Transition FAQ

Students sitting in class, one with his hand raised

After exploring the current state of user satisfaction with Blackboard and the LMS needs of the campus, an exploration of available solutions was performed. After a thorough evaluation and piloting process, Canvas was recommended as a new LMS that will better serve the diverse needs of our campus community. Some advantages of Canvas include:

  • An easy-to-use modern user interface
  • Simplified tools and workflows to complete common tasks
  • Compatibility with mobile devices
  • Online resources and 24/7/365 support

Your old Blackboard content can be moved into Canvas. Content can then be arranged and changed to better suit the new tools and structure of Canvas. While there is the ability to export content from Blackboard and import it into Canvas, we recommend using this time as an opportunity to create or rebuild your course in Canvas.

If you want to save student work from Blackboard, take a look at our instructions on saving student submissions from Blackboard course sites.

Our team will be offering information sessions, department trainings, walk-in hours, and online training throughout the transition process. Canvas also has a great set of online resources available for both students and faculty. Take a look at our trainings here.

To get started with Canvas, check out the Canvas Student Guide. Our team is also offering in-person information sessions and walk-in hours throughout the transition process. For CWRU-specific training, you can take a look at our trainings here.

Canvas comes with its own 24/7/365 support. You can contact their support by clicking on the "Help" button within Canvas.

The Teaching & Learning Technologies team is also providing in-person workshops and trainings. You can take a look at our available training opportunities, or request a dedicated training by contacting or the UTech Help Desk ( or 216.368.HELP).

Classes can be taught in Canvas beginning in Spring 2017. All classes will be in Canvas for Fall 2017. While this is a quick timeframe, we believe the transition will benefit students and faculty alike by reducing the amount of time in two systems. Blackboard will be available for data retention purposes only through June 2018.

The sooner, the better! If you want to use a LMS for your course, Canvas is your only choice beginning in Fall 2017.

Yes, Echo360 (the service behind MediaVision classroom captures) will still work in Canvas.

Both systems help support teaching and learning, offering many of the same tools and features. The basic functionality of the systems is essentially the same. Some differences you may notice are different names for the same tools between systems, new workflows for accomplishing tasks, and features that weren’t available in Blackboard. View the full list of Feature Comparisons.

Yes, Canvas works on mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. Canvas uses responsive design principles to resize itself in mobile browsers. Apps are also available for iOS and Droid devices.

This is a great time to gather your course materials, think about how you want to organize content, and reevaluate your use of the Learning Management system. Look for outdated materials or things that haven't worked successfully in the past. Do you need to bring over all the content from your Blackboard course? Is this a good time to add in an activity you've always wanted to try? Consider how you want students to engage with the materials and how you want your site to look.

Blackboard will be retired June 2018 with no ability to use the system for active courses after August 28, 2017.