Getting ready for Canvas

Canvas is accessible on the Internet by a web browser (like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.) Users log in with their Loyalist College credentials and arrive at their Canvas Dashboard, a page that is common to all users. The content that is available from that page and others on Canvas is dependent on a user’s role on the system; the two most familiar roles are Student and Teacher.

From the Dashboard, users can view links to the courses in which they are enrolled; following a course link brings a user to a “course”. Canvas courses are managed by Instructors, generally, the faculty member who is teaching the course.

The core Canvas toolset includes a rich set of tools, and faculty are free to enable or disable various tools to suit their curriculum and their course outcomes. Courses can look and behave quite differently from each other, and are reflections of the unique curriculum and the Instructor(s) who design them.

At Loyalist, we’ve extended the core toolset with many different integrated products, including, Microsoft Teams (virtual classroom service), Studio (video capture platform used for recording teaching) and a few others that CATL is investigating which include a plagiarism tool.

Canvas Training

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning has developed and curated a wide variety of options to support faculty’s teaching and learning practice as you transition to the new LMS. Following the order of this Canvas training workflow will set faculty up to learn the essentials of our new LMS in the most efficient way.

The first step, join one of the many Getting Started with Canvas workshops being offered now. Learn how to access your Canvas account and become familiar with the basic functions of the new LMS.

Essential Training (CATL Facilitated)

After completing the Getting Started with Canvas workshop, there are several other essential workshops for faculty to help navigate various core aspects of Canvas, including topics such as:

  • Importing your Blackboard content
  • Pages and Modules
  • Copying and Sharing Content
  • Assignments and Rubrics
  • Quizzes and Item Banks
  • Grading and Feedback


Recommended Training (CATL Facilitated)

CATL has introduced new recommended workshops to expand your skills in Canvas. These workshops include MS365 and Teams in Canvas, Plagiarism Tool (replacement for SafeAssign), Global Navigation, Groups and Collaborations, Intro to Studio Video Tool (replacement for Techsmith Knowmia), and Ex-Libris Leganto.

Please visit the events page to register for essential and recommended training workshops facilitated by CATL.

Supplemental Training (Canvas Facilitated – Live)

These are additional webinars offered directly through Canvas. We have highlighted a few on the training workflow that would be beneficial as a supplement to the essential workshops being offered. Please join one of the Getting Started with Canvas workshops prior to attending any of the Canvas Live workshops (because you will need to know how to access your Canvas account to access these).

In your Canvas account, check out the Training Services Portal for a list of live workshops and recorded webinars offered directly by Canvas. To access the Training Services Portal, click on the Help icon on the global navigation bar, and then select Training Services Portal.

Additional External Resources

Canvas Resources for Instructors

Canvas Training Resources

Canvas Videos

Search the Canvas Community!

An overview comparison of Blackboard’s tools with Canvas tools.

To do this Blackboard  Canvas
Upload your syllabus Content Area > Build Content > Item Select the syllabus and edit with text or an attached file.
Add course readings Content Area > Build Content > Item Use pages or Modules to share course materials.
Add a web link Content Area > Build Content > Web Link Add a link to a Page or an external link to a Module.
Create Assignments Content Area > Assessments > Assignment Assignments > Add Assignment
Download Student Submissions Grade Centre Column Assignment Page
Add a Blog or Wiki Content Area > Tools > select Blog or Wiki Create an Assignment or a page that can be modified by the student.
Build a quiz Content Area > Create Assessments > Test Quizzes > Create New Quiz
View Student Grades Control panel, Grade Center > Full Grade Center Grades
View Course Roster Control Panel, Users and Groups People
Edit the Course Navigation Edit Content Area Names and reorder Content Areas and links in the course menu Settings > Navigation to rearrange and Show/Hide menu options. Note: Navigation Menu items cannot be renamed.
Change the homepage Control panel, Customization > Style > Select Course entry point On the course Homepage, Change Course Home Page Layout
Files Content Collection Files
Learning Modules Content Area > Build Content > Learning Module Modules
Groups Users and Groups > Groups People > Group Set
Discussions  Content Area > Tools > Discussion Boards Discussions
Collaborations Not Available on Blackboard Collaborations
Create an Appointment Not Available on Blackboard Calendar > Scheduler > Create Appointment Group
SpeedGrader Not Equivalent on Blackboard Assignment > Speedgrader

