Our Import Students from File feature is a quick and easy way to add students to your Thinkific account from another platform or database using an XLSX or CSV file!
In this article:
Preparing Your Import File
Before you can run a bulk import, you will need to make sure you have a spreadsheet prepared. You can download a sample template from your admin account, by clicking on Support Your Students > Users > Import from file > Download the template.
Your import template must have the following:
- A minimum of three columns that include: Email address, First name, and, Last name. It's important to use plain text only (as shown below) as any text that is hyperlinked or underlined will cause the import to fail.
- The first row of your columns must be column header names (ie. first_name, last_name, user_email).
- Your file must have an .XLSX (excel sheet) or .CSV extension.
- Give your file a unique name as it will be recorded and can be used to create a User Filter.
- Less than 5000 students. Please split the file into multiple imports or contact support if you are looking to regularly import a larger number of students.
Important Notes About Importing Your .CSV Sheet
- Ensure there are no extra commas, periods, blank spaces, or other punctuation marks on your sheet. For example, if a comma were to be accidentally entered at the end of a student's email address entry, it would cause the .CSV import to display the error message below. To fix this issue, you would need to remove the comma, save and reimport your sheet.
- Verify that your email addresses are spelled correctly (e.g. gmail.com instead of gnail.com)
- Ensure that you don't have duplicated rows of information contained within your sheet
- Your .CSV document must contain ASCII characters only
- If you encounter an error, the column in which the error has occurred will be indicated by a red stop sign with an exclamation point. This error message means you will need to review the information contained within that column and update your .CSV to ensure it does not contain any of the errors mentioned above. Once you have done this, you can re-import your sheet.
How to Import Students
- Navigate to Support Your Students Users
- From the Users page, click on the ellipses to the right of New User, then Import From File
- Review the Guidelines stated on the page and reiterated below as there is no cancel option once the import has started:
- New users can be created with Email address, First name, and Last name data. You may optionally add Custom Fields data. After selecting your import file, you can map which columns from your file to import into each data field.
- Your file must have an .XLSX or .CSV extension. You can choose to download and fill out the template file however, we strongly recommend that you save the file with a different name as it will be recorded for use in User Filters.
- The first row of your columns must be column header names (e.g. First name, Last name).
- On import, new users will be created if the email does not already exist in your Thinkific school database.
- If an existing email is found, the First name, Last name, and Custom Fields data fields will be updated.
- Click the Browse Files button to select your .XLSX or .CSV file of students to import
- Select Upload
- Once the file is uploaded and processed, you will then have the option to map the columns in your file to the fields necessary in Thinkific. These will include First Name, Last Name, Email as well as any Custom Fields you may have created.
- Click on the drop-down box for each field to choose the column header that matches your spreadsheet. You will see the first 4 rows of data samples to verify the correct column was selected. A green checkmark will appear once each field has been mapped.
- Before starting the import, you have the option to send a Site Welcome Email to each of your imported students. The Site Welcome Email includes an Express Sign-In Link to allow your newly-registered students to set their own password and log in.
The option to send the Site Welcome Email may be unavailable if the global setting for Site Welcome Notification is turned off. You will need to turn this on in order to toggle the option to send during the import.
- Once you confirm the mappings and selection of whether to send the Site Welcome Email is correct, then select Import. The import will begin to process and you will receive status notifications in the lower left-hand corner of your Admin Dashboard screen. You can continue to perform other tasks as you wish.
- Once the import is completed and you are notified, you can use the filter to select the users that were imported in that file. Note that the selection of the filter does reference your file name, so it's helpful to give a unique name to each file.
Using this filter, you can then choose to Add to Groups, or Bulk Enroll (or Unenroll) to Courses and Bundles as well as any other bulk action features!
Frequently Asked Questions
How many students can I import at one time?
The Import from File feature is a background process and as such, completion of the task can vary based on the number of records affected, and the date and time the process is run - as Thinkific is a shared platform amongst all users. We have designed the process to segment large numbers into batches of 500 so as to maintain a healthy system! In addition, there is a maximum of 5,000 students per import. Please split the file into multiple imports or contact support if you are looking to regularly import a large number of students.
What happens if I re-import a student who already exists as a user?
If you import a user who already exists in the system, the email first name, last name, and other custom fields will be updated if there are any changes. The email address acts as the unique identifier for each user. This means that the import will look for a matching email address and only update the first name, last name, and custom fields associated with that particular email address.
The Site Welcome email will not be sent again for existing users, even if it is enabled. The Site Welcome email can only be triggered on the initial creation of the user.
More About Managing Students
Bulk Enroll and Un-Enroll Students
Create, Enroll & Delete Users in a Course