Spotlight On: Migration

The transition to Canvas will be a year-long process, and the time to get started might be now. Details about the administrative side of the migration are available from the Libraries, and the below FAQs will help you plan your next year of courseware usage.

When should I move to Canvas?

Blackboard will be available through the end of the Spring 2014 semester, but you can begin moving to Canvas as early as August 1, 2013.

In most cases, you can move the courses that you have in Blackboard over to Canvas whenever you would prefer, as long as it’s before the end of Spring 2014. (The exceptions are schools and departments that are planning to move as a cohort.) Here are some suggestions to help you decide when to move:

 You…   We suggest…
have a new course, not on Blackboard Start it in Canvas
want to move, but don’t know how Move now! We have staff to help you. We also have lots of workshops and office hours planned.
teach a section of a multi-section course coordinated by someone in your department (e.g., foreign languages, calculus, etc.) Check with your department – we will be working with them
have a Spring course in Blackboard Starting the migration process mid-Fall
won’t have any time to work on it until right before classes start Stay on Blackboard for now, but schedule time to move to Canvas later

We’ll have workshops starting after Fall Break, so if you are not teaching until the Spring or would like more time, moving your course for the Spring 2014 semester is ideal.

We also recommend migrating your site while Blackboard is still available so you have the old site as a reference point.

How should I move my course from Blackboard to Canvas?

Files, Links and Assignments can be exported from Blackboard, but should you import them to Canvas en masse, or start from scratch, with an empty Canvas site and the files exported from Blackboard, and build it up yourself?  We have experimented with importing a variety of sites, and have these suggestions:

 Your Blackboard site…  We suggest that you…
has a lot of files (more than 8 or 10 documents)  start from scratch
has files and items organized by folders  start from scratch
has just a few files, all in one “Course Documents” folder  import
 has a lot of quizzes, surveys or tests  work with your school’s instructional technology staff or visit our office hours for assistance moving these items

The advice above may seem counter-intuitive, but the more content you have in Blackboard, the harder it is to sort it out once it’s imported to Canvas. Blackboard “items” in folders come across as individual Canvas “pages”, not in folders. Documents grouped in Blackboard folders are imported to a single folder in Canvas. So it’s easier to use the folder organization that you get from a Blackboard export when you open the .zip file on your computer, and put the items into Canvas yourself. We have staff to show you how!

Canvas also allows for drag-and-drop upload, so it’s easy to add lots of files at once. If the files from your Blackboard site are already organized on your computer, you are good to go.

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