Have questions? Search our FAQs below.
What is Canvas and why are we moving to it?
Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) that helps you with the administration, pedagogy, delivery, and organization of your learning materials, assessments, and assignments over the web.
Moving to Canvas aligns with the State University System’s (SUS) 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education, which specifically selected Canvas as the best way to provide faculty with the resources you need to improve students learning. So, why Canvas?
How can I learn to use Canvas?
During the transition process, we will offer Canvas support and trainings in different formats on an ongoing basis. Moreover, every faculty and staff member who opts-in to the Canvas LMS has access to the Faculty Starter Kit, which introduces users to Canvas’ features and tools. Starting Spring 2018, we’ll offer ongoing in-person Canvas workshops as well.
In addition, online webinars will be available for you. These webinars will show you the best use of various tools and features in Canvas. View our Training section for more information about training and support opportunities. To view Canvas’ complete video series, instructor manual, student manual, and other resources for learning and using Canvas, visit our Support page.
Note: Faculty not at the university during the transition can access all of our ongoing training opportunities, resources; and access instructional design support upon return to campus.
Where can I learn more?
In addition to our available training and professional development opportunities, Canvas provides guides and videos to help bring you up to speed in your own time. A starter kit is also available for faculty and students upon login to Canvas. The starter kit provides you with an overview of the ins and outs of the Canvas LMS.
How does Canvas help me enhance my student's experience?
A learning management system helps with the organization and delivery of course materials, assessments, and assignments. On Canvas, all learning materials and tools are located in your digital Canvas course shell, allowing you to focus more on what matters—interacting with students and fostering collaboration. Details on Canvas training and professional development are available on the Training page.
What type of training will my students get?
Students will have access to the Canvas Student Starter Kit at the beginning of the semester. This self-paced course familiarizes students with Canvas navigation and layout as well as assignment and assessment completion. In addition, online introductory webinars are available at the start of each semester for all students who are looking to learn the fundamentals of learning online with Canvas.
When does the transition start and how will it affect me?
If you are currently using the Blackboard LMS, your course(s) will transition over to Canvas by the start of Summer 2018. More details on the transition timeline are available on our Timeline page.
How will I know when my course(s) will be transitioned to Canvas?
Faculty transitioning for Spring 2018 are notified via email. However, you can start working on your Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 courses in the Spring. Learn more about our transition timeline and targeted courses by visiting the Timeline page.
If you teach a fully-online and/or certified hybrid course and have specific questions about when your course is available, please reach out to your instructional designer.
For web-assisted courses, you may request your Summer 2018 or Fall 2018 course shell after the start of the Spring 2018 semester.
All courses offered this upcoming Summer 2018 will be hosted in Canvas.
How much time in advance do I have for training and preparation?
Everyone can start learning about Canvas now with access to the Faculty Starter Kit. Visit our Training page for more information.
In addition, starting in Spring 2018, all faculty have access to a sandbox course.
How can I become an early adopter?
Information about our opt-in process is available on the Getting Started page.
How are Canvas and Blackboard different?
Though Canvas and Blackboard are both learning management systems that cater to higher education, every LMS is unique. Blackboard and Canvas do have some similar functions and tools, but the two systems are also quite different. One example is that Blackboard emphasizes instructor control while Canvas’ primary emphasis is delivering a transparent and consistent online experience for both students and instructors. Learn more about the differences between Blackboard and Canvas here.
What happens to my previous Blackboard course content?
As of Spring 2018, your Blackboard courses will be archived for 5 years. All archived course content can be imported into Canvas. Content from Blackboard courses are visible to faculty in Blackboard up until June 30th, 2018.
If you have questions about accessing your archived content, please visit our Support page.
Will my Blackboard content and settings transfer over?
Yes, your content and settings can transfer over from Blackboard. Many features and tools are similar between the two learning management systems. More details about the compatibilities and differences will be available in the Faculty Transition Kit in Canvas.
Which third-party tools will be available through Canvas?
Many of our existing third party tools are available through Canvas. These include:
- Barnes and Noble - Research and Adopt Course Materials
- Canvas Commons
- Cengage Learning MindLinks
- Chat Room
- ExamSoft Admin Panel
- FIU Online Accordion
- Google Apps
- iClicker Cloud (REEF)
- iClicker Student Registration
- LockDown Browser
- McGraw Hill Campus
- McGraw Hill Connect
- MyLab and Mastering
- NBC Learn
- PlayPosit interactive video
- Redirect Test
- Roll Call Attendance Tracker
- StudyMate Class
Quizzes.Next is a new quiz creation tool inside of Canvas. The tool is located in the Assignment area, and it is currently in a beta phase. Only certain courses will pilot this new tool for Spring 2018. Since this tool is in beta, we recommend users to continue the use of regular Canvas quizzes until Quizzes.Next is formally released.
What if I cannot do something on Canvas that I used to do on Blackboard?
If you find you’re unable to do something in Canvas that you used to do in Blackboard, please reach out to your support team (ETS, FIU Online, and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching) and we’ll help you find an alternate solution. ETS, FIU Online, and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching are available to help you with instructional design support at any time.
In addition, the Canvas Community is available to extend an additional arm of support and recommendations for best practices. The Canvas Community is made up of thousands of professionals from a variety of disciplines who have made a successful move to Canvas. This trove of instructional knowledge also allows for collaboration with other professionals who are using Canvas in exciting ways.
Are Quality Matters certification/re-certification required for Canvas courses?
Although Blackboard is not fully compatible with Canvas, the integrity of your course content fortunately remains. Therefore, QM certified courses are not affected by the Canvas migration.
Likewise, fully-online courses that currently hold a QM Certification are not affected by the Canvas Migration.
Re-certification is assessed after the 5 year expiration deadline, regardless of the LMS.
For more information about Quality Matters, please visit http://online.fiu.edu/faculty/quality-commitment/quality-matters.php
Will I continue to have instructional design support?
Instructional design support remains available to all faculty for the Canvas LMS, including help with the transition of their courses to Canvas. Faculty who teach certified hybrid or fully-online courses will work with their instructional designer at FIU Online to transition and develop their courses into Canvas. ETS instructional design support staff will assist you with web-assisted courses in importing and organizing content into Canvas.
Also, a Faculty Transition Kit course will be available soon to provide information on the similarities and differences between Blackboard and Canvas, as well as best practices and step-by-step instructions for transitioning your course.
Additionally, pedagogy support is available from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT). If you would like to work with someone from CAT, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kind of technical support can our faculty, staff, and students expect during the transition?
24/7, Tier 1 support is available from Canvas in addition to FIU’s current LMS Help support. This means that any time of the day or night, faculty, staff, and students can access real-time phone or chat assistance from experts on issues ranging from technical problems to navigating Canvas.
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Have questions and cannot find an answer? Please reach out to us on the Support page.