Moving From Blackboard to Canvas

Click on the topics below to learn more

What are my options? 

A. Choosing to build your Canvas course from the ground up by creating new content items and uploading course files from your computer’s hard drive might be the easiest route for most people. 

B. If you only need to move files (e.g. Powerpoint, Word, PDF, etc.) between Blackboard and Canvas, we recommend you download the files from your Blackboard course and then upload them into your Canvas course. This can include your course folder hierarchy. See instructions on how to download just your Blackboard course files and folders.

C. For the more experienced Blackboard user, you can select to export just the items that tend to import well into Canvas (e.g. Files, Assignments, Tests, etc.), and then use Canvas to create the other course items that were not imported. Please be prepared to do an extensive clean-up after the import is complete. See How Do I Export my Blackboard Course? and How do I Import my Blackboard Course Material into Canvas? instructions below. 

D. For the more experienced Canvas user, you may consider exporting all your course material from Blackboard and select the material that tends to import well into Canvas. However, please be prepared to do an extensive clean-up after the import is complete. See How Do I Export my Blackboard Course? and How do I Import my Blackboard Course Material into Canvas? instructions below. 


How do I export my Blackboard Course? 

The following steps will help instructors in Blackboard export an entire course site (e.g. Assignments, Tests, Content Items, Discussions Forum, Files, Folders, etc.). This will result in a IMS Common Cartridge ZIP file containing your course material. The zip file may not be usable or readable until imported into Canvas or another Learning Management System.  Student submissions and activity will be excluded from the zip file.

  • Do NOT unzip or delete items from zip file, as then the contents will not import correctly
  • Do NOT use the Safari browser for this process (you can use Chrome or Firefox)

​Blackboard Course Export process: 

1) Login to Blackboard using your Georgetown University NetID and password.

2) Navigate to the course site where the course material is located. Locate the gray Course Management control panel (below the blue course menu), expand the Packages and Utilities section, and click Export/Archive Course

Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive Course

Export Bb course1                      Export Bb course2


3) On the Export/Archive Course page, click Export Package on the Action Bar.

Export Bb course3

4) On the Export Course page do NOT make changes to the File Attachments settings, rather scroll down to the Select Course Materials section, and click the boxes next to each item you wish to include in the export zip file.  Click Submit.

NOTE: Not all course materials import into Canvas. Please reference the pages above on what does and doesn't import into Canvas. 

Export Bb course2.5

5) Wait for the file to be processed. An email is sent to your Georgetown email as soon as the system has created the zip file. Either refresh the page or repeat steps 1 and 2 to reload the course Export/Archive page.   

Control Panel > Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive Course

6) Click the file name (blue link) to download the Course Export zip file

Export Bb course6

7) Save the zip file to an appropriate location on your computer (e.g. desktop or downloads folder).

bb download zip

How do i Import my Blackboard course Material into Canvas? 

Before you can Import your Blackboard course material, you must first follow these instructions:
How Do I Export my Blackboard Course?  

For instructions on how to Import your Blackboard Course Zip file into Canvas-- click here. 

What Course Material in Blackboard can I import into Canvas? 

For a Feature by Feature Comparison between Blackboard & Canvas-- click here



Discussion Forums

Files and Folders

Tests and Test Pools
Currently not all assessment question types or attributes are supported, so exported tests and pools won't include incompatible question types. Canvas does offer many of the same question types that Blackboard does -- see here for more details.

What course material in Blackboard Does not import well (or at all) into Canvas? 

For a Feature by Feature Comparison between Blackboard & Canvas-- click here

Blogs and Journals

Course Menu and Content Areas 
This is the space in Blackboard where course material is visually structured into folders (e.g. Documents, Assignments, and any sub-folder hierarchy). In Canvas this structure will be re-created within the Modules area of the course. -- see here more details

Content Items
In Blackboard these combine a variety of materials to view together, such as text, multimedia, and file attachments. Migrating Content Items will result in Canvas automatically converting them into Pages. If the Content Items contain file attachments or links to webpages, they may break upon import and will need to be reviewed  -- see here for more details.

Discussion Threads
Student-created threads and activity will not migrate from Blackboard to Canvas.

Migrating Blackboard groups will create group shells in your Canvas course, but settings and enrollments will not migrate. It’s best to create Groups from the ground up in Canvas -- see here for more details.

Grade Weights

Manually created Gradebook columns
It's recommended to create new 'manual' Gradebook columns using Assignments in Canvas -- see here for more details.

SCORM content

Student submissions and activity will NOT migrate. This inlcudes submissions to assignments, tests, discussions, or third-party tools (e.g. Turnitin, VoiceThread, McGraw-Hill, etc.).

Migrating Wikis will convert them into ‘Pages’ in your Canvas course -- see here for more details.

How do I Archive my Blackboard course material?