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anthony_sales
New Member

Migrating from Moodle to Canvas...

<sulking>"Hi, we are currently in the process of migrating some courses to Canvas from Moodle and am finding some of the features of Canvas frustrating/confusing. These include not having a grid view option inside a course for the modules, the inability to edit/add images to the module listings or view them on separate pages and numerous frustrations with the content editor i.e. can't maximise the view so anything wider than the small window is wrapped onto the line below making it very difficult to arrange content. No ability to pad images (although you can pad tables), images wider than a certain size are automatically resized to fit in the page, but don't expand along with the text if you hide the navigation menu etc. In the file manager I am able to upload files in bulk, but I cannot select multiple files to delete (unless I want to delete a whole folder). I am also a little surprised at how different the experience in the app is from the full browser experience although it seems to work OK on phones and tablets through a normal browser. Are there any way to get around these limitations - or are they features which might be added in future? 

So far I have resorted to making  a grid view content page using images I have pre-padded, but I am struggling to replicate the layout of course documents originally created using the Moodle content editor, and don't really want to have to re-design the layout/format of all of the materials. Any tips or advice on migrating Moodle course greatly appreciated - I am starting to think we may have to re-think our course design and layouts etc to fit in with the limitations of Canvas... "</sulking>

<silver_lining>"P.S. The content management manager does seem to be an improvement on Moodle - making it much easier to add links to other pages or files etc already contained in the course - so every cloud has a silver lining... "</silver_lining>

<signature>"Tony Sales"<\signature>

5 Replies
kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @anthony_sales  , and welcome aboard both Canvas and the Canvas Community!

I understand your frustrations and know them well, having migrated from four LMSs in my somewhat prolonged career. For the record (full disclosure), I hate Moodle - both from the course-builder perspective, but most especially from the student perspective having taken way too many Quality Matters training courses in Moodle, and having to start yet another one on June 1st. Which brings me to my first point - Canvas was originally designed by online students for online students - Brian Whitmer, and Devlin Daily, and I consider Canvas as providing the premier learning experience for students. Not just my opinion having heard this from my own students for 6+ years, and from the hordes of students at my school, where I am the LMS Admin, that I have oriented over that same time period.

Migrations are not fun, and course design in a new environment is the least of it. The worst is translating your online pedagogy to the new platform.

I can't answer all your questions, nor address all your concerns today, but let's see what I can do...............

First and foremost: When we migrated to Canvas we advised our faculty to not migrate content from our old LMS; but rather to create the content in Canvas, because Canvas really does make course-building quick and easy. This is still good advice!  Because of intrinsic platform differences, migrating content directly often has some rather unexpected outcomes, and you spend more time cleaning up those unexpected happenstances than is desirable.

not having a grid view option inside a course for the modules

 The list view of Modules in Canvas is much more accessible to students, and accessibility is very important. Furthermore, once you are oriented, the Modules structure make course creation and upkeep much easier for the instructor - nothing that is being used is hidden. Learn more about Modules at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460#jive_content_id_Modules , and developing an accessible module structure at Share UDL Course Design Tips, Tricks, and Techniques .

inability to edit/add images to the module listings or view them on separate pages

No, you cannot add images to modules listings, if by listings you mean adding images that display in module titles and module content titles. This was also done on purpose to provide an accessible Modules page. However, you can most certainly add/view images on Canvas content pages and anywhere there is an RCE in Canvas. You can learn more at How do I create a new page in a course? and How do I embed images from Canvas into the Rich Content Editor? then from the RCE it is quite easy to embed those images on any page. You can even upload a library of images into files, then access those anywhere you need to display them.

numerous frustrations with the content editor i.e. can't maximise the view so anything wider than the small window is wrapped onto the line below making it very difficult to arrange content.

You can enlarge the editing windows. I can't find the guide for this, but here is a screenshot that might help.....

276781_pastedImage_13.png

I would advise to not include content wider than the window to assure that they scale better on mobile devices.

No ability to pad images (although you can pad tables), images wider than a certain size are automatically resized to fit in the page, but don't expand along with the text if you hide the navigation menu etc.

Yes, you can pad images, although it does require using the HTML Editor at this time. Here are a couple nice tutorials: How to wrap text around an image using the Rich Content Editor , and Improving Layout of Embedded Media  . If you would like the ability to pad images using the RCE, you can add your comments and vote for this feature idea https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/5786-rich-content-editor-needs-ability-to-wrap-text-around-ima... .

That's enough specific for today, but here is some additional general help you might find useful...............

The best resource I can recommend you have already found, and that is this truly awesome Canvas Community with about 300,000 members, many of whom are eager to help!

Enjoy your new adventure,

Kelley

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @anthony_sales ...

 @kmeeusen  has already given you a great start to some of the questions that you posted here, and I agree with much of what he's told you.  We also came from a different LMS, Pearson eCollege's LearningStudio.  Migrating content from that LMS to Canvas wasn't the smoothest at times.  For example, in our Learning Plans (a.k.a. Modules in Canvas), we had a single "Discussion" item per Learning Plan in many of our eCollege courses.  Within each of those "Discussion" items, there were multiple topics.  When those migrated over to Canvas, all the topics (per Learning Plan) went into one Discussion topic...so we had to separate them all out.  Further, graded work in eCollege didn't migrate to "Assignments" in Canvas.  So, I feel your pain as well.

