Q. What is happening?

A. Oregon State University has selected a learning management system (LMS) called Canvas to replace Blackboard for all of our 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. Why is OSU making this change?

A. During the past three years OSU has investigated our options and needs for instructional technology, both now and going forward. Over the course of our campus-wide inquiry, Canvas was preferred by students and instructors alike 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 will courses be taught in Canvas?

A. Winter 2015 was an “opt-in” term for campus-based instructors who wanted to teach one or more of their courses in Canvas. Starting with Spring 2015 and then continuing for Summer 2015 and Fall 2015, most courses that are scheduled for a given term will be taught in Canvas. But exceptions are possible; some instructors will need to use Blackboard during the transition period, e.g., if they are teaching a sequence course and don’t want to switch systems partway through the year.

INTO OSU courses and Blackboard organization sites were migrated to Canvas in Fall 2015. 


Q. What about Blackboard?

A. We ran Blackboard and Canvas side-by-side for approximately 15 months during the transition (Winter 2015 through Fall 2015). Blackboard was retired on December 30, 2015; see more information here.


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

A. Check out the excellent online Canvas guide for students, as well as our handout: 5 things for OSU students to know about Canvas. You can also access 24 x 7 technical support for Canvas (by phone, email and chat) by clicking the Help icon in the lower left corner of the Canvas menu.


Q.  Will I have access to Canvas course sites after the term ends?

A. Canvas is different from Blackboard in that student enrollments are not removed from the course sites at the end of the term. Instead, students and instructors will have read-only access to Canvas course sites for as long as OSU retains the course sites. *OSU currently retains course sites for two years after the term ends.

  • Students will not be able to submit assignments, participate in discussions or send/receive conversation messages in past-term courses.
  • Students do not have access to view quiz questions in past-term courses
  • Students do not have access to documents or assignments they uploaded to past-term course sites. Be sure to save your coursework in a secure place, and back it up regularly. However, anything you upload to Kaltura MediaSpace is retained in that system.
  • Students and instructors can view grades for assignments, quizzes and discussions
  • Students and instructors can download course documents from past-term course sites
  • Instructors cannot change grades, assignments or any other course information in past-term Canvas course sites
  • Instructors cannot remove students from past-term course sites

*The term end-date is the first day of the subsequent term. An ONID account is required to access Canvas course sites.