Transition from Blackboard to Canvas

One semester down, a new one to start!

As you are hopefully aware, Blackboard will be replaced over the next few semesters by Canvas.  Canvas offers several enhancements over Blackboard, including a user interface designed for ease and efficiency of use, an open API that enables 3rd party apps, a vastly-improved mobile experience, and an integrated syllabus and calendar that helps students track pending / completed activities across courses.

The Canvas implementation begins next semester (Sp19) with the expectation that all courses will use Canvas by Spring of 2020.   So, whether you are ready or not, it is time be begin planning your own transition.   The University’s Center for Teaching Innovation is providing limited support for the migration.  For faculty who expect to need assistance, they have capacity to engage with ~20 more courses this spring; but others requiring minimal support can consider moving as well.

Who should move this spring?

  • Creating an entirely new course … might as well do it in Canvas rather than later transitioning
  • Faculty taking over an existing course who do not plan to reuse Blackboard content from the previous incarnation
  • Faculty who already have experience with Canvas (previous institution)
  • Faculty who want to leverage new features in Canvas such as better integration with Google Docs (though it is hard to understand why anyone would want that J)

Who should not move this spring?

  • large course that depend on creating sections in their Blackboard courses for grading should wait until Fall when the functionality will be available.

Who should definitely transition in Fa19?

  • All ENGRI 1xxx and ENGRG 1050 courses, as well as course that have significant freshman enrollment, should plan to be fully Canvas transitioned by Fa19.  This will ensure that incoming freshmen only need to learn one Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas.

Who should definitely transition in Sp20?

  • Everyone.  Blackboard will be gone!

Signing up for the Sp19 transition and learning more: is a primary source for information.  You can sign up for Canvas in Sp19 there, as well as access several workshops to assist in the transition.  Resources include:

Specialized Engineering Training

The college will be scheduling specific and intentional training focused on the more commonly used LMS features (repository, announcements, gradebook, etc.) as well as introducing more advanced features.

  • Hold Dec. 5 at 1:00-2:00 in Olin 165 (after classes end) for a college wide introduction to Canvas.  The general introduction will be immediately followed by advanced training for the early adopters.

Any additional questions can be raised with Kathy Dimiduk, or by emailing the Center for Teaching Innovation at