment Groups for sittings in the main and supplementary examination periods.

Organising the Gradebook

The Gradebook’s columns can quickly become crowded with Assignments and Assignment Groups—including unpublished Assignments and Assignment Groups copied forwards from previous availabilities of the subject.  The only way to tidy these up is to do so is to remove extraneous Assignments and Assignment Groups in the Assignments tab.

For information on organising the Assignment Groups in your subject, please see the Canvas Community Assignment Group Guide.

Subject Conculsions

Teaching staff can enter marks and feedback for a student up until the point that that student’s final result in the subject—with a N, P, H2B, H2A, or H1 grade—is certified.  For further information—including on how to view students’ marks and feedback after that point—please see BEL+T’s information on Changes to Subject Conclusions in the LMS.