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Canvas Learning Management System Implementation


Canvas is Now Available to Explore

Canvas is now available for all instructors and staff. You can familiarize yourself with Canvas or start building content now to prepare for your future courses.

Learn more 

Introducing OHIO’s Next Learning Management System: Canvas 

Canvas has been selected as the next vendor for Ohio University’s learning management system (LMS) following a comprehensive evaluation process that included input from students, faculty and staff across each of OHIO’s campuses. Canvas, by Instructure, is an industry leader that can best support OHIO’s evolving needs for a learning management system. To learn more about Canvas, please visit: Canvas by Instructure.

  • Our primary goal is to improve the teaching and learning experience for students and faculty. We aim to achieve this by introducing a modern, accessible, and intuitive learning management system that meets the evolving demands of today's educational landscape. 

Strategies to Accomplish Our Goal: 
  • Collaborate closely with colleges, faculty, and students: By actively involving all major stakeholders in the transition process, we ensure that the needs, expectations, and concerns of our academic community are addressed. 

  • Focus on a consistent teaching and learning experience: Standardized practices and features in Canvas will ensure a seamless and consistent learning experience for students across different courses and faculties. 

  • Provide faculty with the time and resources needed: Recognizing the crucial role faculty plays in the success of this transition, we are committed to giving them adequate time and resources. This will enable them to leverage Canvas to its fullest potential, ensuring optimal teaching and learning outcomes. 

For more information about the process of how and why Canvas was chosen, please visit the Ohio University Learning Management System Evaluation Project.

Ohio University will replace its current learning management system, Blackboard, with Canvas by June 2026. 

The next step is to create a detailed schedule for training and course migration support during summer of 2023. This webpage will be regularly updated as migration plans, workshop information, and training opportunities are established. 

Phase 1 faculty members are expected to start accessing Canvas in October 2023, so that they can set up their courses for spring 2024.  

October - December 2023

Phase 1

  • Canvas opens to faculty and staff
    • Faculty training
    • Phase 1 faculty build courses with instructional designers
    • Phase 1 feedback on design and support
    • Migration plan finalized with all academic units for Canvas launch
    • Student experience planning

January - April 2024

Phase 1

  • Spring Semester opens and Phase 1 courses begin in Canvas
    • Phase 1 student and faculty feedback collected
    • Migration starts for courses being taught after Phase 1
    • Migration plan for entire launch shared with students, faculty, and staff

May - August 2024

Phase 2

  • Additional academic programs begin teaching in Canvas for Summer terms
    • Feedback from Phase 1 participants incorporated into learning and support activities
    • Migration continues for academic programs based on phased migration plan

September - December 2024

Phase 3

  • More academic programs begin teaching in Canvas for Fall Semester 2024
    • Migration continues for academic programs based on phased migration plan

January - April 2025

Phase 3

  • Last academic programs begin teaching in Canvas for Spring 2025
    • Programs and users extract data and course material from Blackboard

May - June 2026

Final Phase

  • All programs are fully migrated to Canvas
    • Programs and users extract data and course material from Blackboard
    • Courses completed for credit are archived in accordance with retention standard (7.5 years)
    • Blackboard contract ends June 2026

How Can I Prepare?

A quick guide will be created for Blackboard courses to make the migration to Canvas easier. As courses are set up for fall 2023 in Blackboard, this guide can be helpful to make sure the course’s contents can migrate successfully to Canvas later. 

For a more in-depth comparison between Blackboard and Canvas, and to download the detailed LMS evaluation summary report, please visit the Canvas vs Blackboard page. Note that Ohio University credentials are required to access this page. 

What Can I Expect?


During fall semester 2023, volunteer students will be asked to provide feedback on Canvas for future training purposes.  

Starting spring 2024, a small number of courses will launch in Canvas. OIT will communicate with students in these courses to ensure access to 24/7 Canvas support and other help materials. The courses launching in spring 2024 will be identified by academic leaders to minimize disruption to the student experience based on factors like course enrollment, software in use, and other considerations.  

Features supporting the student experience: Canvas is a modern and user-friendly Learning Management System (LMS) that offers features such as mobile compatibility, personalized dashboards, and an intuitive interface. This creates a more streamlined and engaging learning experience, allowing students to easily access course materials and communicate with their instructors and peers. During the LMS evaluation process, students highlighted the calendar feature in Canvas, which allows for easier management of due dates. 


Early fall 2023 LMS QA sessions will be offered by OIT. By that time, a process will be established for faculty to request access to Canvas. Support and consultations will be available. Updates to support documentation, and the larger LMS project will be communicated regularly via various formats and modalities. Please see more under the constantly evolving Upcoming Engagement Opportunities section.  

