Blackboard will no longer be available after Spring 2021. ITS created an array of resources to assist faculty with archiving courses and migrating course content to Canvas. These resources include a training on Course Archives, Migration and Instructor Back Ups, the presentation slides and recording are available to watch. In the Canvas Support Homeroom there are resources such as a Course Template to use in Canvas as well as a migration guide.
Canvas Pilot: August 2019-May 2020
Canvas Transition: May 2020-May 2021
What is the Timeline?
How can I teach my class(es) with Canvas?
What Canvas support will be provided?
What other resources are available for help?
How can I learn more about the ongoing Pilot? (Documentation)
What additional questions should I be asking? (FAQ)
Canvas Transition FAQ
For the past 20 years, Blackboard has served as the primary tool used for instruction by faculty and students at SDSU. While the product has served the University well for the past two decades, we reached a point where we have the opportunity to upgrade the current version of Blackboard Learn to a product called Blackboard Ultra, or to move on to a fresh start with a new learning management system.
The question guiding our considerations were simple, “Is Blackboard currently the best learning management system to meet the needs of SDSU’s students and faculty?”
While there have been many advances in higher education technologies over the past 20 years, one innovation has stood out from the rest. The use of mobile technologies and cloud-based applications have made connecting students with content, with one another, and with faculty, faster, and with more convenience.
Over the last two years, the 52-member SDSU LMS Advisory Group (composed of faculty, students, staff, and administrators) have engaged the campus in a consultative assessment. Specific endorsements for Canvas focused on its ease of use, familiar layout, wide range of features, mobile readiness, external tool integrations, and functions that promote student engagement, organization, and self-efficacy.
What is the Timeline?
The timelines below outline the major milestones of the Canvas Pilot and the transition from Blackboard to Canvas.
Canvas will be the default Learning Management System beginning Spring 2021. Blackboard will continue to be available until the end of Spring 2021. That means classes will transition to Canvas over the next year as individual faculty members determine appropriate timing. Blackboard will not be available after Spring 2021 (May 21, 2021).
Don’t worry! You will be supported every step of the way during this transition process and beyond. ITS will be providing all faculty with support in the following ways:
- Online help via the Virtual Faculty Instructional Technology (vFIT) Center
- Virtual trainings and 1:1 consultations
- Online documentation and videos
Please see our training page regarding upcoming Canvas trainings.
The Canvas LMS team has a significant number of help-based resources including:
We will be using this website to share all documentation of the pilot process, including the list of Advisory Group members, associated slide decks, survey results, and milestones.
Is SDSU switching to Canvas?
Yes, with the endorsement of the Learning Management System Advisory Group, the University Senate’s Information and Instructional Technology Committee, and SDSU leadership, Canvas adoption will begin in Summer 2020. Blackboard will continue to be available until the end of Spring 2021. That means classes will transition to Canvas over the next year as individual faculty members determine appropriate timing.
How is Canvas different than Blackboard?
The primary difference between Canvas and Blackboard is that Canvas is mobile-friendly, developed using recent technologies, and provides an easy-to-use and intuitive interface for faculty and students.
For more information, please refer to this comparison chart.
What are the main features of Canvas?
Canvas has all the features of a typical learning management system including the ability to accept and grade assignments, conduct discussions in forums, administer quizzes and exams, store and organize course resources, communicate with students, etc. Canvas has multiple grading tools including rubrics, audio/video feedback, and a dedicated grading app. Students can access course materials, view course calendars, to do lists and set their own preferences to receive notifications on their mobile devices.
What External Apps (LTI) are available in Canvas?
A list of installed External Apps in Canvas is available in the Canvas Support Homeroom.
Will I be able to transfer my course content from Blackboard to Canvas?
Yes, ITS will support the transfer of Blackboard course content to Canvas. However, there are a few tools in Blackboard which currently do not have a built-in Canvas direct equivalent, such as Journals or Blogs. There are alternatives to these tools available through Canvas’ rich App Center. The full comparison chart is available here.
Will I still be able to use my SDSUid with Canvas?
Yes. Your SDSUid will be used to login to Canvas. You can sign into canvas at canvas.sdsu.edu.
Are there mobile apps for Canvas?
What will happen to Blackboard?
Adoption of Canvas will begin with the Summer 2020 semester and the transition will continue in Fall 2020 and conclude by Spring 2021. During this time, SDSU will run Blackboard and Canvas concurrently, allowing faculty time to transition their materials from Blackboard. Instructional Technology Services will provide training and support for transferring course content from Blackboard as well as designing new courses in Canvas.
Will Blackboard still be supported during the transition?
Yes! Blackboard will be available during for faculty transition and may be used by faculty to teach courses until the Summer 2021 semester (see timeline above). Blackboard will remain available for the first year of the Canvas implementation, ensuring access to faculty and student data during this time.
What happens if I need content from Blackboard after the transition?
All system files in Blackboard will be archived and available upon request.
Why pilot Canvas?
The decision to pilot Canvas was determined, in large part, due to the recent California State University System’s Request for Proposal process in search of the most up to date and appropriate LMS vendors for the CSU campuses. In July 2017, the CSU Chancellor’s Office signed a Master Enabling Agreement with the companies that represented both Blackboard and Canvas. To date, nine CSU campuses elected to transition to Canvas, with many other campuses beginning pilots as resources become available.
The CSU follows in the steps of the California Community College system, who recently selected Canvas as their preferred learning management system, with a majority of CCC campuses transitioning to Canvas from Blackboard or another LMS. This point is particularly salient given the large population of transfer students we enroll at SDSU, as well as faculty who may also teach at the community college level.
