Canvas Up

JSU moves from Blackboard to Canvas!


End of Blackboard

Blackboard will be unavailable after
August 16, 2019 at 4:30 pm.

JSU's transition to Canvas is almost here. On August 16, 2019 at 4:30 pm Blackboard will no longer be available. At this time, Canvas will become our new official LMS. 

Current faculty, staff, and students have access to Canvas and are encouraged to login at any time. Faculty may work on building Canvas courses. While students may not see courses in Canvas, they can navigate the interface and participate in a demo course.

More Canvas information:

Canvas, by Instructure, is a rapidly growing learning management system offered as a cloud-native SaaS platform. Established in 2008, and launched on the market in 2011, Canvas is used by more than 2,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world. In about 7 years, it has risen to the second most adopted LMS in the industry.

Learn More-

Canvas Information
Canvas Stories
Canvas Overview Video


The abilities of Canvas are extensive, hosting a full range of LMS tools, but below you will find just a few of the features that drew our attention:

  • Clean, intuitive, modern interface built on current and sustainable web standards
  • Smart communication workflows
  • Integrated media recording and insertion
  • Microsoft Office 365 integration
  • Mobile friendly
  • True multi-platform compatibility
  • Easy content sharing and reuse
  • Thorough analytics, reporting, and availability of data
  • Learning outcomes integration
  • Collaborative workspaces
  • Social media integration
  • Time-saving assessment tools (for online and face-to-face classroom experiences)
  • Student-centered learning features
  • Integrated support
  • Reliable, stable, fast performance
  • No down time for updates, and frequent issue resolution
  • To learn more, go to the Canvas LMS web site.

Highlighted Features

More on Canvas Features

Current and Completed Work:

  • Canvas Transition Team training and access (ongoing)
  • CIDI Design Tools (complete)
  • Course and Enrollment Setup (Banner Integration)
  • Course templates development (ongoing)
  • Departmental transition planning (ongoing)
  • Outcomes integration planning (ongoing)
  • Support knowledge base and integration (ongoing)
  • Testing and development of the Canvas interface (ongoing)
  • Third-Party Tools integration: Please see Canvas Integrations and Apps for available integrations and installation information

The Time Line is subject to change and will be updated as needed.

Summer 2019

Final Preparations

Pilot courses continue through the summer of 2019. Final edits and updates are made in the Canvas experience and final basic training is offered for new faculty or those yet to receive assistance. Fall 2019 courses are largely ready for the academic period of fall 2019.

Faculty Checklist-

  • Attend Canvas Training
  • Finalize courses in Canvas
  • Ensure student data is preserved from Blackboard

Fall 2019

August 16, 2019 at 4:30 pm is the official start time of Canvas.

Canvas Up!

All Courses are on Canvas. Access to Blackboard is no longer available, and the JSU campus has made a complete transition to Canvas. Basic training and more advanced Canvas training continues as does feedback from faculty, staff, and students. The Canvas experience is edited and adjusted as needed across the entire academic year.

Faculty Checklist-

  • Attend advanced Canvas Training
  • Teach courses in Canvas Only
  • Provide feedback to Online@JSU

Spring 2019

Pilot Courses in Canvas

Faculty Checklist-

  • Blackboard course materials are downloaded
  • Blackboard student records are downloaded (per departmental policies). See End of Term Procedures
  • Attend Canvas Training
  • Continue building courses in Canvas

Fall 2018

September 4, 2018- Canvas will open campus wide to faculty.

In the fall of 2018, the Canvas roll-out is in full mode. All faculty and staff (as needed) are attending training and working to build courses in Canvas. Sandboxes are available to most everyone on campus. The transition team continues work and training. There are many opportunities for JSU employees to receive face-face and online training. Departments may request training and course development specifically.

More information on securing a Canvas Shell and training opportunities is available by summer 2018.

Faculty Checklist-

  • Prepare Bb Shells
  • Attend Canvas Training
  • Begin building courses in Canvas

Summer 2018

Early Adopter Training

Set-up continues as does training for the transition team. The transition team begins work in Canvas to prepare for campus-wide training and the piloting of courses in the spring of 2019.

Faculty Checklist-

  • Prepare Bb Shells. See "Get Ready Now" section
  • Learn more about Canvas
  • Attend training (limited training available)

Spring 2018

Initial Set-up

A lot of set-up and configuration happens across the spring 2018 semester. This is the time when Online@JSU completes behind-the-scenes work. The transition team is being assembled and trained.

