Community Novice

Hi, we're currently evaluating our LMS (Blackboard). I'd like to know what the main factors were when you decided to adopt Canvas. If this is the wrong place to ask this, please let me know.


John B.

0 3 1,342
Community Participant

We are in the process of determining how we are going to bring over our Blackboard courses to Canvas. In our discussion someone asked how many semesters of Blackboard courses we should bring over to Canvas. What would be a typical number?

Also, do you keep all of the archives from your previous LMS? We have a good 14 years of courses archived and another 4 on our production server. That represents a lot of gigs of courses! What is the best practice for saving archived courses? If it makes a difference, we are located in Illinois.

0 2 1,099
Community Participant

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone has/knows of a Blackboard to Canvas migration checklist?

I am looking into some of the aspects for my institution and was looking for such a document, but could contribute to a collaborative one here.

I have seen the very useful guide by  @benjamin_rodrig ‌ on the commuity (see post here with link), just looking for a document - but might have to start making one!

Thanks in advance,


5 13 6,162
Community Participant

Hi all,

I am testing some courses to export from Blackboard and import into Canvas.

I keep getting the mysterious error displayed below.


I am working through different modules to try and figure out what is causing the problem and so far think it is the advanced adaptive release rules I have set up in the module on Blackboard (BB). To clarify, one of these rules only permits members of a specific group to view a content folder in BB, all other users are not able to view it. These rules are displayed in BB as shown in the screenshot below:


Will try and remove these shortly and update but that's what I think is causing it.

Any other insights would be appreciated!



0 0 794
Community Participant

Hi all,

I am on week 2 of a new job where I am tasked with running the pilot program for Canvas. I have used Canvas at a previous institution for a number of years and am fairly comfortable with the benefits. I have not used Blackboard, however, as my previous migration experience was from an internally developed LMS to Canvas. What I basically wanted to know is if anyone has a one-pager or any type of document that outlines the benefits of Canvas over Blackboard. If I can go into my strategy meetings with this type of document or knowlege I think it would make adoption easier. I can work on creating it but just thought I would throw it out to this group in case someone has already developed something similar that they would be able to share. I have a tool comparison document, but basically am looking for more of a "sales pitch" document to persuade people to join the pilot.

3 3 1,856
Community Novice

What's the equivalent of Adaptive release in Blackboard?

8 6 3,718
Community Contributor

Our school is in the process of migrating from Blackboard Canvas. We started about a year ago and we learned a lot. I'd like to share a guide we created. It's written from an instructor's point of view and its purpose is to help instructors, designers, and admins get an idea of what migration from Blackboard to Canvas entails.

Here's an overview:

Blackboard and Canvas are very different systems. Some items make sense to import from one system to another and some will not work at all. Some of the workflows you're used to in Blackboard don't exist in Canvas at this time and that's OK because there are feasible alternatives.

The guide walks you through the following process: Evaluate your blackboard course, determine which items to migrate over and how, execute the migration, resolve issues that occurred as a result of the migration.

There's way too much nuance to fit into a blog post. So the guide is hosted as an external resource located at the link below. I made it generic so that it can apply to almost any Blackboard and Canvas environment. I hope that you find that it has some value, and saves some time and effort. 

Blackboard to Canvas Migration Guide

Also please feel free to share feedback, suggestions, questions, and corrections if you found anything different in your own experiences. 


FYI To append this post (I'll add these to the module at a later time) 7/16/2019:

  • If you were using Grade Schema (for letter grades) in Bb, those will need to be recreated in Canvas. They do not transfer over.

11 8 6,927
Community Novice

Hi All,

Our university, Tarleton State U in Texas, is moving to Canvas from BB in Fall 2019.  I'm looking for any resources anyone might have concerning what you should tell faculty (instructions) on cleaning up BB files prior to a migration into Canvas.

We are emphasizing a 'fresh start' option, but well, most faculty will just say move my courses thinking there will be no issues.

Thanks in advance!

