Q. What is happening?

A. Oregon State University has selected a learning management system (LMS) called Canvas to replace Blackboard for all OSU courses: face-to-face, hybrid, Ecampus online and continuing education. If you use Blackboard now, you will at some point switch to using Canvas.

Q. When will courses be taught in Canvas?

A. For campus-based and Ecampus courses, WINTER 15 was an “opt-in” term for teaching live courses in Canvas. 

Starting with SPRING 15 and then continuing for SUMMER 15 and FALL 15, all courses that are scheduled for a given term will be taught in Canvas. Exceptions are possible; see more information below on working with liaisons in your College.

INTO OSU courses and Blackboard organization sites will migrate to Canvas in FALL 15. This timeline allows us time to accommodate technical features that are unique to these courses.

The timeline for bringing Continuing Education and Extension courses to Canvas is not yet finalized. Please stay tuned for more details.

Q. What about Blackboard?

A. We will run both Blackboard and Canvas side-by-side for approximately 15 months during the transition. Assuming all goes well, we will retire Blackboard in January 2016 when our contract ends, and use Canvas exclusively. Some students will need to access courses in both Blackboard and Canvas during the migration period.

Q. Why Canvas?

A. During the past three years OSU has investigated our options and needs for instructional innovation and technology, both now and going forward. Over the course of our campus-wide inquiry, Canvas rose to the top as the system and technology partner that is in the best position to help us meet our goals. You can see more details here on the decision for Canvas and how we got to this point.

Q. When can I get a look at Canvas?

A. Canvas is available to all instructors now; any courses you are assgined to in Banner will show up in Canvas (and in Blackboard, until that system is retired in Jan. 2016). We have webinars, demonstrations and plenty of training content online to help instructors understand how Canvas works. See more on the Migration Help tab of this Web site.

Because moving a fully online course is a complex undertaking, Ecampus courses will use a somewhat different schedule and approach. Once a faculty member registers for an Ecampus migration workshop, Ecampus staff will complete some of the prep work for online courses, and will then help faculty complete the migration prep in hands-on workshops. Remote workshops will also be available for faculty who are not local to Corvallis.

Ecampus instructional designers have prepared templates that can be used as a starting point in building online, hybrid, and campus-based course sites in Canvas. These templates are based on current research regarding online course design.

Q. Will the content from my Blackboard course(s) be migrated to Canvas?

A. Yes, content from all Blackboard courses from F2013 - U2014 has been migrated to temporary Canvas course sites where instructors may preview the migrated content and decide what, if any, to use in their "real" Canvas course shells. These temporary sites will not have student enrollments (similar to past-term sites in Blackboard).

Instructors of campus-based courses may choose to “clean up” the migrated content and copy the course to a future term. Or instructors may set up their new Canvas course sites “from scratch.” Ecampus instructional designers have prepared templates based on current research in online course design that can be used as a starting point.

If you teach an Ecampus course, note that because moving a fully online course is a complex undertaking, the Ecampus staff will assist faculty by doing a significant portion of the preparations needed when course content is moved from Blackboard to Canvas. The process will work this way:

1.            Faculty member registers for Ecampus migration workshop.

2.            Ecampus staff will complete a significant portion of prep work.

3.            Workshops will guide faculty through the remainder of the prep, including open lab time with instructional designers and trainers on hand to help as needed.

Q. Which Blackboard courses have been bulk-migrated to Canvas?

A. Blackboard courses from the following terms have been migrated; instructors may also choose to individually export any Blackboard course they have access to, and import some or all of the content to Canvas:

Fall 2013 (on-campus courses only)
Winter 2014
Spring 2014
Summer 2014
Fall 2014 (Ecampus courses only)

Q. What will I need to do to set up my Canvas course sites?

A. The content migration will transfer documents, assignments, quizzes and test banks, discussion boards, etc. Whether instructors use migrated Blackboard course content or configure Canvas course sites “from scratch,” each Canvas course site requires individual attention.

Q. How long will it take me to set up my Canvas course site once the content is migrated?

A. There can be a wide variation on how long it takes to set up a Canvas site, depending on how complex the course is, and how instructors choose to proceed. Very simple course sites that only contain documents and basic gradebook columns can typically be validated and finalized in a couple of hours.

More complex sites that have groups, discussion boards, question banks, rubrics, embedded media, etc., will take longer. Some types of content migrate easily with few problems, others need to be adjusted. At this point we would estimate 4-20 hours per course, but your experience may vary. From everything we have seen, setting up a course for the first time takes longer, and subsequent courses tend to go more quickly.

Ecampus provides additional migration support, due to the complex nature of the course sites.

Q. What type of support will students have?

A. Technology Across the Curriculum (TAC) and Ecampus will prepare online tutorials for students, and will also develop reference guides that instructors may distribute to students. Students will also have help to locate which system their courses are in.

Q. What type of training and support will instructors have?

A. TAC and Ecampus have scheduled many webinars, training, online tutorials and “migration boot camps” (hands-on workshops) for instructors and GTA’s. We will work with migration liaisons in each College to tailor training and support for specific groups.

Instructors can anticipate spending approximately two to five hours to learn the fundamental tools and features of Canvas.

If you teach an Ecampus course, take a look at resources and training opportunities offered by Ecampus.

Q. I just don’t have time for this. What are my options?

A. Instructors who are away or have other academic demands may request a delay in teaching their course in Canvas via an online request form by December 1st. The migration team and College liaisons are tracking these requests to ensure any impact on students or support resources is identified.

Ecampus instructors will also be able to request delays through a form that will be available in mid-October. For questions in the meantime, please contact Shannon Riggs directly. 

Q. What will happen to my Blackboard course site and content?

A. Once the migration to Canvas is complete at the end of 2015, the Blackboard system will be retired, and the course sites will be archived in a way that allows instructors to access the course files. The length of time that the Blackboard content will be available and how instructors will access it have not yet been determined.

We will remove the migrated courses from Canvas when they are no longer needed.