Starting spring 2024 a programmatic migration approach will start.  

Features supporting the instructor experience: Canvas provides a variety of tools to help design and deliver engaging course content. These include accessible course templates, multimedia integration, customizable grading rubrics, and collaborative learning activities. Additionally, Canvas offers a more robust analytics system that allows instructors to track student progress and engagement in real-time, helping them adjust their teaching strategies to better meet student needs. 

Canvas offers 24/7 support for students and faculty. 

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

To learn more about the new LMS implementation process, share your feedback, or ask questions, consider joining the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community. These sessions will collect your questions and concerns, share our timelines, and provide information where possible. If we cannot answer your questions, we will follow up. Otherwise, all questions and answers will be added to the public FAQ section of our website. 

Fall 2023 Canvas Question and Answer Sessions

Date Time Link Slide Deck
Wednesday, September 6 4-5 pm LMS QA Session 1 September 6 slide deck (PPTX)
Tuesday, September 12 4-5 pm LMS QA Session 2 September 12 slide deck (PPTX)
Thursday, September 21 4-5 pm LMS QA Session 3 September 21 slide deck (PPTX)
Thursday, September 28 10-11 am LMS QA Session 4 September 28 slide deck (PPTX)

These sessions were broadcasted via our existing Teaching and Learning Technologies Advisory Community channel. Details about future Canvas events will be disseminated through University communication channels, including email and OHIO Employee News.

How to Join the Microsoft Team 

Advisory Community meetings are flexible and open. Anyone can attend. To get the most out of the experience, we recommend joining a special Microsoft Team that we have created to keep track of community-related conversations, documents, and meeting dates: 

Screen shot of Teaching and Learning Technologies join dialog
  1. Sign up for the Teaching and Learning Technologies Advisory Community on Microsoft Teams.
  2. When prompted, either:
    • Download the Teams app, or
    • Use the web app instead
  3. Check your email for a welcome message with more information on how to get the most out of the online group.

Any time the community meets, an online meeting space will be available inside of Microsoft Teams that you can use to participate remotely. The community's space in Teams also can be used to conduct chat-based conversations outside of scheduled meetings.

We also will post relevant files in the Team, such as agendas and minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please share your questions regarding the change. We will use these to create and regularly update our FAQs on the website. 

Submit LMS questions

When can I log in to Canvas?

Faculty and staff can login now to Canvas at To start building a course for a future semester, request a course through the Canvas Ticketing Page.

The first group of students to get access will be those enrolled in Phase 1 courses in Spring Semester 2024.

The only "live" courses with will be Phase 1 courses taught in Canvas with a group of approximately 55 volunteer instructors for approximately 100 courses. More information about when all students will get access will be shared in Spring Semester 2024.

Will organizations be available in Canvas?

Yes, you will be able to house your Blackboard Organization content within a Course in Canvas.  In Blackboard we had two types of containers for content: Courses and Organizations, the main differences being Organizations are not term based and enrollments in Organizations is handled manually not through the integration with our student information system.  In Canvas there is only one type of container, Courses, but we can adjust the settings of those courses to be not term based and to have manual enrollments.  This allows us to create the same functionality of a Blackboard Organization within a Canvas Course.  You can request a course using the through the Canvas Ticketing Page. At the bottom of the ticketing form, select the "Details" drop-down menu to review options, and choose "Course Request".


What type of support and training will Ohio University provide for faculty, staff, and students?

24/7 Support: OIT is proud to host 24/7 support through Canvas via phone, chat, and email to address questions and issues right inside Canvas. To access this support within Canvas, select "Help" from the left-side menu. OIT is also supporting faculty, students, and staff throughout the transition to Canvas. OIT staff are available for consultations to discuss course migration now if you want to work ahead on building your course.

Faculty and Staff Training: The Office of Instructional Design is hosting trainings, consultations, and office hours to support faculty with course design and pedagogical needs with Canvas.

Student, Faculty, and Staff Resources: OIT is providing extensive support to students, faculty, and staff through consultations, trainings, and help materials.

What is the timeline for migrating to Canvas?

The migration to Canvas will follow a phased approach. Faculty have access to begin building courses and organizations now. The full migration timeline for each academic unit will be shared in early 2024.

A small number of live courses will launch as part of a small Phase 1 rollout in spring 2024. From summer 2024, we will start large phased transitions of programs from Blackboard to Canvas. The first introduction of Canvas to students will be in Spring 2024 with Phase 1 courses. Only a limited group of courses will go live, with a select number of students getting access to Canvas. Our approach is deliberate, as we are introducing a small number of courses (fewer than 100) during this phase. This strategy is designed to minimize potential disruptions to the broader student community. More specific timelines will be shared as they are finalized.