Doug Hanna
Tarleton State University
Stephenville, TX

0 2 1,324
Community Member


I have a question about rendering equations in the comments/feedback section of questions migrated from Blackboard.

1    When opening quizz-questions originally created in Blackboard in Canvas gives perfect results, but things go wrong when it is saved within the system and the exercise is opened again, or employed in a test: in the feedback/comment to the answer the original equation is messed up. In the question body or answer options things don't change.

2    When looking at a simple example equation : $1.96\times\sqrt{\frac{P\left(1-P\right)}{N}}$, in the exercise itself the following code is used, which is perfectly rendered:

<math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">
<mfrac><mrow><mi>P</mi><mo stretchy="false">(</mo><mn>1</mn><mo>-</mo><mi>P</mi><mo stretchy="false">)</mo></mrow>

3    After uploading and saving the exercise in the system, and opening it again, in the feedback  a different code is present:


BTW: In the question body the code remains the same as under 2.

4    When I look at the exercise that I created by hand (using the equation editor) within Canvas, the following appears in the feedback environment:

<img class="equation_image" title="1.96\times\sqrt{\frac{P\left(1-P\right)}{N}}"  alt="LaTeX: 1.96\times\sqrt{\frac{P\left(1-P\right)}{N}}">


So it seems as if Canvas changes the structure of the content of the feedback section by converting rich material into images by which the original content created within Blackboard (using MathML) is partially destroyed.

My question is: is this a bug of the system? I would say it is because content of the item body and item categories don't change. Apparently comment/feedback sections are treated differently by the quizz algorithm.

I hope someone can comment on this or may have a suggestion of how to go about in solving the issue!

Niels Smits

Follow Up:

I looked further into the different environments within questions. It turns out that "question_text" and "quiz_comment" are treated differently when the Blackboard quiz is imported. For example when both environments contain the same plot, it is saved in a proper location when present within question_text, but not within quiz_comment. In the latter case the plot gets a "broken_image" class (probably because the original Blackboard location is maintained). For example:

<div id="question_180871_question_text" class="question_text user_content enhanced">
<img  alt="$CANVAS_OBJECT_REFERENCE$/attachments/xid-1001001_1" style="max-width: 603px;">

<div class="quiz_comment"><p class="incorrect_comments">
<img  alt="@X@EmbeddedFile.requestUrlStub@X@bbcswebdav/supplements1/xid-1001001_1" class="broken-image">

0 0 1,598
Community Member

I am an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. We recently (August 2018) moved from Blackboard to Canvas. In Blackboard we used weekly tests to monitor our students on their statistics skills. We migrated our item banks from Blackboard to Canvas and questions work mostly okay, except for displaying "rich" material in the feedback environments: equations and tables are not shown correctly and plots are simply not shown. This is rather disastrous for our courses because our didactic plan dictates that students should receive extensive feedback (for stats meaning calculations with both equations and numbers). When looking in further detail into the html that Canvas renders in the feedback environment, it seems as if the original html code gets messed up.

As an aside: I did some extensive testing in January in our test-version of Canvas. As I recall then and there everything (including feedback) seemed to work fine. But since all test-content was deleted by my institution I cannot tell for sure. So it may be a local issue or a general Canvas-thing. So I wonder why rendering does not work. Is it our local version.

I uploaded a quiz created in and exported from Blackboard and hope someone can tell where the issue comes from!



0 0 747
Community Participant

We will be moving from Blackboard 9.1 to Canvas over the next 18+ months. In the meantime, we have a professor who needs to create new course sites. He wants to know what Blackboard content types/tools to stay away from so that his course can be successfully migrated to Canvas. My thought is that he definitely create his course in something as close to modules as possible. Do those of you who have migrated courses from Bb to Canvas have any advice?

2 4 1,841
Community Novice

We developed 30 OER-enabled Canvas sample course shells that are WCAUG 2.0 accessible and are aligned with effective online teaching & learning strategies. 29 of the shells have OpenStax OER textbooks embedded in them. The 30th shell allows for any textbook to be embedded.

