Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers regarding the migration to Canvas. The FAQ will be updated over time.
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.
What is the timeline for moving to Canvas?
View the timeline on the homepage.
How do I sign up to teach in Canvas?
Complete the Canvas Adopter Sign-Up. Within 3 to 5 business days, you will be e-mailed an invitation to your Demo Course which you can use to explore Canvas.
How do I access Canvas?
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 Canvas School 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 your course. After it’s built, you will be able to easily copy from Demo Course 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. And, if you need additional Demo Course shells (to build multiple courses), let us know. 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 courses be migrated automatically?
No. Since Canvas courses are not structured exactly the same, courses will not be automatically migrated from Blackboard to Canvas. Manual migration will occur 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. One of the benefits of getting an early start is that the team has additional time to work with each faculty member prior to the relevant teaching semester.
What options do I have to migrate my courses from another LMS?
Several option for migrating course content are available:
- Migrate courses yourself via an Export/Import process.
- Request migration help from the WashU Canvas Project Team.
- Build new courses and content directly in Canvas.
- A combination of one or more of these above options.
For details, 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?
Although Blackboard will be unavailable for teaching after May 2019, you will be able to continue to access and export past course content through Spring 2020.
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.
We will begin accepting new requests in May 2019.
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?