How do I prepare my Canvas classes for a new semester?

This article is intended only for customers and partners using Canvas. Our Canvas integration is available for schools and districts who purchase our School Essentials PRO package. To learn more about School Essentials PRO, please head to: https://www.commonlit.org/en/school-essentials


The beginning of a new school year or semester can mean a whole new set of classes and students, or some basic updates to existing classes. This might seem overwhelming, but CommonLit has several tools to seamlessly transition to a new semester. Read below to learn how to start a new semester in CommonLit with your Canvas classes.

If all of your students and classes have changed in Canvas:

Step 1: Import New Semester Classes

To import your Canvas courses into CommonLit, please do the following:

1. Go to your course in Canvas. Note that you will only be able to import published courses.

2. Click the "Assignments" option on your course navigation panel.

3. Click the blue "+ Assignment" button.

4. Scroll down and select "External Tool" under "Submission Type."

5. Click "Find" and select "CommonLit."

6. If you have already connected your CommonLit account to Canvas, click the blue "Import from Canvas" link near the bottom of the page. If this is the first time you are accessing CommonLit from that specific course, select the "Import Class" button on the right.

7. Select your course's subjects and grade(s). Click the teal "Import" button.

8. Open CommonLit in a new tab and navigate to your Manage Classes page. You will see your imported class and students.


If your classes and students are mostly the same, but you have a few roster changes in Canvas:

If you imported your course from Canvas, CommonLit will add any new students or remove any students no longer enrolled in your Canvas course when you sync your class.

To add new students or remove students from Canvas, go to your Manage Classes page.

Then, click the SYNC button next to your Canvas course. After, refresh the page after about a minute to see the new student added or to see any students who are no longer enrolled in the class removed.

Any new students who are on that class roster in Canvas should appear on your Manage Students page. They can then log in to Canvas and access assignments already assigned to the class. Any students no longer enrolled in your class will not be listed on your Manage Students page.


Interested in integrating CommonLit with ClassLink, Clever, or Canvas at your school? Check out School Essentials PRO to save time and get set up quickly. Learn more about CommonLit's integrations here.