Faculty across the country who use Blackboard, Moodle & D2L have been asking me how to import the Canvas cartridge into their LMS. I'm sticking with Canvas but would like to help them. Also, someone with a free Canvas acct can't seem to be able to import our Canvas cartridge.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

0 1 1,585
Community Contributor

Hello all,

I'm just curious if anyone in the group has worked on migrating courses that rely heavily on Kaltura media to Canvas. It doesn't appear to be something that a standard export/import job can handle.

If you've transferred courses with Kaltura media from one system to Canvas - what approach did you take?

Any suggestions or past experiences would be fantastic.



6 6 2,293
Community Contributor

Hi all,

I could't tell if this was asked here already, but please forgive any redundancy.  In Blackboard, we have a wide use of Organizations (Basically shells which are not associated with courses or enrollments in the SIS). These are used for study groups, video repositories, faculty groups, clubs, etc.

So the question is, what have you found to be the Canvas equivalent to these? Is it simply a matter of creating a course that's moderated by someone with a teacher role?



7 8 3,335
Community Contributor

Hi All,

After migrating from a cloud hosted LMS to Canvas, the day comes where your previous LMS licence expires.

A few months after the expiration date, the Dean calls.

A student is asking for their thesis paper, which they uploaded to the previous LMS two semesters ago.

Another is contesting their grade because they actually submitted that term paper last semester, again, in the previous LMS.

Fortunately you had archived all of the hundreds of active courses from the previous LMS, right?

That being said, what is your methodology for retrieving the appropriate artifacts to resolve these requests to the Dean's and the students' satisfaction?

(This is a question we are asking as we engage a Blackboard to Canvas migration. Looking for insight as to how such requests are handled at other institutions.)

Best regards,


6 3 1,194
Community Novice

Hi all from Tasmania! We are about to embark on a migration from Fronter to Canvas and an upgrade from Blackboard Collaborate to Ultra for our video conferencing software. Are there any users out there with any tips/hints for using Canvas with Blackboard? 

5 4 1,982
Community Novice

Hello! People who have converted from Blackboard to Canvas, how did you handle the transition between how the Bb Outcomes Assessment tool works vs. how Canvas Outcomes work? Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see a way to pull a random sample and rate by a reviewer. Advice?

4 3 1,702

Hi All,

This question isn't exactly migration related but it might be one that users who have migrated from blackboard‌ will have faced.  We have a professor who has been using discussions in Blackboard extensively and is now transitioning to Canvas.  In Need: Robust discussion with multiple threads/topics per week with grading across topics, not per to... she is asking for advice about creating "truly discursive, social constructivist learning experiences such as one would expect in a graduate-level seminar."  Please chime in if you have any thoughts.

11 1 5,642
Community Member

An imported Fill-in-the-Blank quiz question from Blackboard 9.1 contents has an impeditive prefix "RESPONSE_" in the text for the possible answer. (Meanwhile, the multiple points fill in the blank question has no problem. A simple one-point Fill-in-the-Black quiz question only has this problem.)

It's in the way of our migration process from Bb to Canvas. I think that it's a bug of the importing quiz function from Bb, isn't it?

Everyone, were you having same troubles in your migrating process from Bb? Please let me know, if you have any solutions for this issue.

Thanks in advance for your help!

0 0 1,081
Community Novice

My institution is about to migrate from Bb to Canvas; among the items on my checklist is a question from Faculty about whether a SkillSoft course can be linked to a course in Canvas. Anybody encountered this situation, found an answer, or have recommendations?

3 3 1,685
Community Contributor

Hi, community,

Really need your guidance!

Thanks to  @kona ​, who alerted me to this group!

I have 400 multiple choice questions in my Blackboard Introduction to Logic course, and I created a Bb export zip file for import into Canvas (which we're all using in the Fall).

Over the years feedback has been added to every answer, so there are now way over a thousand feedback sentences.