Let's see if we can get some more answers for you...

In the file manager I am able to upload files in bulk, but I cannot select multiple files to delete (unless I want to delete a whole folder).

Actually, you can.  Selecting multiple files in course "Files" is very similar to selecting files within a window on your operating system.  If you want select a range of files in "Files", click on the first file, hold down your "Shift" key on your keyboard, and then click on the last file you want to select.  All files within that range will be selected, and then you can use the trash can icon to delete those files.  If you want to select specific files that are not contiguous, instead of holding down the "Shift" key, hold down the "Ctrl" key.

I am also a little surprised at how different the experience in the app is from the full browser experience although it seems to work OK on phones and tablets through a normal browser. Are there any way to get around these limitations - or are they features which might be added in future?

Many apps don't offer the exact same experience on a mobile device that you may get by visiting the same website on the web.  This is also true with the Canvas apps.  There is a Canvas Mobile Users Group here in the Canvas Community where you could check out several different conversations there.  (If you've not yet following that group, use the link that I have provided, and then click on the "Follow" button at the top right corner of the page.  You may also need to click on the "Actions" menu and then choose "Join group".)  Also, if you would ever like to submit a new Feature Idea for the mobile app, you can do that by following the information outlined in this document: How do I create a new feature idea? 

Kelley mentioned the https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/lms-migration group, and so I will also share your question with that group, too, in hopes that your question will get some additional exposure.  You might want to follow and join that group as well.

I hope this information is helpful to you, Tony.

rseilham
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @anthony_sales ‌, 

I am also a little surprised at how different the experience in the app is from the full browser experience although it seems to work OK on phones and tablets through a normal browser. Are there any way to get around these limitations - or are they features which might be added in future? 

I'm curious of what you see as limitations in the mobile app? If you can shed more light on this, I'd be glad to give you some advice. Thanks!

anthony_sales1
New Member

Hi Guys thanks for the quick responses and clarifications. However what you seem to be be telling me is this is the way Canvas is - like it or lump it Smiley Sad We were sold Canvas on the basis that we could SIMPLY import  all of our existing courses (1000+) from Moodle straight into Canvas and it would all work (apart from any custom stuff) - However most of our courses use the module grid view and many graphical links ( which are perfectly accessible when labelled correctly) so I really don't buy the 'we can't have images in the module list view because it has to be accessible' I have worked with blind and  VI students for over 14 years as an accessibility specialist and graphics are simply not an issue as long as they are labelled correctly and there are text based links etc. Secondly having a module list which is six feet long because you can't view one module per page makes it difficult to use for both sighted and VI students who then have to trawl through hundreds of lines to get to where they want to be... So what you are telling me is we are actually going to have to completely re-design much of our learning materials because Canvas doesn't fit in with our existing methods... You have to pad images by using HTML why? Surely it could be a simple entry box on the image edit pop up? You can't have a wider editing box because it might not fit on a mobile device??? So you will restrict what people see on a desktop in favour of mobile devices. Then after setting up a front page with a graphical grid and manual padding this doesn't display in the app on mobile devices anyway. We were trying to give learners a structured experience starting with a home page and then leading them into the materials in a logical way rather than having them merely randomly browse through a bewildering list of files, pages and quizzes etc. Staring to think we may have been led up the garden path on the understanding it can do everything Moodle can do and more, whereas it can't do half the things Moodle can do - and then it looks like we have to adopt to your model of online learning, rather than being able to choose our own. Sorry for being so negative and cynical - this is just my honest gut reaction/feeling to my experience and responses so far. But every cloud has a silver lining - at least I can now select multiple files to delete Smiley Happy

anthony_sales1
New Member

Ok having spent a a few days recreating our grid menu and unit system using pages I am now trying import some page content from Moodle - nothing fancy just two paragraphs of text with a table of data in between them with a graphical banner at the top and bottom. Thought at least this would be simple but no. Firstly the formatting of the table gets messed up and once imported or pasted in there is nothing I can do in the editor or the HTML editor to fix it - this happens even if I paste one column or row at a time - the only thing that worked was pasting one cell at a time - in retrospect it would have been faster to just type all the data in again from scratch... Secondly the  banner at the top and bottom is shrunk to some arbitary width (777px - the number of the beast's older brother?), which would be acceptable if the text was wrapped to the same boundaries - but no - depending on whether I hide or show the navigation menu the text jumps around but the banners stay the same, the only way I could get it to look like the margins were lined up was to put the text in a table too and limit it width to 85%... Finally there was one link in the document to a PDF file uploaded into Canvas - I just want it to open in a new tab when clicked - but the default is to download - and even with the top secret keystroke of ctrl+k to enable open in a new window - it just opens a new tab and then downloads. In Moodle this was a simple drop down choice of download or open in a new window. Please tell me there is a way to open a PDF in a new tab or do users have to download everything first before they can read it???