Unpack your Bags; VCU has Moved to Canvas
The 2-year project to transition from Blackboard to Canvas is complete. VCU has successfully transitioned from Blackboard to Canvas for all courses.
The deadline for extracting course content from Blackboard was May 31, 2021. Access to Blackboard and/or its content is no longer available to users. Rest assured, Learning Systems has secured backups of both exports and archives of each course and exports of each organization that was on the system at the time of decommission, including the full Spring 2021 semester.
An export consists of only course content, whereas, archives consists of both course content and user enrollment and activity (i.e. assignments, grades, quizzes, etc.)
If for any reason you missed the May 31st deadline and still need to retrieve an export of your course or organization, please see Did you Miss the Blackboard Content Export Deadline?
Note: You must be listed as an instructor or leader of the course or organization you need retrieved.
Once your request is received, the export file will be provided to you within 48 hours. You will then be able to import the content into your existing Canvas course or organization.
There is no deadline for importing this content into Canvas; this can be done at your own convenience.
Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that each Canvas space (courses and organizations) has a 2 GB storage limit.
Archives cannot be imported into Canvas. For more information regarding archives, please visit the Blackboard Archive Request page.
There are 2 GB of storage allotted for each Canvas course. If your Blackboard course is larger than 2 GB, we highly recommend cleaning it up before transferring the course over to Canvas.
Tip: Keep in mind, Canvas works the best when you make the most of the built-in Pages, so for word documents and other non-copyrighted files, consider copying and pasting the information into a Canvas Page. This will also save you some storage space for more important files in your Canvas Files.
If you try to migrate a course that is larger than 2 GB, you will receive an error that states, "Your migration cannot exceed 2.0 GB."
Note: Files imported into a course count toward the course 2 GB storage quota. However, when courses or course items are copied into a course, the original course storage quota is inherited and the copy does not count against the new course storage quota.
Tips for Maximizing your Storage Space
- Transferring text based content is as easy as copy/paste. Text and hyperlinks will copy appropriately; however, keep in mind that any uploaded media will need to be reattached in Canvas’ Rich Text Editor.
- All Videos should be placed in Kaltura and then embedded into your Canvas course. Video files can take up a lot of space in your Files and will not have captions unless you are using a streaming platform like Kaltura. If you have downloads of videos you’ve recorded, it is highly recommended that you upload your videos to Kaltura and embed them into your Canvas course.
- Large documents, images, powerpoints with images and videos should be stored in your Google Drive. Enjoy unlimited storage with your VCU apps account.
To add these files to your course, a Google Drive icon now appears in the Rich Content Editor. The icon displays everything in a user’s Google Drive account and allows users to display documents as links or embeds them directly. Students and teachers can view the icon anywhere they can access the Rich Content Editor, such as assignments, tests, discussions and pages. (If the icon is not displayed, click the ? icon for the More External Tools drop-down menu to see it.)
For additional information, see the Canvas Tip: Uploading Videos and Large Files blog post and subscribe for live updates.
Need Help with Course Design?
Faculty who have questions or need help with course design, can reach out to VCU Online for a consultation.
VCU Online has Expanded Open Office Hours for Faculty
Keep in mind, there is no deadline for importing your Blackboard content into Canvas; this can be done at your own convenience.
The deadline for exporting your Blackboard content has passed. Users had until May 31, 2021 to export files, assessments, and assignments from Blackboard. If you missed this deadline for any reason and need an export of a Blackboard course, please email email@example.com and include the course ID (i.e. MISC-101-002-202Fall) of the course you need retrieved.
- You must be listed as an instructor of the course you are requesting be retrieved.
- Importing may require users to rearrange content throughout the course.
- Importing will not overwrite any content but instead will make duplicates of content that may already be present.
Import a Blackboard Export File into Canvas
1. Log in to Canvas and locate the course you would like to import your Blackboard content INTO.
2. Click Course Settings.
3. Click the Import Course Content button located on the far right-hand side.
4. Click the Content Type dropdown at the top of the page and select Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file.
5. Click the Choose File button that will appear to browse and select the Blackboard zip file that you previously exported.
6. Choose to add test questions (if any are included in your Bb zip file) to an existing question bank in Canvas or create a new question bank.
7. Select All Content or Select Specific Content.
Note: If you select the specific content option, you are required to select the content you want to import after you review the remaining page options. After you start importing the content, the import selection cannot be canceled.
8. In most cases you should leave the setting for 'Overwrite assessment content with matching IDs' unchecked.
9. The Adjust events and due dates gives you the option of shifting all dates, substituting a day with a different day (for example move all Tuesday events to Wednesday), and lastly, you have the option of entirely removing all dates and then manually adjusting the dates on individual items after import.
10. Click the Import button. You will see a progress bar.
Additional Information about Selecting Specific Content
If you checked the option to Select Specific Content, after the import is complete you will see a button labeled Select Content.
Click this button and you will see a list of course content arranged by item type. You can check a box to select all of the items of a particular type (question banks for example) or you can expand the list and choose only specific items from a list.
Select All Group Content
Content can be individual items  or a content group . Content groups show the number of items within the group. To view content within a group, click the group's expand icon .
To import all content for a content type, click the checkbox next to the content name . If the content type is a group, Canvas automatically selects all items within the group.
Select Specific Group Content
To import only a few items from a content group, expand the group and select the specific items to be imported . Canvas places a dash in the content group checkbox , indicating not all items are selected within the group.
The report displays a menu bar with the time remaining to complete the import. View the content from any completed imports by accessing any link in Course Navigation.
The import may also display errors as part of the import status. Learn more about course import statuses.