Within the University of California system, all but three campuses have transitioned to Canvas throughout the past 10 years. Similar growth trends for Canvas have been seen at institutions across the United States.
Canvas at Large
Canvas is used by more than 3,000 institutions globally, including K-12 schools and universities.
Were other learning management systems considered?
The decision to limit this pilot to Canvas was determined after ITS conducted extensive research on the landscape of LMS competitors, gathered feedback from peer institutions who have previously evaluated their LMS.
Following trends in the global higher education LMS market, Canvas has seen enormous growth in adoption over the last ten years and is regularly praised for its ease-of-use and intuitive design. Faculty and students have consistently given feedback that they desire a learning management system that is both simple and effective and we believe that Canvas fits these criteria.
Who else is using Canvas?
Canvas is being used by over 3,000 institutions worldwide, including many of our peer institutions and top-ranked universities in the country.
Can ITS provide an introduction to Canvas at one of our department or faculty meetings?
Absolutely! We would love the opportunity to engage your department or discipline in the discussion. We can even customize a workshop to meet your needs if there are particular Canvas features you would like to see covered.
Please contact us through our Support Form, indicating some days and times that would work for your department and we will get back to you.
How do I get help with Canvas?
Instructional Technology Services will be available to support faculty during the transition process providing support, as well as small group workshops and in-depth scheduled consultations.
Where can I learn more about Canvas?
You can learn more about Canvas by visiting the company website at: https://www.canvaslms.com/
Who can I speak with about the Canvas pilot or transition?
Please direct questions related to the Canvas pilot to Sean Hauze, Director of Instructional Technology Services, who will connect you with the appropriate LMS Advisory Group member.
How do I sign into Canvas?
You will use your SDSUid to sign into Canvas at canvas.sdsu.edu.
How will I get email and text message notifications from Canvas?
Canvas is set up with your SDSU email by default, which is now hosted in Gmail. You can add additional email addresses and sign up for text and/or app notifications. This step-by-step guide will help you set up your preferred notifications and contact methods.
How can I find more about SDSU Gmail?
Please see the Google Workspace for Students information on the IT Division website including how to sign in.
How will I know if my course is in Blackboard or Canvas?
Your Instructor will let you know which Learning Management System they will use. They will have to publish the course before you can see any course materials in Canvas.
Will I have to use both Blackboard and Canvas?
Both Blackboard and Canvas will be used during the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Instructors will decide which Learning Management System will be used and will notify you.
Canvas Transition FAQ
How long can I access Blackboard for?
Blackboard will remain accessible through the May 21st grade submission deadline and will be turned off Monday, May 24th at 5pm.
How do I migrate my course content to Canvas?
There are three methods for moving your course content from Blackboard to Canvas, which can be used in combination with one another:
More information on migration can be found in the Canvas Support Homeroom.
What options do I have to get my content out of Blackboard?
Listed below are a number of export options from Blackboard you can do prior to Monday, May 24th at 5pm.
- Export Blackboard course package, import into Canvas
- Export Blackboard course package
- Export Blackboard Grade Center
- Export Blackboard Tests, Surveys, or Pools
- Download students’ Blackboard assignment submissions
- Download students’ Blackboard exam results
- Download students’ Turnitin assignment submissions
- Download students’ Discussion Board posts
Some other alternatives of “exporting” or “capturing” Blackboard content include printing the webpage as a .pdf file or taking a screenshot of the content, which will allow you to save the contents of a webpage onto your computer.
If none of the export options above meet your needs, please submit a ServiceNow support ticket to the ITS help desk or visit the Virtual FIT Center for additional support.
What if I need Blackboard content after the deadline has passed? (i.e. Student activity, content for student recommendation, Reappointment, Tenure & Promotion (RTP) records, etc.)
Please submit a ServiceNow support ticket to the ITS help desk. Please include the exact course ID (e.g., PSY101-01-Spring2021) and what content is needed from the course. Instructions for how to submit a support ticket can be found on the ITS Support.
How can I get help with moving my content?
Instructional Technology Services (ITS) instructional designers are available via both ServiceNow and the Virtual Faculty Instructional Technology (FIT) Center to assist with this process.
ITS is also hosting a “virtual moving week” May 17th–21st in the Virtual FIT Center with dedicated staff members ready to assist with your course content migration.
Support hours and links to these resources are available at its.sdsu.edu/support.
Why should I move my content early?
While courses can be exported from Blackboard and imported to Canvas, the import to Canvas can result in a disorganized structure. We recommend migrating content to Canvas while you can still simultaneous view the content in Blackboard.
What happens if I need content from Blackboard after the transition?
All system files in Blackboard will be archived and available upon request. These files can be imported into Canvas, however they will not be organized in the same manner they were in Blackboard. Please Note: User information, and student work and grades do not transfer into Canvas.
What if a student needs to finalize an incomplete?
Students finishing incompletes after Spring 2021 will have to complete their work outside of Blackboard. If required, please contact ITS via ServiceNow or the Virtual FIT center to request to enroll the student in your Canvas course.
Since student data and work does not transfer into Canvas, we recommend that you note and keep track of what your student needs to complete based off of the incomplete agreement in the future term.
What if there is a grade dispute?
Student course activity will be available upon request by Student Grievance Committee members through December 31, 2021.
Do I need to move content that is from a third party? (Turnitin, publisher resources, PlayPosit, Mediasite, etc.)
No. This content resides outside of Blackboard and these tools are still available in Canvas. Migration of content in the third party tool is not necessary.