Faculty Checklist-

  • Sign-up for the transition team (optional)
  • Prepare Bb Shells
  • Learn more about Canvas

After August 16, 2019, 4:30 p.m. there will be no access for retrieving Bb content. It is very important that needed materials be exported/saved from Bb before this date. It is not necessary to move this content directly to Canvas in order to save the content. The priority is to retrieve desired content from Bb as soon as possible.

Important steps:

  1. Export a Bb course- Tests, Test Pools, Rubrics, and Files will export from Bb and import to Canvas.
  2. Save non-importable content from Bb items, discussion prompts, etc.- Not all content will import to Canvas. This content (if desired to be saved) must be copy/pasted into Word and saved locally.
  3. Save student grades and work if necessary- Departments should choose the appropriate student related information to export from Bb.

For detailed instructions and tutorials on exporting Bb content and creating a Canvas course, review Rebuilding a Bb Course in Canvas.

Other Considerations:

  1. Who is retrieving content from Bb courses which are historically taught by adjunct instructors?
  2. Consider special 'non-academic' Bb course shells which need to move to Canvas.
  3. Are there other files needed? (ex- Bb Collaborate recordings, VoiceThread, etc.)

Canvas Login Information

All faculty and staff now have access to Canvas. Follow the instructions below to login to Canvas.

Canvas Login

Canvas Training

Blackboard Tutorials Related To Transition

As high priority, make plans to export and save Blackboard content. After 8/16/19, this content will be unavailable. The information and tutorials below provide instruction for capturing content from Blackboard.

Rebuilding a Blackboard in Canvas- a step-by-step tutorial from exporting Blackboard (Bb) content for Canvas import to rebuilding a course in Canvas.

Exporting Bb Course Package- A Bb export file includes most every element which is linked and utilized within the Bb course. While this export file includes all parts of the Bb course, Canvas will only import the following elements: Tests, Pools, Rubrics, and Files.

Saving Bb Content which is not Importable- Canvas will only import  Bb Tests, Pools, Rubrics, and Files. For content such as assignment instructions, discussion prompts, Bb items, and other 'hard' coded information, the best practice is to copy/paste the content into Word for safe keeping.

Exporting Blackboard Content Collection- Files which are linked within a Bb course will be exported as part of the Bb export file. There may be other files within a course which are desired to be exported. To ensure that all files which are part of the Bb Content Collection are exported, the Content Collection should be exported separately. Note- if both the course export file and the content collection export file are imported in Canvas, duplicate files may occur. In many cases, exporting the content collection is not necessary.

Other Content- Peripheral Bb tools such as Bb Collaborate or Voicethread may also include content which needs to be saved. Consider which of these files should be downloaded and preserved or re-positioned within Canvas.

Student Records- None of the outlined procedures will save student work such as submissions or grades. 

Canvas Tutorials Related to Transition

Canvas Course Shells- Instructors have access to many course shells in Canvas. Some of these shells are for development. Fall 2019 course shells are 'live' and will be used with students in Fall 2019.

Importing Blackboard Export File- A Bb Export File is a specific computer-only readable file. The Bb Export File includes Tests, Pools, Rubrics, and Files for importing into Canvas. This file is different from the zipped file created by exporting files in the Bb Content Collection. The content collection zipped file must be imported from the Files tool and not with the Import Course Content tool.

Importing Blackboard Tests, Pools, Rubrics, and Files- Import these Bb elements by importing the Bb Export File.

Uploading Blackboard Content Collection- If a zipped file was created from the Bb Content Collection, the file must be uploaded in Canvas Files. Trying to upload this zipped file using the Canvas Import Course Content process will result in an error.

Copy a Canvas Course- Whether copying a DEV course to a 'live' Canvas course shell or copying from one semester to another, the Canvas Course Copy process is straight forward.

Rebuilding a Blackboard in Canvas- A step-by-step tutorial from exporting Blackboard (Bb) content for Canvas import and rebuilding a course in Canvas.

Bb to Canvas Terminology Comparison- Many of the tools in Canvas are similar in terminology and usage as those in Blackboard. Other tools use different terminology and function in unique Canvas-style ways.

Canvas Curiosities- Good, bad, or otherwise, Canvas has a few interesting features and processes. Review this list for important details which may make the Canvas experience better.

Share a Canvas Course (content)- Canvas features an easy way to share a course or any course element to a colleague or Canvas user across the World. Using this method, courses may be shared without being enrolled in a course or requesting assistance from Online@JSU.