How to: Transfer content from Blackboard to Canvas – what we know so far

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What is the Content transfer process?

Any one Blackboard or Canvas site may include many different types of content. Some content types can be imported directly from Blackboard to Canvas via export/import with no functional change. Other content types require some management and modification, and still others are not recognised or handled in the same way in Canvas as they are in Blackboard, and need to be rebuilt in the new system.

To understand why this is, have a look at this quick explanation of the difference between Blackboard and Canvas navigation.

So how do I get my content into Canvas?

We suggest a 3-part process.

Please note, Canvas doesn’t have a bulk delete option, so any items in Canvas that you don’t require will have to be individually deleted. Following this process will minimise the amount of clean-up you need to do in Canvas.

Collect any course files, documents and media files, organise them in your computer’s file structure, create a ZIP folder, and upload them to Canvas.

These content types should be downloaded from Blackboard or Google Drive, arranged in your file system, and uploaded to Canvas:

Export and then import the easily-transitioned content by using the Blackboard Export and Canvas Import functions.

These content types can be exported out of Blackboard and imported to Canvas:

Build any Groups, group tools, collaborative spaces and collections of folders in Canvas, copying and pasting where possible.

These content types are handled differently in Canvas and must be rebuilt:



All Canvas pages can be Wiki pages, so there is no “wiki” tool, per se. Here the University of Washington explains how to make pages collaborative.


Hierarchical folders

Canvas treats a Blackboard folder as if it is a module, so if you import hierarchies of folders, every folder is created as a module, and all content is created as a page. This generally won’t suit, and modifying this is difficult with no batch delete function. Therefore, to import hierarchies of folders, refer to Step 1. Download your folders from Blackboard as a zip file and upload them to Canvas Files.

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