When I imported the quizzes into Canvas, the questions and answers came in, but all the feedback is missing!

Is there a way (short of using Respondus) to get the feedback for each answer into my Canvas course? I had thought it was part of the import process, and perhaps I didn't set it up correctly.

Can anyone help a poor panicky philosophy instructor?



9 7 2,341
Community Novice

I'm not sure if this is a question or a discussion topic, please move as you see fit Smiley Happy

Hi! We are in the mist preparing for the Fall pilot of Canvas at our university. We are pushing for a majority-on, launch for the Spring '17 semester.

With that said, I am trying to determine how long, on average, did it take your instructors to convert their courses from one LMS to Canvas (we are moving from Bb to Canvas). I am looking for time estimates so I can better predict how to staff my group. Some instructors won't mind moving and doing the work themselves, but others will need the hands on experience.

For your university or school can you please answer the following:

  1. The number of unique courses that converted from an LMS to Canvas (by phases or full numbers - anything helps!). I'm looking for a total number of courses that actually moved from your previous LMS to Canvas.
  2. How long did it take you, an ID staff, or the instructor to convert each of the following:
    1. Basic Course - think simple, not much material, maybe a few quizzes, no videos, a few links, maybe an assignment or two, the syllabus, and maybe a simple grade book.
    2. Middle of the Highway course - not fully online, uses many of the tools, online quizzes, external URLS, some media, discussion boards, groups, rubrics, grade book
    3. ALL IN course - I'm thinking your fully online courses that use multimedia, discussions, grade book, online quizes, main point of communication, announcements, assignments, rubrics, peer reviews, you know - everything and the kitchen sink.
  3. About how many staff did you have on hand to handle these course conversions?
  4. Any tips on the bulk migrations from Canvas? We are planning to do multiple phases to onboard the faculty through out the Fall semester (to prepare their course for a Spring launch).

I hope that all makes sense. I think I'm feeling pretty solid on our training plan to prepare the faculty. I'm getting a bit anxious about the actual move off of Blackboard into a new system for majority of our courses in Spring.

Thank you for your knowledge and insight! ... also, any gotchas!


6 9 3,288
Community Champion

Messy, yeh, that's the word I'd use for both the TITLE of this document and end result of the Bb-to-Canvas import process.

I helped manage our BbLearn to Canvas migration two years ago and it was indeed a messy splattering of perfectly posed content from BbLearn into Canvas. Trust me, that's not a slam; it's just the way the migration process works. It's not all rainbows and lollipops. With our BbLearn-to-Canvas migration we experienced

  • some content coming along for the ride and other content not quite making it,
  • some content that does make it goes "SPLAT!" somehow in a Canvas Module or across multiple Canvas Modules,
  • some Modules can be mixed up/out of order,
  • some BbLearn Content Areas and folders can import and split into multiple Canvas Modules that will need to be recombined for a consistent structure in Canvas.

It's hit or miss. Over the multiple classes we imported for our fully-online cyber learning program from BbLearn into Canvas that I had the opportunity to experience the import process first-hand...repeatedly.  After a few imports I really couldn't predict an import behavior or pattern even after import re-attempts on the same export file.  For example, I remember trying this hopeful work around to get an import "just right"

  1. resetting the Canvas class after an undesirable import,
  2. renaming my class Content Areas over in BbLearn,
  3. renaming any content folders/nested content folders in BbLearn,
  4. restarting the export in BbLearn,
  5. saving the BbLearn export zip,
  6. importing the zip into the Canvas class,

and it still delivered crazy-looking and parts of content going M.I.A., too.

How did I export?

When I exported from BbLearn I just selected all Content Areas and exported as much as I could in the zip hoping to bring over whatever I could to Canvas. I know that it Canvas doesn't support Adaptive Release functionality for its content areas but I zipped it into the export anyway -- no telling when I might run into BbLearn in the future and might be able to re-use the export again, right? Here's a sample shot of my export settings from BbLearn.