The exact timeline for different academic units is being established in collaboration with faculty leaders. Our aim is to accommodate the needs of each unit while ensuring an intuitive and smooth experience for students throughout the transition period.

How will courses be migrated from Blackboard to Canvas?

Faculty will build their own courses in Canvas, with extensive support available from OIT and the Office of Instructional Design.

  1. To get started with migrating course content, request a course to start building course(s) in Canvas.
  2. Then apply an Ohio University custom template to instantly provide structure to your course that will be intuitive to students across courses and also make it easier for you to start adding content.
  3. Finally, start importing and creating content in your course. For support with how to migrate and troubleshooting, our team is here to help. For personalized help, schedule a consultation with OIT or consider attending a training led by the instructional design team. For 24/7 support via chat or phone from inside Canvas, click on the "Help" option on the left-side menu.
How will I know whether a feature or application (e.g., Turnitin, Panopto) from Blackboard is available in Canvas?

For a comparison of features between Blackboard and Canvas, please visit the What is Different in Canvas page.This page also provides updates about integrations (external tools applications) as they are set up in Canvas.

What will happen to old content in Blackboard that is not moved to Canvas?

We currently store 7.5 years of courses in Blackboard, with the most recent 2.5 years being accessible to instructors and students (if allowed by instructors), while the remaining 5 years are archived. In Canvas, student data will be archived in accordance with our existing course retention standard. Currently, this standard is retaining 7.5 years of courses (not organizations or manually created courses. Users should separately retain any instructional or organizational content they wish to access in the future. Our future archive is intended to store academic and student records for the 7.5 year period from the present date (as in, items will not be archived in perpetuity).

Will the course owners and faculty have the ability to add and remove users in Canvas? There are special courses, such as online orientations, where students/users need to be added on a daily basis.

In Canvas, course owners and faculty will have the ability to add and remove Designers, Teaching Assistants (TA), and Instructors (which Canvas calls Teachers), and the ability to add but not remove Students from their courses. The reason behind not allowing students to be removed is to prevent students from being accidentally removed from a course that they should be enrolled in and to prevent the potential loss of their submitted data. If a manually added student needs to be removed from a course, that can be done through a request to the OIT Service Desk.



Will Panopto recordings used in Blackboard be available in Canvas?

Panopto will be available in Canvas by spring 2024 with the same features that were available in Blackboard. The Panopto application for Canvas may look and operate a bit differently because it is designed specifically for Canvas. All content you made previously within Panopto should be available within the Panopto for Canvas product, but may require some review or relinking to your new courses.

Can I import Blackboard question pools to Canvas?

There are differences between question pools, banks, and blocks, which are often used interchangeably. We expect most content types to transfer to Canvas. The Office of Instructional Design developed this great guide to walk through how to export and import pools, tests, and rubrics.

If you have any difficulty with a specific file type during the import process, please start a chat or call in Canvas with the 24/7 support team (select "Help" from the left-side menu in Canvas). OIT can also support you through a consultation to discuss your individual needs for moving course content. You can schedule a consultation through our OIT Resources and Trainings page.

How were Phase 1 faculty selected?

Each participating College collaborated with OIT to pinpoint faculty and courses that best fit the objectives of Phase 1, which include finalizing product setup, enhancing user experience, and gauging training and support necessities.There are fewer than 100 courses in Canvas and 56 faculty participating.

All other faculty can log into Canvas now and request courses to build for future terms. OIT is working with academic leaders to prepare for future terms to ensure students have a streamlined transition to Canvas so they are not operating in multiple LMSs for an extended period.

How do I request a feature or integration in Canvas?

To request a feature or a new integration (external application or product) in Canvas, please submit a ticket through the Canvas Ticketing Page for feature and integration requests or leverage the vendor technology review form. At the bottom of the ticketing form, select the "Details" drop-down menu to review options, which include "Integration Request".

Given that we have SafeAssign and Turnitin in Blackboard for plagiarism detection, will Canvas be able to check against old submissions from Blackboard?

Turnitin will check submissions made through Turnitin assignments from both Blackboard and Canvas. In Canvas, we will have Turnitin available as the academic integrity product since SafeAssign is a Blackboard-specific feature.

Will Canvas support pushing grades to the Faculty Advising Center so we do not have to enter them manually?

We do not have plans to push grades from Canvas to the Faculty Advising Center.

Why did Ohio University select Canvas as the future LMS?

The decision to transition to Canvas has been made after careful consideration of its many advantages and potential for enhancing teaching and learning experiences at Ohio University.

Further information about the selection process and its outcomes can be found in our Summary Report.