Transitioning Your Blackboard Course into Canvas
After Jan. 31, 2013, CMC’s Blackboard 8 system was taken offline. If you need to access a Blackboard course, please contact the Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning at email@example.com. The Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning maintains archives offline of all CMC Blackboard courses.
First, please assess what your goals and needs with your course copying truly are.
A good starting point is familiarizing yourself with Canvas and its differences from Blackboard or taking a training on Canvas (you can find the online schedule of free CMC faculty/staff trainings here.) If, for example, you only lightly utilized your Blackboard courses by posting some files, then you are best served by simply uploading those files manually into your Canvas course. If, on the other hand, you had many tests or question banks housed in your Blackboard courses or a large amount of files there, then the Office of Innovations will assist you in carrying out a "course import" into Canvas.
How do I get started with a course import from Blackboard to Canvas?
To carry out a course import from Blackboard 8 to Canvas, you must consult the Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the course files from CMC's former Blackboard system. The Office of Innovations in Teaching and Learning maintains archives offline of all CMC Blackboard courses. Please also consult our explanation of what you should expect to see in your Canvas course once you've carried out this kind of import.
Using the Course Import Tool in Canvas to Import a Blackboard Course
The Course Import tool allows you to copy an entire Canvas course from semester to semester, including Announcements and Discussions; "cherry pick" Assignments, Pages, Files, and anything else from previous Canvas courses you have taught for copying into a new Canvas course. Finally, the Course Import Tool allows you to import course materials from different Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard 8.
If you already have the Blackboard course export .zip file of your course (whether from CMC or another institution), then you can use the Canvas Course Import Tool to place it into your Canvas course. Here is a video tutorial on how to use Canvas' Course Import Tool with a Blackboard course export .zip file.
Using Respondus 4.0 to transfer assessment materials into Canvas
Respondus 4.0 is currently available as a free trial version valid for 30 days that anyone can download by visiting this website. This is PC-only software; no Macintosh version is available. CMC instructors and staff can obtain a license from CMC to install Respondus 4.0 permanently on their computers by registering for and completing the Respondus 4.0 Licensing course offered by the Office of Innovations. Please consult the training calendar at www.coloradomtn.edu/training for that course's details and WebAdvisor registration information.
You can find our help page for Respondus 4.0 by clicking here or visiting www.coloradomtn.edu/canvas
Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to Canvas and other learning management systems (Blackboard, Angel, Moodle and others). Exams can be created off-line by creating a specially formatted Word document that is then processed by Respondus; and Respondus can extract assessment materials such as tests, surveys, and question pools from one learning management system and then place them in another. However, since CMC's Blackboard 8 system is now offline, it is no longer possible to use Respondus to extract ("retrieve") assessment materials from CMC's Blackboard 8 system and then upload them into a Canvas course. Please note, you can only connect via Respondus to courses (in any LMS) where you’re already enrolled as a teacher. However, Respondus does not currently have the capability to extract tests, question pools, etc., from Canvas though it can upload assessments directly to Canvas. In other words, Respondus can't transfer tests, question pools, etc., directly from one Canvas course into another. It can only upload materials you have on hand into a Canvas course.
Course cartridges and other e-materials from publishers
It's best practice to regularly update your course materials, and that includes online materials! Textbook publishers commonly provide "course cartridges", "e-packs" or other supplementary materials. These sometimes have an expiration date or sometimes are not meant to be reused. Please note that if your course cartridge or digital textbook originally required a code or key to install it or make it accessible, there is a good chance that it will not copy into a new course. Please contact your publisher for new materials and/or technical assistance if you have tried to copy it and the copying fails, or creates empty items (quizzes with no questions, for instance). Even if you were able to copy and re-copy a course cartridge or other e-materials within CMC's former Blackboard system, copying into Canvas may fail.
Since Canvas is still a fairly new LMS, you may have to ask your publisher if they are producing supplementary materials in a Canvas-readable format. This page from the Canvas wiki documents known compatibilities and possible workarounds for different publisher materials. First and foremost, faculty should ask the publisher if they can or will provide a Canvas-compatible course cartridge. Even if you know they don't have one, this kind of feedback may encourage the publisher to embrace Canvas.
If a Canvas cartridge is not available, try to import a Blackboard or Angel format cartridge into your Canvas course with the Course Import Tool, as Canvas supports both of this course package types already. Please see this tutorial on the Course Import Tool. You can also ask the publisher if a "Common Cartridge" format package is available. Common Cartridge is a global format for learning materials packages and Canvas accepts Common Cartridge.