What's in a naming convention? That which we call a helpful solution.

One tip I could offer that could help that didn't necessarily help with reconstituting the course structure during the Canvas import BUT DID HELP with the search and rescue party after the import was what I mentioned above -- use naming conventions in your BbLearn course content parts. With a naming convention you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again with a bit more ease after the input in Canvas. For example,

  • U01 Overview is a Unit 1 overview in any class.
  • U04L02A01 Biomes is a Unit 4, Lesson 1, Assignment 1 on Biomes in a science class
  • U06L04D01 Diaphragmatic Breathing Tips is a Unit 6, Lesson 4 Discussion on diaphragmatic breathing in an instrumental music class.

Fortunately, as a rule of thumb in our online courses and to help students and teachers easily identify the location of any content in any course in BbLearn we used naming conventions like the one above everywhere. After the import the consistent naming convention for the different pieces of your class will helped us drag class parts into position and find their new Module home in Canvas. Another perk of naming conventions is alphabetization. The naming convention (although a little clunky-looking) helps you search as pieces of your class are sorted alphabetically in their class menu "silos" (especially if you follow file naming conventions for sequencing like using zeros for numbers below 10). At the very least this can help you look for your content you're looking for before bringing it out to module structure.

Are you a checklist kind of person?

Another suggestion I could offer is a way to manage what easily could have become for us a nightmare-of-a-process trying to remember where we left off one day and where to pick up another especially when I was supporting a migration team. It's easy to create lists of BbLearn course content. I don't know if this is helpful for everyone or not, but below is a shot on how to pop the menu out and copy from it.

  1. Click the pop-out menu from your class menu in BbLearn.
  2. Expand all folders.
  3. Select and copy all contents from the pop-out menu.
  4. Right-click/paste special/text into a spreadsheet.
  5. Use this list over in Canvas to verify what is missing and what needs to be copied/pasted after the import process completes.

If you're a Google Wiz, paste these into Google Sheets one BbLearn course content list per sheet. When the Google Sheet is shared with the rest of the migration team collaborators, different class sheets can be delegated to different team members for project management oversight. When one team member finishes a smaller class verifying all content is in place, s/he can jump in and help with the next class or help a team mate making for an efficient team effort.

I took a screenshot of this using an Audacity Course menu I designed in BbLearn. You can see that the original 4 Unit Level Content Areas in the class menu have various content types nested in each. Depending on the "import mood" Canvas was in that day (it honestly felt like that because there was just no rhyme or reason I could see as to why things imported the way they did some days), sometimes these would stay together (YES!!!) and sometimes one Content Area would split up into multiple Canvas Modules (BOO!!!), typically at a subfolder but sometimes not. To help me scan and make sure my content not only traveled but would wind up in the correct place the check list helped me a lot.

audacityshot (2).png

Repurpose Draft State

Some courses had a LOT of BbLearn Items that naturally came over as Canvas Wiki/Content Pages. Complicating this was the fact that some Pages made it out into their modules and some stayed in the Canvas Pages "silo" over in the class menu. Toggling between the silo and modules got a bit tedious after a few hours one day so I tried using the Draft State clouds as a marker/check-list of sorts, too. Initially, I unpublished every module. Then I unpublished everything in the Pages silo. After I refreshed the Module page the whole thing was filled with grey clouds just like the Pages silo page was. Then I traveled down the Modules page lighting up each module which in turn lit up every Page contained in the Module turning all of the draft state icons green. When I went to the Pages silo I could much more easily see what was left unpublished. In other words, I could see what was not yet brought out to the Modules where I had published everything. This allowed me to browse down my Pages silo and looking at each page that was still unpublished and decide into which module I want to bring that Page or to let the Page unpublished in my Pages silo for use on a later date.

Of course, when everything was in its place and where I wanted it to be, I adjusted the draft states using them for their original purpose of managing content visibility to student and observer roles in their new Canvas home.


