10 Steps to Export your Blackboard Course and Upload it to Canvas

As we migrate to Canvas/Quercus, you have a big decision to make: should you copy your course over to Canvas or should you re-build from scratch?

There are several reasons why you might lean one way or the other - time to re-build is certainly going to be at the top of the list. But, equally as important, is the technical consideration. There are some courses that are just more likely to be a successful course export/import into Canvas than others. How do you know if your course is a good candidate for copying? In general, the more simple your course is, the better the candidate for copying.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have any embedded content? Many people have iframed in websites (or other external sources) or YouTube videos. If you've done this, exporting is likely NOT the option for you. These pages do not copy over to the Canvas course. If you choose to proceed with the Export/Import, you will have to manually rebuilding and reembed the content on these pages.
  2. Do you use Blackboard's Learning Module tool? Many use the Learning Module tool as a way to organize their Blackboard content into modules. It was a great feature - it allowed students to easily see a table of contents of that section's content. You could even jump to whatever topic/piece of content you wanted to use. But, these modules do not copy well as there is no direct equivalent in Canvas.
  3. Did you format any of the elements (ex. text, tables, headings) on your Blackboard Content pages? Many choose a new font, a style, or a size to improve the design of their content. Unfortunately, these styles don't translate well (especially bulleted and numbered lists) when copied. There is usually quite a bit of manual (read: html) editing required to fix the visual inconsistencies.

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, it is highly recommended that you re-build your course. The task of reviewing, editing, and confirming your course content is usually more onerous than creating the content directly in Canvas. 

If you answered "no" to all of the above questions, your course might be well suited to the option of exporting your Blackboard course and importing that zipped file into Canvas. Although this option is quick, there is still the expectation that you will review the content for accuracy.

If you'd like to try the export/import function, you are encouraged to follow these instructions that detail how to export and import your course.

You might still consider giving it a shot, just to see what happens. If you are unhappy with the results, you can simply go to Settings > Reset your Course to revert the Canvas course back to its default/blank state. If you are importing the content into an already populated course, it will intersperse the imported content within the exisiting content (usually by date, if one is associated).