Moving content from blackboard 9.1 to canvas

Learner II
5 3 1,439


We are new to all this, but we're really excited to be here. Any help would be great.

I know you guys have touched on this a couple of times before, but i want to get specific.

We are moving from Bb9.1. In an ideal world we would just like to leave all that old content behind and start again, but we have Bb 'baggage' that academic staff don't want to leave behind.

We are just experimenting at the moment to get the most efficient way to get 5000 modules from Bb into C. So first of this has to be done at scale and not by hand. The common course cartridge creates a nasty html mashup by the time it arrives in C. Is this the way we are doing it or is there something we are missing. See below.


We don't want staff to have this as their initial canvas experience. Export .zip function when it arrives in C is a thing of beauty. The only problem is doing this at scale. we have been looking at the Canvas API and searching github for blackboard exporters. Has anyone got experience of this that could sooth my weary brow and make the pain go away!


Tags (1)
Community Team
Community Team

Hello,​, and welcome to Canvas--we're excited to have you here! It's been quite a while since I had to migrate content from Bb 9.1 to Canvas myself, but I think you'll find QC99.tsilvius​'s resource helpful: Naming Conventions, Repurposing Draft State Icons, and Using BbLearn Pop-out Class Menu to Create an...​. Also, be sure to follow​ in the Community; she's currently leading a large Bb-to-Canvas migration.

Community Member

Fortunately, our institution negotiated a contract where a large number of our Blackboard 9.x courses were migrated by Instructure.  But, before that, I was thinking that I would have to use the API to migrate the Bb archives myself. I found the above PowerShell scripts and managed to figure out how to modify them to migrate about 1,400 Bb archives.  I was neither an API or PowerShell guru, and could not have coded the scripts from scratch.  Not knowing the language, it took a while to figure out that there were a few small scripting errors, that once corrected, made the scripts work fine.

I couldn't get the Python script to run.  The PowerShell script had some syntactical flaws, and it took me a while to learn enough PowerShell scripting to make the corrections.  I guess I could have tried to contact the coder.  *Another problem I had was that the Bb archive files needed to be accessible via the web, without requiring authentication.  We had limited space on a web server, so I had to "chunk" the number of archives in a web folder and run the PowerShell scripting a chunk at a time.  If you have enough space, conceivably you could automate the import of thousands of archives at a time.  The script sends the list of Bb archives you are queuing for import, and then Canvas starts the process of importing them. 

You might want to emphasize to your users which content will be copied over from the Bb archive and which will not.  Users and grades are NOT imported into Canvas from the Bb archive.  As many times as I told our faculty that grades would not be copied, there were still a few asking, "Why aren't the grades there."


Hi there,!

I wanted to follow up on your question and see how things were going. Were you able to come to a solution? Or are you still seeking assistance? Because this question is from almost a year ago, I'm going to go ahead and mark it as "Assumed Answered." Don't worry, this won't prevent people from continuing the dialogue in the event the discussion needs to continue Smiley Happy

About the Author
Born at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital and grew up on the Coast of North Carolina during the 1960s. Graduated Swansboro High School ('72). Attended UNC-Chapel Hill ('72-74), Campbell College ('75), UNC-W ('76 G), Southern Seminary ('81-83), Coastal Carolina Community College ('91-93 MST); Have worked in the IT department of a small university in Fayetteville, NC since 1995.