Special thanks to stefaniesanders​ for asking me to cross-post this as a document, which originally was a response replied to here, in this Community Group. Having gone through a BbLearn-to-Canvas migration 2 years ago and then last year a CanvasSubAccount-to-OurOWNCanvasInstance migration I found through some hard knocks a few ways to insure content made it to its new Canvas destination. Never hesitate to drop me a line if you have questions about your BbLearn to Canvas migration or if you have questions about using the Instructure WhiteGlove migration migrating from one Canvas instance to another or not. I'm happy to share our thought process if it helps you weigh the pros and cons and make a decision for your institution.

10 3 3,742
Community Novice

We are transitioning from BB to Canvas.  My recorded lectures have been imported, but I cannot get them to play.  I used Hughes Presenter to narrate my powerpoints when recording my lectures.  The problem seems to be the "start.html" file, which I used in BB to link to each lecture.  I get an "Oops you’ve found a broken link!" message.  When I click on "index.html", which also worked in BB, I get a flash player message.  I have the latest flash player v.22. 

Can I convert an html file to a swf file to access the lectures?  Please help!

6 12 4,304
Community Contributor

Has anyone been successful in exporting a rubric from Blackboard and importing it into Canvas? If so, would you share your steps/process?

Many thanks,


12 13 7,560
Community Contributor



I was wondering how others have handled transferring Blackboard Assessments that use the Calculated Formula/Math Editor. The assessment is not coming across to Canvas appropriately.


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



0 3 1,737
Community Contributor

Another question has popped up with our transition! I hope you can help! How did your institution go about finalizing SafeAssign? Instructors are wanting to save reports for their records so that they are aware of plagiarism  or if it was submitted  in Blackboard SafeAssign so that they can crosscheck with new sumbissions in Canvas. Was this a concern? How did you go about tackling this issue? Is there a way to link SafeAssign to Turnitin?


Thank you!

7 7 2,860
Community Contributor



My university is coming up on the great transition from Blackboard to Canvas in the Summer. I have a few questions on users that have done this transition:


1. Did you do a mass export of Blackboard Courses into Canvas?  If so, what did the process look like?

2. How did you go about training Faculty about the transition? Did you have a recommended process?

3. Were there any problems/bumps in the transition?

4. Any helpful tips?


Thank you for any assistance!


Kari Johnson

8 9 4,276
Community Participant

I'm brand new in the community and new to Canvas. We are running a pilot this spring where a few dozen faculty will be using Canvas instead of Blackboard. I'm the lone trainer at our campus for LMS systems.

Would anyone be kind enough who has been to this war share with me what they did for training?

Here's what I'm thinking so far:

Canvas Essentials

Editing the menu

  • Setting your personal preferences
  • Inbox for communicating
  • Creating Pages
  • Setting a Home Page
  • Uploading files

Getting from Blackboard to Canvas

  • Informal moving of files from Blackboard to Canvas
  • Users will log into their Blackboard Course – download files – organize and cleanup files – upload files into Canvas
  • Users will learn how to incorporate these files into a Canvas course
  • Moving of quizzes, tests and surveys
  • What works and what doesn’t
  • Checking feedback and scores
  • How to deploy a quiz

Canvas Grade Center Essentials

  • How to add a column in the Grade Center
  • Types of assignments

Canvas Communication Tools

  • Inbox
  • Live Chat
  • Conferencing tool

I've created the following instructional videos to share with you:

Getting started with Canvas - YouTube


Again, I'm in this battle alone and any help would be greatly appreciated.


Leona :smileygrin:

8 6 3,723
Community Participant

We are running a pilot of Canvas and currently use Blackboard.

I've tried to come up with the easiest method of moving content from the Blackboard system to Canvas for those who don't want to start from scratch.

From what I've experienced, I created some short videos on how to get from Blackboard to Canvas that I hope is helpful to those going through the same process.

I'm hoping that sharing our experiences, we can better support our faculty and have less grief for all of us.

Smiley Wink

Getting started with Canvas - YouTube

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