Skip to main content

Welcome to the IvyLearn FAQ page.  The page is being created to track questions and answers submitted through the FAQ submission page as well as those heard by regional and statewide implementation team members as they are conducting training and development sessions.  You can submit a question here or contact one of your regional team members.

Questions submitted are reviewed for general themes so while you may not find the exact wording of your question here, you should see the theme represented.  Updates are posted once a week (typically on Fridays).  If you don't see your question represented here, please submit again and provide additional clarifying details or contact someone on your regional implementation team for assistance.

Please note that answers are subject to change as the College progresses through its implementation.

Moving content and student materials from Blackboard to Canvas

How long after June 2017 will Blackboard remain available to us? Will we be able to retrieve a Blackboard archive of a course after Blackboard is no longer our LMS?

The contract with Blackboard ends June 30.  We are currently working with Blackboard to obtain information stored on their servers so that it can be retrieved after June 30 if necessary.  However, access to will end on June 30, 2017.

On a level from 1 to 10 (10 being easiest, 1 most difficult) how difficult is it going to be to migrate info from BB to Canvas? (Question and answer submitted by Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, but appropriate to everyone)

There will be a learning curve for everyone, but the application is very intuitive and easy to navigate. The work that is associated with this mostly happens after the course is imported, because the format and layout of the course is very different in Canvas than in Blackboard. That in and of itself isn’t difficult either, but does take a bit of planning and drag /drop to get things where you want them. So to answer the question -- the migration of content is a very low difficulty level (10 being the easiest) , the time needed to lay everything out in the course room after the migration could be as high as about a 5, but this will depend on your comfort level, types of materials needed for the course, and how individualized your course content may be. 

If a student earns an incomplete in the Spring semester, how is he/she supposed to complete the course if Blackboard is no longer accessible through the makeup period?

We will provide more specific information on this as we get closer to the end of the Spring semester.  As of right now, we will be pulling a list of those courses and students who have incompletes so that we can provide those students and their instructors with a means of completing their course with as little disruption as possible.

How long will student artifacts such as portfolios be available in Blackboard to students after the move to Canvas?

Access to student artifacts will end on June 30 in the way students access them now.  Students working on portfolios or in programs where portfolios are used should make local copies of their information between now and June 30.  While we are working on identifying other means of storing and making this information available, we cannot guarantee how quickly students or faculty will be able to access this information.  Canvas has its own ePortfolio system that students (and faculty) can transfer information into.  Check out the links for more information.

How will content be migrated from Blackboard to Canvas?  Who is responsible for doing this work?  Will this include Development Shells and Organizations?

This work is starting in earnest now.  The answer is "it depends".  Here are a few facts we know about how you can determine if you need to move specific content:

  • Statewide online classes will be migrated centrally.  
  • Many regions maintain regionally managed courses (where one version of a particular course is used by all faculty).  Regional implementation teams are determining how these are moved as a part of their planning process.  
  • Individual course sections taught by faculty members that don't fall into one of these categories (including personal development shells) will likely be migrated by the faculty member.
  • Organizations will likely be migrated by the organization leader/owner.

If I migrate my own content, is that process hard?

No.  You can export and download your course from Blackboard and import it directly into a Canvas shell.  You can start to do this work now in your personal Sandbox.  In late February/early March you can request additional Development Shells for specific courses from your regional online technology team member.

Can I just start over and create my course from scratch in Canvas to take advantage of the Canvas tools?

Of course - if you'd like to do this, you may do so.

Centrally/Regionally Managed Content and Courses

Will there be a statewide Canvas Calendar/Syllabus template? Will there be statewide online and/or face-to-face course templates?

Yes, this is available in the Commons - the Canvas/IvyLearn content sharing tool.  The syllabus and course template were developed with a great deal of input from our faculty SuperUsers.  

Is there a learning object repository (LOR) in Canvas?

Yes - Canvas has something called the Canvas Commons which will be available to all faculty when we launch Canvas.  With Canvas Commons you can:

  • Create a personal learning object repository
  • Build a course from scratch using relevant materials shared by other Canvas users
  • Create a name for yourself and your institution as a subject matter expert by sharing your content to the Commons.

The Canvas Commons will offer faculty, curriculum committees, regions and the Center for Instructional Technology many new ways to share and manage content.

Individually Managed Content and Courses

I'm currently developing a new course in Blackboard.  Am I wasting my time by finishing the work in Blackboard since I'll have to update it in Canvas?

This answer depends significantly on the amount of content being created directly by you - the faculty member - vs. the amount of content you're linking to from a publisher site.  Publisher content must be re-linked so you may be better off to build placeholders into the Blackboard site for those publisher tools you wish to link to and then after you export the course from Blackboard do the linking in Canvas.  At this time you can also begin using your Sandbox to finalize that construction in Canvas to waste as little time as possible.

How will we copy over Blackboard Collaborate based lectures to Canvas?

We recommend that you download any lectures you would like to keep and upload those to the media server at for use in Canvas at a later time.

Do Canvas courses/organizations have the same size limitations - will large courses/organizations copy over from Canvas?

There are some size limitations in place in Canvas.  If you have a course or organization that is extremely large, you will need to talk with your local implementation team about how to export/import this course if you are responsible for moving it.

Can Pools of Test/Quiz questions that currently exist on Blackboard be imported into Canvas?

Yes.  There are a few ways this can happen.  The ones we currently believe will be the most efficient are:

  1. Tests/quizzes they will be included, as long as you select them, in a course export from Blackboard that you import into Canvas.  
  2. You can download test banks individually using Respondus, change their type to Canvas and then upload them into Canvas with Respondus.

