Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers regarding the migration to Canvas. The FAQ will be updated over time.
When will Blackboard be retired?
Blackboard will be retired on December 31, 2019.
How do I know what to export from Blackboard, and how do I do it?
How do I download my Blackboard course before it is retired?
The answer depends upon what course data is needed. Answer the questions in the Blackboard Data Wizard to find out the best way to export what you need.
How can I access my Blackboard course materials after Blackboard is retired?
Before December 31, 2019:
Export a course file that can be imported into Canvas. This is a zip file that includes course content but NOT student submissions or grades. If you need student data, manually save all student submissions and gradebook data to Box or other secure file location.
From January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020:
By request only, past Blackboard courses will be available in a format that can be imported into a Canvas course (e.g., demo course or other active course). Contact your School Canvas Administrators to submit your request. Requests will be managed on a case-by-case basis. Allow up to 3 business days for processing.
After June 30, 2020:
Only Blackboard archive files will be available by request through School Canvas Administrators. The format of the archive files is NOT one that can be imported into Canvas. Instead, it will be delivered to you in a format that can be used only to view grades and student submissions, but it can NOT be imported into Canvas.
What do I do with course materials I download from Blackboard?
A Blackboard course export file can be imported into a Canvas course (e.g., demo course or other active course). Or, if you don’t yet have a Canvas course to import into, you can save the files to your computer or other secure location for future use.
Are student submissions included in the course download from Blackboard?
No. If you export a course from Blackboard and import it into Canvas, student submissions are NOT migrated. If you wish to save student submissions for reference, they will need to be downloaded/saved individually. More information on downloading student submissions is available on Blackboard’s Help page.
What historical Blackboard data will I be able to access?
Archive files will be available for the 7 years spanning Spring 2012 to Spring 2019. School Canvas Administrators will be able to access the archives and send a file containing student submissions and grades to instructors, based upon request.
I won't teach my course until after Blackboard is retired. What should I do?
Whom do I contact if I have other questions about the retirement of Blackboard?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All about the Project
How did we get here?
Read more information about the Fall 2017 evaluation of learning management systems and final Spring 2018 recommendations on the LMS Evaluations page.
What are a few of the benefits of Canvas?
Here are a few things Canvas has to offer (adapted from Georgetown, canvas.georgetown.edu/home/why-canvas):
- A clean, intuitive design with fewer “clicks” to get to common tasks
- Functional mobile apps for students (Canvas Student) and instructors (Canvas Teacher)
- Course modules to make it easy to organize content and assignments
- SpeedGrader for quick entry of feedback and grades
- Continuous updates to keep all Canvas institutions at parity
- Dedicated 24/7 Canvas support
- Course analytics providing a graphical overview of course activity
This short promotional video shows you a few of The Cool Things You Can Do with Canvas.
How do I access Canvas?
How can I request a Demo course?
A Demo course is a Canvas course shell that allows you to explore Canvas and experiment with system features in a personal “sandbox.” To request a Demo course, complete the Course Request Form. Within 5 business days, you will receive an email invitation to your personal Demo Course.
What features can I access in Canvas?
Canvas is a permissions-based system in which different roles have different permissions. Your role in Canvas is based upon your role in the University, such as Student, Instructor, or AI (Assistant in Instruction). Refer to the Canvas Role List for a detailed list of permissions by role.
What course roles exist for TAs, AIs, or other course support personnel?
Refer to the Canvas Role List for a detailed list of roles and their associated permissions.
How do I add someone to my course?
All Canvas course roles, except Observer and Guest, flow from WashU Course Listings (WUCRSL) to Canvas. Refer to the School Registrar Contact List as needed. To request the addition of a user to your course, contact your school registrar to update your course in WUCRSL. Observers and Guests are added by School Canvas Administrators in accordance with school registrar policy.
How do I contact Canvas Support?
Canvas offers technical assistance 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to all faculty, staff, and students. When logged in to Canvas, click on the Help button from the Global Navigation Menu to access 24/7 Canvas Support via chat or phone. Help will be customized for faculty, staff, and students. You can also review Canvas Guides or report a problem.
What training is available?
How do I suggest a Canvas feature enhancement?
Canvas welcomes ideas from participants of the Canvas Community and routinely incorporates submitted ideas into the company’s product development plan. Ideas may be submitted by instructors, system administrators, and educational leaders like you. For details, read the article Canvas Feature Development Process.
Preparing and Migrating Content
Can I build a future course in my Demo Course?
Yes. If you have a Demo Course, we encourage you to use it to build a future course for which you don’t yet have a course shell. After you’ve built the course in your Demo Course, you will be able to easily copy from there to your future course shell(s). If you make a mistake and need to start over, you can “reset” a course to wipe out all data and return the course shell to its starting condition. For future reference, here’s the page on how to copy a course within Canvas.
How does Canvas compare to Blackboard?
Refer to the document Comparing Blackboard to Canvas Tools to see a list of Blackboard tools and comparable tools in Canvas. Links to relevant how-to documentation is provided to help you use each Canvas tool.
Will my Blackboard courses be migrated automatically?
No. Since Canvas is not structured in exactly the same way as Blackboard, courses will not be automatically migrated. Courses are manually migrated on a course-by-course basis, at each faculty member’s discretion. The WashU Canvas Project Team (and local school resources, as available) will work with faculty to provide initial training and help, as needed, with this process. For more information, visit the Course Content Migration page.
How do I migrate my course form Blackboard to Canvas?
You can export your course from Blackboard and then import that course file into Canvas. Instructions are provided on the Course Content Migration page.
How long will I have access to past courses in Blackboard?
You will be able to directly access and export past course content until Dec. 31, 2019.
How will my Blackboard organization be migrated to Canvas?
How do I request a new organization?
If you think you need an organization in Canvas, run the Organization Wizard. It will present a short series of questions and recommend an appropriate software alternative, based on the answers you provide.
Merging Course Sections
How do I merge multiple sections of a course?
Canvas course sections may be merged into a single Canvas course of your choice using the Canvas cross-listing feature. However, a cross-listing MUST be completed before the courses/sections are published and before students submit course materials. Find out more about cross-listing and how to cross-list.
If you have Instructor permissions in each of the courses/sections to be merged, you are able to complete a cross-listing on your own. If you need help completing the cross-listing, contact 24/7 Canvas Support, available via the Help button in Canvas and/or watch this video demonstration.
If you do not have Instructor permissions in each of the courses/sections to be merged, contact your School Canvas Administrator for assistance.
After sections have been merged, students will only see the course number and title of the chosen course in Canvas (to which you added the merged sections), although individual section groupings are retained in the background. You will want to notify your students of the merged course number and title so they will know what to expect. For example, you might send an email explaining how the course title and number will appear in Canvas.
If at any point you decide you need to undo a course merge, please contact 24/7 Canvas Support for assistance.
How is merging sections different from cross-listing courses?
At Washington University, courses are cross-listed by the registrar’s office, while sections of a course may be merged by a school or instructor to accommodate instruction. However, in Canvas the feature used to merge sections is Cross-list. Read more in the FAQ How do I merge sections of a course. Official cross-listing of courses still must be managed at the registrar’s office.
How do I unmerge sections of a course?
Instructors cannot unmerge sections of a course. If you need to unmerge, please contact 24/7 Canvas Support for assistance. For details, see the FAQ How do I contact Canvas Support?