Enterprise Portal: Sync Courses from Your LMS

Syncing courses ensures that your ExamSoft Portal includes the courses that you need to create exams and assignments. You'll sync courses when you first set up your integration, and you'll need to resync when there are course changes in your LMS that you want to make available in ExamSoft.

This article includes these sections:

 

Before You Begin

 

Synchronization Overview

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  • Refresh the List of Available Courses: Because your LMS course list changes from time to time, you'll need to refresh the course list in the LMS Sync Settings of your ExamSoft Portal. There are several methods that you can use to complete the refresh.
  • Select the LMS Courses to Sync: Select only the courses that you need to add or update in ExamSoft.

    Note: As an alternative, you can import the sync list, but use caution. See the "Import a Sync List" section of this article.

  • Edit the Sync List: This list specifies which LMS course and which ExamSoft course will be synchronized with each other. 
    • For each LMS course, uniquely identify the ExamSoft course to sync with.

      In ExamSoft, a course is identified by the unique combination of Course ID, Start Date, and End Date:

      You cannot have multiple courses with the same combination of ID, Start Date, and End Date. Even if the courses are in different departments, this combination must be unique.

      You can have courses with the same ID and different dates. For example, you might have ENGL101.01 for Jan. 1-May 1 and ENGL101.01 for Sept. 1-Dec. 1

      During the synchronization, if the course already exists in ExamSoft, it will be updated with the assigned dates and the latest information from the selected LMS course. If the course doesn't already exist, it will be created.

      • Course ID: carried over from your LMS
      • Start Date: carried over, but can be edited in the Sync List
      • End Date: carried over, but can be edited in the Sync List
    • Assign a department to each course.

      Take care to select the correct department. If you mistakenly assign a course to the wrong department, there is no way to change this assignment. Instead, you would need to go to the My Courses page for that department and delete the course.

      If a course already exists in another department, and you try to assign a different department in the Sync List, an error message will appear. 

  • Sync: You can initiate the synchronization process by clicking a button, or you can automate this process to run on a schedule that you specify. 

 

Procedures

 

Procedure Overview

  1. Decide how you'll refresh the course list.
  2. (For certain refresh options) Get the IDs.
  3. Navigate to the Edit Sync List page.
  4. Refresh the course list or import a sync list.
  5. Select the courses to sync.
  6. Edit the sync list.
  7. Run the sync process.

 

Decide How You'll Refresh the Course List

Because your LMS course list changes from time to time, you'll need to refresh the list of courses in the LMS Sync Settings of your ExamSoft Portal. There are several methods that you can use:

  • Refresh All: This approach takes longer than the other options but ensures that all of your LMS courses are included in the Sync Settings course list in ExamSoft. Optionally, you can schedule this process to run daily. No special preparations are needed for this option. Go directly to this procedure: Navigate to the Edit Sync List Page
  • Refresh Specific Courses: For a quicker refresh, you can use this option to add a short list of courses. Before you begin, you'll need to Get the IDs.
  • Import a Sync List: This approach is helpful if you want to refresh specific courses but have a long list. This approach also allows you to add, remove, or replace courses. (Refresh Specific Courses only allows you to add courses.) Before you begin, you'll need to Get the IDs.

 

Get the IDs 

If you are planning to Refresh Specific Courses or import a sync list, you'll need to get the IDs for the courses that you want to sync. The refresh process will work only if you enter the correct ID for each course.
  1. On the Admin menu, select Global Settings.
  2. Select the LMS Settings menu.
  3. On the right side of the page, under Configure LMS, select the Configure button.
  4. Make a note of the ID type that is selected in the Course ID field.

    Example: The following example shows the LMS Configuration Settings for a Canvas integration, and the selected ID type is Reference ID.

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  5. Go to your LMS and look up the corresponding ID for each course that you want to include.

    Example: Continuing our example, we would go to our Canvas LMS and look up the reference ID for each course that we want to include.

  6. Go to the next procedure, Navigate to the Edit Sync Settings Page.

 

Navigate to the Edit Sync Settings Page

  1. Select the Admin menu, and then select Global Settings.

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  2. Select the LMS Settings menu (near the top of the screen).
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  3. On the right side of the page, under Courses/Sections, select Edit Sync Settings.

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  4. Depending on your chosen refresh method, go to the next procedure:

 

Refresh the Course List

  1. Select Refresh Courses.

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  2. In the pop-up window, choose the method for this refresh:
    • Refresh Specific Courses: Enter the ID(s). If you enter multiple IDs, separate them with commas. Then select Refresh Selected.

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      Note: If you later realize that you need to change this list (before running the sync process), be sure to  include all of the courses that you want to refresh. For example, let's say that you previously completed this procedure by entering the IDs 111, 222, 333. Before running the sync process, you realize that you also need to add 444. In this scenario, you would enter all four IDs in this field. If you enter only 444, then only that course will be added when you run the sync process.