Using Canvas for Groups and Organizations

Is there an area of IvyLearn that could be used for departmental areas of the College (e.g. admissions, advising, etc. for sharing information such as pdfs, links, videos, manuals, etc.)?

Yes.  There are at least two ways this could be done:

  1. A canvas course site could be used for this material.  The advantage of this option is that it provides all the functionality associated with a course (e.g. ability to manage content collectively as well as by a single or group of leaders, various roles for different users in the course, etc.).  Subgroups can be developed within a course (which then run like #2 described below).
  2. A group can be used for this material.  Groups are a feature of Canvas that provides a place for a group of users - all of whom have the same level of access to the group (i.e. there is no group "leader" who manages the content).  


What is the training schedule for Canvas?

Training to support the migration from Blackboard will be done in three waves:

  1. January - February - Getting to Know Canvas/Basic Log In and System Access
  2. February - April - Migrating Content
  3. March - May - Teaching with Canvas

Training will be provided through webinars, on-campus face-to-face training, and a wealth of web resources.  For example, you can begin becoming familiar with Canvas now by checking out the Canvas Community.  The Canvas Community includes links to Canvas Guides, download the mobile apps for Canvas, and allows you to connect with other Canvas users to ask about how they are using Canvas. 

What sort of certification will be required to teach an online class using Canvas?

There are currently no changes planned to the College's policy on certification both for all faculty teaching at the College (you must be certified on using the LMS in your first semester of teaching) as well as for those who will teach online (you must complete the Online Instructor Certification prior to teaching online).  

At the present time, we do not plan to require all faculty to "re-certify" on Canvas.  New faculty will be able to complete the Canvas certification (ILRN 101) beginning in March.  While some content updates will be made to IVYC 110 and 112 - the College's Online Instructor Certification program - again no "recertification" will be necessary.  

Using Canvas with Other Tools & Systems

How will IvyAdvising/Starfish interface with Canvas?

IvyAdvising/Starfish will interface with Canvas much as it does with Blackboard.  While some links or tools may look a bit different, core functionality should not change.  Flagging will still be available in IvyAdvising.

Will publisher content work the same way with Canvas?

We are working with each publisher to determine if there are any specific changes to how their content works in Canvas.  All major publishers provide similar functionality in their Canvas integrations as they do in their Blackboard integrations.  As more specific information by publisher is available, we'll provide that here.  We also encourage you to talk with your publisher representative about the change to Canvas to determine if they have recommendations for you regarding using their content with Canvas.

Does Canvas have a chat feature?  How is this different from Blackboard Instant Messenger (Bb IM)? Will we support Blackboard Instant Messenger (Bb IM)?  

Canvas has an in class chat feature that works as a large group chat (i.e. there are not private chat streams). The College does not plan to renew its agreement for Bb IM and is currently evaluating alternatives to provide chat functionality to students, faculty and staff.  Currently, the plan is to use Google Hangouts.

Using Canvas

Is there a mobile application for Canvas?

Yes!  You can download it for free from your device's app store.  Messaging and data rates will apply to your usage of the app but there should be no charge for the app.

Is there a one-to-one feature comparison between Blackboard and Canvas?

Both tools have really reach and deep feature sets so a full one-to-one feature comparison would be very difficult to produce.  However, this is where the power of the Canvas Community can come into play.  Steve Leichtweis of the University of Auckland created a nice PDF which talks about using Canvas from the standpoint of achieving various instructional goals.  You can view that post on the Canvas Commons here and see Steve's original guide here.

I taught with Canvas at another institution a few years ago and certain features didn't measure up to what Blackboard has today.  Is this the same with IvyLearn?

This will depend greatly on the feature, but one of the major differences between Blackboard and Canvas is that Canvas is regularly updated - and these updates happen without the College having to take Canvas offline for days at a time.  While we can't promise complete feature parity between Blackboard and Canvas (as they are different systems) we can promise that Canvas is updated regularly.  To learn more about how Canvas is updated - AND to participate in how the Canvas system gets updated, do a Google Search for Canvas Community and then look at information for the Releases of Canvas.

Will Program Chair Observer role be available in Canvas?

We are working to ensure that functionality similar to the Program Chair Observer role will be available in Canvas.

Does Canvas allow batch management of multiple sections of the same course? (e.g. Can you post content like an announcement once to a course and have it populate multiple sections?) 

Canvas allows a few different ways this can be achieved.  The College is currently reviewing these to determine how one or more of them may work for our faculty and students.

Will Canvas allow for weighted grades to be used?

Yes.  This page in the Canvas guides provides some basic information about this process. You can also view a video about the Gradebook here.

What is the item analysis capability within Canvas?

This page from the Canvas Guides highlights quiz statistics available on published quizzes in Canvas. Some additional detailed information is available here.

That said, this was a significant area of need identified during the Center for Instructional Technology's LMS Tour in Spring 2016.  We are looking at additional tools that may further enhance these features. Watch for more information in future updates.

I have several assignments that require students to upload a video recording as a part of their assignment submission.  Can they still do this in Canvas?  

Yes!  In fact, you have a few new options in Canvas regarding how you might work with these assignments.  You may want to use a standard Online submission and restrict the file type to only certain types of media or you may want to have students use the "Record Media" tool to record their file directly in the Canvas system.  This link explains this option from a student perspective.

Where do I locate my grading rubrics which were part of the course I copied over from Blackboard? Is it possible to use rubrics for grading at all in Canvas? Do I have to re-invent my grading every semester?

Grading rubrics will not come over in the export from Blackboard to your Canvas course. They will need to be re-created the first time. Once you have created a Canvas rubric though you can re-use it from term to term.  This section of the Canvas guides explains Rubrics in more detail.