What's the story with cloning and syncing?

Cloning and syncing are pretty handy and will save you a lot of time. You can use these features to get content from one course into another without having to re-upload and re-create everything from scratch. These features work for content; items like meeting times, faculty, rosters, and so on won't be affected.

First things first: who can clone a course?

To clone a course you need to be course Faculty, a Registrar, or an Academic Admin.

  • Faculty can only clone from instances of the same course in which they were also listed as faculty. If Professor John Smith wants to clone materials into Fall Term's ENG101, he can only clone from the previous instances of ENG101 that he taught.
  • Registrars and Academic Admins can clone materials from any course into any other course. 

Make cloning and syncing work together

Say you're importing content from last Fall Term's BUS 201 course into the present term. Last Fall there was one section of the course, and this Term you have three sections of it. Here's what you do:

  1. Make sure your current BUS 201 sections are not synced. Cloning doesn't work unless syncing is turned off.
  2. Clone last Fall's BUS 201 content into any one section of the new BUS 201 courses.
  3. Now, go to each of your current BUS 201 sections and set Sync to Yes.

And there you go: all three sections of BUS 201 now have all the content you wanted from last Fall's course.

Clone From Another Course


Cloning copies content from past instances of this course (that is, courses with the same abbreviation). Academic Admins can clone content from different catalog courses into your course.

Click the gear and select Clone...

  • Check off the items you wish to Clone. If the checkbox is grayed out, then those elements don't exist in the other course.
  • You can select different elements from different courses (like the Assignments from one and the Links from another).
  • If you clone the same content from different courses, Populi overwrites the first with the second (or third, or fourth—the most recent, in other words).
  • Select the specific course instance you wish to clone them From. Contact an Academic Admin if you need to clone content from other catalog courses.
  • Check to confirm your choices and Save.

Once you've cloned course content, you can still modify it as needed.



Syncing shares content among different sections of the same course in the same Term. You can find the Sync setting in your Course's Info tab.

  • Populi syncs all course content—files, supplies, reading list, assignments, lessons, and tests—so, you can't pick and choose as you can with cloning. Any changes made to the course content in one synced section affects all of the other synced sections.
  • Synced tests only sync the assignment and test name. You will need to import questions into the synced version of those tests.
  • Synced discussions only sync the discussion title and topic.
  • Syncing does not affect Rosters, grades, attendance, faculty, or schedules.
  • It only works with sections of the same course (i.e. MATH101 won't sync with MATH102).
  • If you modify synced content in one section, it will affect the other sections.
  • If you sync courses after grades have been entered, you will likely lose those grades. If you're gonna sync courses, do so at the beginning of the Term, and not the end!
Was this article helpful?
2 out of 3 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.