Canvas Course Migration Instructions

Trying to migrate an organization, not a course? See our Canvas Organization Migration Instructions

We hope this transition is a chance to clean out any clutter your course sites may have accumulated over the years. If you become overwhelmed, you can contact us at 850-644-8004,, or schedule a consultation. We offer course migration appointments and one-on-one technical assistance appointments. If you're not sure which appointment will best fit your needs, please call us at 850-644-8004 and we can help guide you to the appointment type that will be most helpful.

In preparation, read the helpful hints below:

  • Think about this in terms of which courses you plan to teach in Canvas. You do NOT need to migrate each existing Bb course website into Canvas, but you DO need to store important files and save Grade Center files (Bb Support Center) somewhere safe in case you need them later.
  • Canvas allows 1GB (1,000MB) of file storage per course site, so keep that in mind. If you have many large files, then you may have to reduce.
  • Use the Kaltura integration (Bb Support Center) to stream course videos instead of uploading actual video files. 
  • Be sure your videos are captioned. All Kaltura videos will automatically include machine captioning.
  • Be sure all of your files are readable by screen readers used by the visually impaired.

You have two options: Pull some content over directly from Blackboard or start fresh to build your Canvas course

Option 1: Pulling over content directly from Blackboard

  1. Create a folder on your computer or flash drive for your course.
    • Organize your course files into folders on the flash drive or computer based on the way you would like your course laid out in Canvas (e.g. Course Library, Week 1, Week 2).
    • OR Download files from Blackboard onto your computer and organize them into separate folders based on the way you would like your course laid out in Canvas (e.g. Course Library, Week 1, Week 2).
  2. Now is a great time to make sure your documents meet accessibility and usability standards.
  3. Bulk upload your files from your computer to your Canvas course site or development site. 
  4. Export other compatible content from your Blackboard course.

    Note: If you are using Safari to export, you may need to adjust your safe downloading preferences to allow a .zip file download. Otherwise, you will receive errors when importing the Bb export file into Canvas.

    We have found that only Announcements, Tests, Surveys, and Test Pools import smoothly into Canvas, so use these settings below:

    IMPORTANT: The areas above are the only items that we recommend exporting from your Bb course site in cases when your course has a great deal of content items and folders. Canvas doesn't know how to translate many Blackboard items, which can result in a very messy Canvas site. However, feel free to do a full export into your development site to see if this might work for your needs. Do this by choosing "Select All" in the Select Course Materials menu above. Keep in mind the export will not include student enrollments or student submissions. Be SURE to clean out your course content first, and check all items for accessibility; update files to eliminate accessibility issues.
  5. Import your Blackboard 9 .zip file into Canvas. If you opted to import all content instead of specific content, delete any unnecessary content from your course.
  6. Text-based content will need to be rebuilt as Pages in Canvas. We recommend working on this portion at the end. Be sure you design for accessibility and usability
  7. If you have any assignments or third-party content (e.g., Turnitin assignments, i>clicker sessions, Tegrity videos) that you could not import into Canvas, you will need to recreate those by hand. Consult our Crosswalk if you have questions about Blackboard to Canvas functionality.
  8. If you have any manually created columns to bring over, these must be recreated as assignments.  
  9. When you imported your content in Step 6, all of your quizzes should have been transferred. You will need to edit the quiz settings to match your previous settings.
  10. Use Modules to organize and display all of your content. They easily help you control the flow of your course.
  11. Your students will not be able to see menu items that are faded out because they have been disabled in the course navigation. If you would like to know exactly how students view your course, you can use the Student View feature.
  12. When you are ready, publish your course. Enrolled students will be able to see the course at that time.

Option 2: Start fresh to build your Canvas course

Start by taking the Canvas Training Course for Instructors.

  1. Download files from Blackboard onto your computer and organize them into separate folders - one for each course.
  2. Be sure to post your syllabus, instructor information, and welcome page. 
  3. Canvas is intuitive. If you get stuck, consult our How to build your new Canvas course site guide or the Canvas Guides site.
  4. If you need to compare Blackboard terminology to Canvas, consult our Crosswalk.
  5. If your course is online, you may want to make the first assignment a discussion board activity where students introduce themselves. Something like this:
  6. Try using Modules to organize your content. They easily help you control the flow of your course.

Contact us at 850-644-8004 or for additional information. For in-person assistance, schedule a consultation with our Technical Support staff.

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  • 26-Jul-2018