Canvas Transition FAQs

Why did Georgetown move to Canvas?

We believe Canvas has distinct advantages over other Learning Management Systems, and encourage faculty and students to explore its features.

When will I no longer have access to Blackboard?

Georgetown has completed the move to Canvas, and Blackboard is no longer available to use.

What will happen to my course content on Blackboard after December 31st, 2019?

UIS has archived your Blackboard courses, including student material, that may be accessed by individual faculty request.

Are my old courses in Blackboard being transferred into Canvas?

Yes, Blackboard course content from Summer 2014 through Fall 2019 have been automatically transferred into Canvas.

Faculty can find their transferred courses in Canvas in the Courses All Courses menu (via the global navigation menu), specifically under the  Past Enrollments section. All transferred courses will have a “Bb-” prefix in the course name and course ID (e.g. BB-ENGL-100-01.Fall2019) in order to avoid overwriting course content that has already been imported or created in Canvas. Additionally, such courses will have the word "Migrated" in the Term column.

Please note these transferred courses will not be exact duplicates of the original Blackboard courses. Blackboard course content like files, items, and announcements will migrate to Canvas; but gradebook items, student-submitted work, and peer interactions will not migrate.  More information about what does and does not migrate can be found on the Moving from Blackboard to Canvas Guide. If you need Blackboard course archives that include student material individual faculty may request that information.

Things to note:

  • Blackboard courses before Summer 2014 will not be transferred into Canvas.
  • Blackboard courses must have course material in order to qualify for the automatic transfer into Canvas.
  • Student enrollments are excluded from transferred courses.
A note to students: Generally, it is up to individual faculty members to decide whether they would like to make any past course material available to their students or not. For this reason, we would advise you to contact your instructor directly to request access to past course material. You can find your instructor's contact information by contacting the relevant school or department at Georgetown University or by searching in the GU online directory.

Can I manually migrate course content from Blackboard to Canvas?

Access to Blackboard is no longer available. If you need access to older versions of Blackboard courses individual faculty may request that information. 

How can I access and archive older Blackboard courses that do not exist in Canvas? 

To access older versions of Blackboard courses individual faculty may request that information. 

What alternatives to Blackboard Organization exist?

Alternatives to Blackboard Organizations depend largely on what tools and functions are being used. Use the guide here to review Blackboard tools and functions, and find the right alternative service for your Organization. 

What are the differences between Blackboard and Canvas?

Georgetown has created a feature-by-feature comparison chart for your reference. See here for the feature by feature comparison of Blackboard and Canvas.

How should I prepare to use Canvas features, and how do I get help using Canvas?

To get started, check out Georgetown's getting started videos, Canvas guides and training resources for faculty

What other training options are available for instructors or staff who wish to learn about Canvas?

Instructure (the company that makes Canvas) offers live training webinars on a regular basis.

Learn Canvas 2019 from provides a self-guided online introduction to the platform. To access this video tutorial you will need to sign in with your Georgetown NetID and password.

Canvas has an instructor guide containing step-by-step directions with screenshots for all common functions within the platform.

Why are we moving to Canvas?

In Summer 2016, Georgetown piloted Canvas as an alternative to Blackboard for faculty on all campuses. Since that time use of Canvas has increased significantly. In fall 2017 semester, close to 1,300 Georgetown faculty used Canvas and nearly 14,000 students had at least one course in Canvas.

In Fall 2016, a survey was sent to faculty and students who were using Canvas to better understand the use of the tool. A majority of both faculty and students who responded to the survey indicated comfort with the features of Canvas, with students indicating they would welcome Canvas in all of their courses.

In October 2017, after piloting Canvas for a full year and in an effort to adopt a more modern course management system, the Main Campus Executive Faculty voted unanimously in favor of a motion to transition the Main Campus and SFS-Q course management system service from Blackboard to Canvas.  This transition will take place over a period of two years.

The Law Center has already adopted Canvas for its course management system and the School of Medicine has started the transition to Canvas in Fall 2017.

What if I have additional questions?

We welcome your questions regarding Canvas. Please send your questions or comments to


Canvas Timeline