Outcomes Import Format Documentation

Learning outcomes can be updated in bulk by using the Outcomes Import API. Each row in a CSV file represents either a learning outcome or a learning outcome group to create or update.

Standard CSV rules apply (including adherence to the CSV RFC 4180 format):

All text should be UTF-8 encoded.

All timestamps are sent and returned in ISO 8601 format. All timestamps default to UTC time zone unless specified.


Outcomes Data Format


Field Name Data Type Required Description
vendor_guid text A value that uniquely identifies this learning outcome or learning outcome group. For learning outcome groups, this value can be referenced by other learning outcomes or learning outcome groups in the parent_guids field below, to indicate that this group contains an outcome or group. This value cannot contain spaces.
If outcomes have been exported from an account with no vendor_guid values set, canvas will auto-assign vendor_guid values from internal identifiers. These ids will have the prefix "canvas_outcome:" and "canvas_outcome_group:" for outcomes and groups respectively. We recommend that you *do not* change these values once they have been assigned. If you want to set your own vendor_guid values for existing outcomes, you should do that using the Canvas API prior to exporting outcomes from an account. In addition, these prefixes are reserved; newly created outcomes and groups may not have vendor_guid fields with these prefixes.
object_type text A value of "outcome" indicates this is a learning outcome. A value of "group" indicates this is a learning outcome group
course_id number May only be given for rows where object_type="group". If given, the generated learning outcome group will belong to the course with the given ID instead of to the account from which the import was initiated. Referenced course must belong to the initiating account or one of its sub-accounts. Can not be used in course-level imports.
title text The title of the learning outcome or learning outcome group.
description text The description of the learning outcome or learning outcome group (optional, defaults to blank).
friendly_description text Learning outcome display description in "friendly" language for students and parents (optional, defaults to blank).
display_name text The display name (or friendly name) of the learning outcome. This value does not apply to learning outcome groups.
calculation_method text Must be one of "decaying_average", "n_mastery", "highest", "latest", "average" or blank. This field must be blank for learning outcome groups. If not provided and this is a learning outcome, then the calculation method defaults to "decaying_average".
calculation_int integer Valid values depend on the "calculation_method". For "decaying_average", the value must be between 1 and 99, inclusive. For "n_mastery", the value must be between 1 and 10, inclusive. For "highest", "latest" and "average", this field must be blank.
parent_guids text A space-separated list of vendor_guid values of parent learning outcome groups for this learning outcome or learning outcome group. All of these vendor_guid values must refer to previous rows, and all of these previous rows must represent learning outcome groups. If no value is provided, then this outcome or group will be added to the context's root outcome group.
workflow_state text Must be either "active" or "deleted". If not present, we assume the learning outcome or learning outcome group is "active".
mastery_points number The number of points that define mastery for this learning outcome. Must be blank for learning outcome groups.
ratings number/text (multiple columns) These columns must be the final columns of each row, and contain the scoring tiers for the given outcome. The columns alternate in decreasing point order: first, number of points for the tier, then tier description. This alternating pattern continues until there are no more scoring tiers for this outcome. These columns must be blank for learning outcome groups. See sample below.


a,group,Parent group,parent group description,G-1,,,active,,,,,,,,,
b,group,Child group,child group description,G-1.1,,,active,a,,,,,,,,
c,outcome,Learning Standard,outcome description,LS-100,decaying_average,40,active,a b,3,Excellent,2,Better,1,Good,,