COVID-19 Updates:

Canvas FAQs

Student-Centered Learning


Why a new Learning Management System (LMS)?

Canvas, utilized by many of our peer R1 institutions, will provide faculty an opportunity to reimagine courses and practices in support of our strategic direction, Next Lives Here, as we work to elevate our strong commitment to academic excellence. 

Why Canvas?

Canvas offers increased collaboration, communication and engagement. There are many features in Canvas that can help enhance teaching, but here are a few tools to start with: 

Online Discussion Forum– This can be used to increase student participation and provide feedback, while allowing for further discussion of a topic.

Conferences– Instructors or students can initiate a video conference using this tool. It can be used for meeting with students during office hours, to teach a lesson or to work with a guest lecturer. Conferences can also be recorded and stored for up to two weeks. 

Peer Review—This allows for anonymous or non-anonymous peer reviews. Assignment rubrics can also be used by the peer reviewers.


How is Canvas different from Blackboard?

View the Blackboard-Canvas Feature Comparison Chart.


Who is using Canvas?

There are over 1500 Fall 2019 courses published in Canvas.

In addition to many of our peer R1 institutions, including Indiana University, University of Michigan, Yale and Stanford, 60 UC faculty and nearly 3,000 UC students have piloted and adopted Canvas.


Will I have to manually enroll students, create a new account or request a Canvas course?

No. The process will be similiar to the one we used with Blackboard. Your Canvas course shell is created each semester (see Canvas Course Creation Schedule). Your roster will be added to your Canvas and synched with enrollment updates, so enrolled students will be able to see the course after you publish it. 


Can I import final grades from Canvas to Catalyst?

Starting in Spring 2020, instructors will be able to import their Canvas grades directly to Catalyst, but this feature is not available in Fall 2019. However, instructors can move their Canvas grades to Blackboard, where they can then be uploaded to Catalyst. A guide and template for this process are available here: Entering Grades from Canvas to Catalyst.


Can I create my own Canvas course?

No. Canvas course shells are created automatically. However, you can begin building your course in one of your Sandboxes. You will be able to copy your Sandbox content into your course shell, once it is available.


When are Canvas courses created?

View the Canvas Course Creation Schedule.


How do I request a Canvas account, sandbox, or course shell?

All instructors and academic support staff should have a Canvas account and three sandboxes. At this time, course shells will be created at the request and with the permission of the home college only. To see when your college will begin offering courses in Canvas, please visit our Canvas Transition Page

If you find you do not yet have an account or sandbox in Canvas, or if you would like to have an additional sandbox added to your current account you can make your request by submitting an IT@UC Portal Incident Form. To do this, go to IT@UC and click "Report an Issue." After logging in, complete the following information on the form: 

1. Insert the subject: “Canvas Account/Sandbox Request” 

2. In the Description field: 

  • Include the desired course name. 
  • Include a brief description of what the course will be used for. 


Is there a recommended browser for Canvas?

Yes. We recommend using the Chrome browser. See this guide for more information about operating system, browser and device requirements.


Are there mobile apps for Canvas?

Yes. There is a Canvas App for Instructors and a Canvas App for Students.

Image of three columns.  Column 1: a computer icon and under it the heading "Use Imported Blackboard Content" [for] Course Files and Documents (Word, PowerPoints, PDFs, and other documents you've created.  Column 2: dots connected by lines icon and under it the heading "Gather and Upload Separately" [for] Announcments, Assignments, Discussion Boards, plus Tests, Surveys and Pools.  Column 3: notepad and pen icon and under it the heading "Start Fresh" [for] Rubrics; Groups and Group Tools; Wiki, Blogs and Journals; Content Areas/Learning Modules.


Was my Blackboard course migrated to Canvas?

Blackboard course content will not automatically migrate to Canvas. Instead, Instructors are asked to export existing content from Blackboard, which can be used to build courses in to Canvas. 

Open your Blackboard course, find the Content Collection menu located under the Course Management menu on the bottom left of your screen. Select your course from the Content Collection menu. Select the files you want to move, click download package. This will create a zip folder which you may want to clean up in case there are any duplicate or irrelevant files. In Canvas, open your course, click Files in the Course Navigation menu on the left, click the Import button in the sidebar menu on the right, and select your files. For more information, view the Canvas Guide on importing files.

UC’s contract with Blackboard learning management system will end on June 30, 2020. After this date, content users will no longer be able to instantly retrieve content directly through Blackboard. The Canvas Project Team is evaluating archive retrieval options and more information will be provided as it becomes available. 


Are you still supporting Blackboard?

Yes. We will support Blackboard through June 30, 2020. After this date, content users will no longer be able to retrieve content directly through Blackboard. The Canvas Project Team is evaluating archive retrieval options and more information will be provided as it becomes available. 


I used a “Metacourse” in Blackboard. Does Canvas have a direct equivalent?

No. There is no direct equivalent in Canvas. Canvas does allow you to associate multiple sections of a course with one another, but this functions slightly differently than a Metacourse. In Canvas, you have one course site, where all the course content is housed, with different sections—or subdivisions of students—associated with it. This does allow you to offer section-specific options, such as varied due dates for assignments, discussions, and quizzes. However, it does not allow for each section to have a widely different course site. You can view a more detailed explanation of sections in the Canvas Guide on the Hierarchical Structure for Canvas accounts. You can also view our guide on how to manage multiple sections of a course where you are the instructor for all of the sections you want to associate. If you are not the instructor for all of the sections or you have additional questions, please contact Canvas Support via live chat or phone (855) 745-4414.


Can you provide a Canvas overview for us at our department/faculty meeting?

Absolutely!  We’d love to give a Canvas overview at your department meeting. Please contact us with some possible dates, times and locations. We’d be happy to tailor our presentation to your needs if there are any particular Canvas features or functionalities you’d like to learn more about.


Is face-to-face Canvas training available?

Please see our Upcoming Events section for information about our schedule for Canvas Orientations or Workshops.


How can I get help with Canvas and learn more?