Transition to Canvas

As announced in November 2017, Georgetown's Main Campus and SFS-Q are moving from Blackboard to Canvas.

The transition to Canvas for the Main Campus and SFS-Q will take place over the course of two years, during which time Blackboard will continue to be available. During the spring and summer 2018 semesters, faculty will have access to their courses in both Blackboard and Canvas. Beginning in the Fall 2018 semester, Blackboard courses will be available by request only. After the 2019 Fall semester, Blackboard will no longer be available.

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

Timeline

Canvas transition timeline

FAQ

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.

After piloting Canvas for a full year—and in an effort to transition to a more modern course management system—last month 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.

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.

In October 2017, the Main Campus Executive Faculty voted unanimously in favor of a motion to transition Main Campus courses from Blackboard to Canvas over the next two years.

When will I no longer have access to Blackboard?

The transition to Canvas for the Main Campus and SFS-Q will take place over the course of two years, during which time Blackboard will continue to be available. During the spring and summer 2018 semesters, faculty will have access to both Blackboard and Canvas. Beginning in the Fall 2018 semester, courses will only automatically be provisioned in Canvas; Blackboard will be available by request only. By December 31, 2019, all faculty will need to complete the move to Canvas and Blackboard will no longer be available.

What will happen to my course content on Blackboard?

Course content will remain on Blackboard during the two-year transition period. During this time, you can migrate content from Blackboard into existing Canvas courses.

Before December 2019, faculty may request to have specific courses archived and stored for two years. Faculty can also export course content themselves and upload it to Google Drive or a Georgetown Box account for extended storage.

Due to the significant differences between Canvas and Blackboard, we recommend you become familiar with Canvas well before you plan to transition.

How can I get additional help with migrating Blackboard content to Canvas?

Canvas’ course organization and navigation differs from Blackboard’s, and we encourage faculty to consider the options for course content migration and organization in Canvas prior to transferring any content. Faculty can sign up for UIS training and request one-on-one Canvas support for assistance during the transition.

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

To get started, check out getting started resources, training offerings, and support contact information. In addition, Canvas Days, a series of presentations and workshops, is offered for faculty and staff each Fall and Spring semester.

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. To access these sessions, you must first create a free training account.

Learn Canvas 2017 from Lynda.com provides a self-guided online introduction to the platform. To access this video tutorial, sign in to Lynda.com 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.

What if I have additional questions?

We welcome your questions regarding Canvas. Please send your questions or comments to canvas-launch@georgetown.edu.