Frequently Asked Questions
Transition from Blackboard to Canvas - What do I need to know?
Click the “+” symbol to expand a topic below or click a link to read more [view/download the PDF].
Most Requested Canvas Questions
- How to do I migrate course content from Blackboard into my Canvas course?
- How do I upload files to into my course?
- How do I add a TA or co-instructor to my course?
- How do I edit the Syllabus tab and add my syllabus?
- How do I make my course visible to students?
- How do I post an announcement in my course?
- How do I send a message to the students in my course?
- Why didn’t I receive the announcement or email I sent to students?
- Why don’t I see my courses or students when I try to send an email?
- How do I create a column in my gradebook?
- Why can’t I see the a column for the assignment in my gradebook?
- Are there any alternatives to the Canvas gradebook?
Will the content from my Blackboard course(s) be migrated to Canvas?
Yes, content from Blackboard courses from Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 will be migrated to a Canvas course shell where instructors may preview the migrated content and decide what to use in their “real” Canvas course. These course shells will not have student enrollments. Content from Blackboard organizations will also be migrated.
Instructors may choose to clean up the migrated content and copy materials to a new course. Or instructors may choose to set up their new Canvas course shells without migrated content.
Be sure to examine your migrated course content in Canvas. You can go back into Blackboard to manually export any content that did not migrate from prior semesters.
What content migrates well from Blackboard to Canvas?
What content migrates well?
- 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
Why are we moving to Canvas?
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.]
- 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?
Where can I learn more about Canvas by Instructure?
Who do I contact if I need help or have questions?
Need more information or have questions? Email email@example.com to reach the Canvas team.