What to Expect when Migrating from Blackboard to Canvas

Much of your course content from Blackboard will transfer directly into Canvas. However, depending on the structure of your Blackboard course, there may be a significant amount of cleanup involved. You have to decide whether you’d rather spend time rebuilding your course from scratch in Canvas (maybe importing just the course files from Blackboard) or cleaning up content that does import.

If you decide to export from Blackboard and import into Canvas, here’s where you’ll find the content that has been transferred:

Blackboard Content Where it Appears in Canvas
Assignments/SafeAssignments Assignments
Course Calendar Calendar
Course Files Files
Course Content “Items” appear in Pages and Modules
“Weblinks” appear in Modules
“Audio” and “Video” appear in Files
“Folders” become their own Module
Discussions Boards & Forums Discussions
Documents, Images & Other Media Files
Grade Center (structure & details) Grades
Glossary Pages
Learning Modules Modules
Tasks Pages
Tests, Surveys & Pools Quizzes


Announcements transfer directly without problems. Be sure to edit dates as necessary and delete announcements that aren’t applicable to the course in Canvas.

Assignments/SafeAssignments/Grade Center

There are no SafeAssignments in Canvas so these import and display in the Assignment area. If you also imported your Blackboard Grade Center, assignments will appear in the proper assignment group with the correct number of points and a column will be created for each assignment in the Gradebook. Assignments with due dates appear in the Syllabus and on the Calendar. Be sure to edit due dates and change other options as necessary. All default Blackboard categories import, even those you don’t use, so be sure to delete the ones you don’t want. Keep in mind that to add a column to the Gradebook, you must add an assignment.

Course Files

All course files are imported into the Files area. Keep in mind that a Blackboard Export creates lots of “junk” files (e.g., .xml files) that can be deleted and that your file organization in Blackboard may or may not import correctly. You can delete files, create folders, and rearrange content in this area.

Rather than importing course files, you can drag individual files and folders directly from your computer or upload a zip file containing course documents.

Course Content

Each “Item” from Blackboard creates a “Page” in Canvas. You should review each of these pages and decide whether the way they are created works for you. You can delete any pages you don’t need. Items also appear in “Modules”.

“Weblinks” appear in modules. However, if you have entered any descriptive text in Blackboard, that text does not transfer to Canvas. You can copy and paste the text from Blackboard.


Student discussion posts do not migrate, only the discussion topics. Edit dates and information as necessary. Delete any unwanted discussion topics. Discussion topics are listed with the most recently edited discussion at the top. In order not to confuse students with all the topics, you might want to edit the discussions and enter a date when it should be available.

Groups & Group Tools

Groups and Group Tools do not transfer from Blackboard to Canvas (although some blank pages may be created that seem to pertain to the Blackboard groups). You should go to “People” and then “Groups” to work with Groups in Canvas.

Learning Modules

Learning Modules from Blackboard import cleanly in Canvas Modules.

Tests, Surveys, and Pools

Tests, Surveys and Pools import into “Quizzes”. You can access the pools by selecting “Manage Question Banks”. Be sure to check quiz question types, points, assignment group, and due dates and publish each quiz.