Frequently Asked Questions

Transition from Blackboard to Canvas
Tulane transitioned from Blackboard LMS to Canvas LMS during the 2015-2016 academic year. Course content from Blackboard was migrated to Canvas from 2014, 2015 and 2016 semesters. Instructors will be able to locate those course shells in Canvas from the Courses > All Courses menu. Content from Blackboard organizations was also migrated. Instructors may choose to clean up the migrated content and copy materials to a new course. Instructors may choose to set up their new Canvas course shells without migrated content.

If you are seeking course content from prior semesters, then please contact the Academic Technology team at 

What content migrates well from Blackboard to Canvas?
What content migrates well? 

  • Announcements
  • Assignments created using the Assignment tool in Blackboard, if they are put in one folder in your course (also must migrate Gradebook items and settings)
  • Quizzes and question banks (Quizzes will still need to be published, and there are a few question types that do not exist in Canvas)
  • Discussion forums (without threads, forums only)
  • Course Files (when exported from the Files page in Blackboard)

What content does not migrate (or not well)? 

  • Blackboard Blogs, Journals and Wikis
  • Groups
  • Manually created columns in the Grade Center
  • Grade weighting in the Grade Center
  • Blackboard menu and content areas

Note: Migrating these content items will still require some work, such as inputting the desired settings and linking any multimedia files used in quizzes to the related quiz questions. 

How should faculty proactively prepare for changing to Canvas?
Prepare now. Do not wait until the last minute. All instructors will continue to have unrestricted and open access to previous course materials in Blackboard for a time. So, the ability to export content will still be available. However, waiting until the last minute can result in frustrations and challenges. Instructors must begin learning Canvas in order to ensure the best and smoothest experience building courses.

Many instructors who have used Blackboard extensively have accumulated substantial course materials and course artifacts, which are still only stored within Blackboard. All instructors are advised to export/download any and all course materials for reuse before the Blackboard system becomes unavailable.

The Grade Center and all of its data will not migrate over to Canvas. You should download the Grade Center from all of your courses from the last year.

What will I need to do to set up my Canvas course sites?
Plan to participate in Canvas training. Hands-on workshops are available on a rolling basis. Please view the Workshop Schedule and sign up. For a 1:1 or group specific training, please contact the training team by email at

A self-paced online training module is available. The Faculty Tour

The content migration will transfer documents, assignments, quizzes and test banks, discussion boards, etc.  Whether instructors use migrated course content or set up the course site from scratch, each Canvas course will require individual attention.



What are my options for building content in my course?
Several options can be used to build content in your Canvas course.

  • Rebuild your course in Canvas by copying and pasting content between the two course shells and uploading files as needed.
  • If you only want to import files, we recommend that you upload the using the “Files” feature in Canvas.
  • Migrate just the content and activities that migrate well from Blackboard to Canvas and rebuild the elements that were not migrated; then edit the migrated content as necessary.
  • Migrate all course content if it is easier for you to do extensive clean-up of your Canvas course vs. creating a lot of content and activities in your course shell.
How long will it take me to setup my Canvas course site once the content is migrated?
There can be a wide variation on how long it takes to set up a Canvas site, depending on how complex the course is and how instructors choose to proceed. Very simple course sites that only contain documents and basic gradebook columns can typically be migrated within a couple of hours.

More complex sites that have groups, discussion boards, question banks, rubrics, embedded media, and more, will take longer. Some types of content migrate easily with few problems, others will need to be adjusted.

How can I login to Canvas?
After the transition, the link to myTulane will lead to the Canvas login. In the meantime, users can find a Canvas link on the faculty, student or staff tab in GIBSON. []
Why are we moving to Canvas?
On-going feedback received by myTulane faculty and students prompted research to investigate viable learning management systems to potentially replace Blackboard Learn. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Tulane participated in a pilot of the Canvas LMS.
When are we moving to Canvas?
After reviewing the Canvas Pilot feedback, outcomes and participant input, Tulane’s Chief Technology Officer, Charlie McMahon announces a formal transition to Canvas LMS. [Read the announcement about the transition.]

Transition Timeline

  • June 2016 – Canvas officially announced as replacement LMS for Blackboard
  • July 31, 2016 – Content migration from 2015-2016 academic year Blackboard courses into Canvas courses
  • Fall 2016 – Canvas is available for all courses across all campuses; Blackboard will still be active
  • Spring 2017 – Canvas will be the LMS of record for Tulane University; Blackboard will be available for archival purposes
  • July 1, 2017 – Blackboard LMS Sunset; Blackboard at Tulane will no longer be available
  • August 2017 – Official Canvas Launch
Who participated in the Canvas pilot?
Faculty, student and staff input and participation was critical to the adoption of a new LMS at Tulane and it was also a driving factor for the overall migration strategy and timing. [Read more about the Canvas Pilot.]
Where can I learn more about Canvas by Instructure?
Through open, usable, cloud-based technologies, Canvas enables easy integration of the content, tools, and services that teachers need and students want. As the most usable, customizable, adaptable, and reliable learning platform (think 99.9% uptime), Canvas is adopted faster and deeper (or, is used in more ways by more users) than any other LMS. So, in the end, investing in 21st century technology for higher ed actually makes teaching and learning easier (like it’s supposed to). Learn more about Canvas at
Who do I contact if I need help or have questions?
Need more information or have questions? Email to reach the Canvas team.