    • Refresh All: Before clicking the button, read the on-screen text, and be aware that this process can take significant time, especially if your institution has a large number of courses.  To proceed, select Refresh All.
    • Refresh All with Daily Refresh: If you select the checkbox, the Refresh All process will run every day at the time that you specify. After entering this information, select Refresh All.

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  3. Go to this procedure: Select the Courses to Sync

 

 

Import a Sync List

As an alternative to the other Refresh procedures, you can import a list to add, remove, or replace courses in your Sync Settings in ExamSoft. With this option, include the list of courses that you want to add to the existing Sync List. You don't need to include any of the existing courses in the import file.

  1. Navigate to the Edit Sync Settings page.
  2. Select the Import Sync List button.

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  3. In the pop-up window, select the Import Type:
    • Add: All of the courses in the file will be available in the Select Courses list and the Sync List. Any existing courses on the Sync List will remain, and the new courses from your import file will be added to the list.
    • Remove: The courses in the file will be removed from the Select Courses list and the Sync List.
    • Replace: Only the courses in the file will be used to populate the Select Courses list and the Sync List. This process will remove any previously synced courses that are not in the import file.

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  4. (If applicable)If you have not yet created your import file(s), select the Download Template link in the pop-up window, open the file, and then enter the IDs. (The file has only one column, where you enter the course identifier as specified in the ExamSoft configuration pane of your LMS. For example, SIS ID, Course ID, etc.) When finished, save the file.

  5. If your import file is ready, drag and drop it onto the screen, or select the Choose Files button to navigate to it.
  6. Go to this procedure: Select the Courses to Sync

 

Select the Courses to Sync

  1. Scroll or search to find courses that you want to add. 

    To find a particular course: Enter words or characters from the Course Name or the ID.

    For example, if you enter microbiology, you'll see only the courses that include that word in the Course Name or ID.

    Tip: If you know the exact ID, this is a quicker and easier way to find the exact course that you are looking for. For example, if you enterBIOL3001-01, only that course will appear in the table.

  2. Select the + icon for each course that you want to add to the sync list.
    OR select the + icon in the header row to select all courses.

    After you select a course, the icon changes to a check mark, indicating that it is selected.

    Example

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  3. Go to the next procedure: Edit the Sync List

 

Edit the Sync List

  1. Select the Edit Sync List tab.
  2. Edit the information for each course: 

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    Note: If the course already exists in a different department, an error message will appear.

    • To enter the date range for a course: Select the check box for the course, and then select the Assign Dates button (at the bottom of the screen). Enter the dates, and then select Save. If the course already exists in ExamSoft, the course dates will be updated during the sync.
    • To assign the department for a course: Select the check box for the course, and then select the Assign Dept button (at the bottom of the screen). Select a department, or select the Create a New Department button and complete the steps to add a new one.
  3. Repeat the above step until you have entered the department, start date, and end date for every course in the sync list.
  4. Select Save (near the top right corner of the screen). 

    You will be returned to the Institution Settings page.

  5. Go to the next procedure: Run the Sync Process

 

Run the Sync Process

  1. Under Manually Sync Data, select Sync Now to trigger the sync immediately, so that you can check for any errors in the synchronization process.
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    Notes:

    • The sync process takes some time, depending on the number of courses.
      If the sync is successful, a confirmation message appears near the top of the screen.
    • If there are failures, messages will appear. For help investigating sync errors, see: Enterprise Portal: LMS Sync Errors

 

Next Steps

 

Verify the Sync

Follow these steps to confirm that the departments and courses were created and/or updated as intended.

  1. Select the ExamSoft Logo (in the top left corner of the screen) to navigate to My Departments.
  2. Select the first department that you want to check, and then the My Courses page will appear.
  3. Verify that the courses were imported successfully.
  4. Select a course name to view the course data.
  5. Select the Students menu (at the top), and verify that the roster has synced from your LMS.

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  6. Repeat the above steps for each department and course that you need to confirm.

 

Optional: Enable Auto Sync

After you confirm that the sync is successful and that the courses were created as intended, you might want to turn on Auto Sync to ensure that the courses are kept in sync automatically. Turn on this option, and then enter the schedule. 

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Assign the Instructors to the Courses

After verifying that the sync was successful, assign the instructors as Course Administrators for their courses. See the "Add a Course or Edit the Basic Information for an Existing Course" section of this article: Enterprise Portal: Add and Manage Courses

 

Enable ExamID and ExamMonitor

If your institution has purchased ExamID and/or ExamMonitor, set up the permissions for your departments and courses. See: Enterprise Portal: ExamID and ExamMonitor Permissions

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