Sign into myLoyalist using your Loyalist login credentials. Select the Canvas icon which is in the top left of the myApps dashboard. Only those working directly in Canvas, either as instructors, academic support or student support will have access to the system. 

Supported Browsers for Canvas

For best performance, Canvas should be used on the current or first previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Because it’s built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

Canvas only requires an operating system that can run the latest compatible web browsers. Your computer operating system should be kept up to date with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades. 

To keep up to date with the current supported browsers in Canvas, visit: What are the browser and computer requirements for Canvas.

There are three separate processes as parts of moving your content from Blackboard to Canvas.

In the first process, there are two methods for obtaining your content depending on the age and location of the content. For Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 Courses from Blackboard, see Method 1. For older courses, templates, PQA, and Organizations, please use Method 2.

NOTE: We highly advise signing up for and attending the Importing Blackboard Content session before proceeding with downloading content from Blackboard. If you choose the incorrect option, or do not clean up after downloading, Blackboard’s stability for the entire college may be compromised.

Process 1/Method 1: Downloading from Access Network Files

Use this method for retrieving a zip file copy of your fall 2021 or winter 2022 course. These courses have been prepackaged for you to make the importing process more efficient.

For course templates, organizations, PQA areas, or older courses, please refer to Method 2.


  1. Go to My Loyalist/Access Network Files/Course Exports and select Fall 2021 or Winter 2022 zip file of the course you would like to download.
  2. Download the course into a new folder on your computer where you would like to save all your downloaded Blackboard courses.

Process 1/Method 2: Downloading directly from Blackboard

Use this method for retrieving a zip file copy of course templates, organizations, PQA areas, or older courses.

Note: For programs that have Learning Outcomes built into Blackboard and mapped to assignments, alternative processes will likely be required. Please contact CATL to arrange for a time to work with you.


  1. Go to MyLoyalist/Blackboard and select the course templates, organization, PQA area, or older course you would like to download
  2. Go to Packages and Utilities in the Course Menu/Course Management area
  3. Select Export/Archive Courses
  4. Select Export Package Note: DO NOT select Course Common Cartridge Package – It will cause stability issues in Blackboard
  5. For Course Files Default Directory – Select Copy links and include copies option
  6. For Outside of the Course Default Directory – Select Copy links and include copies of the files… option (You may need to calculate size if your course package is over 1Gb max allowable download size. If it is larger than 1 Gb, you can manage your contents and download in separate batches. Contact CATL for Assistance with this) (For programs that have Learning Outcomes built into Blackboard and mapped to assignments, alternative processes will likely be required. Please contact CATL to arrange for a time to work with you.)
  7. Under Select Course Materials, choose Select All (We advise downloading all your content in case you need something you did not select later. You will select what you want to upload into Canvas later)
  8. Select Submit 
  9. Wait a few minutes and then select Refresh. (If you need to do something else while waiting, you will receive an email notification through your Loyalist email when the file has been processed)
  10. Click on the zip file to begin the download.
  11. Download the course into a new folder on your computer where you would like to save all your downloaded Blackboard courses.
  12. Important! Delete the course copy file from the Export/Archive of Blackboard as leaving the copies will negatively impact our Blackboard functionality.

Process 2 – Locating the related course in Canvas

Find the course in Canvas that you would like to upload your Blackboard content into.

Log into Canvas through the MyLoyalist Portal


  1. Choose the course
    1. Choose the same Fall 2021 course from your Canvas Dashboard or Courses area as the BB content you downloaded from MyLoyalist Portal, or
    2. For courses other than Fall 2021 or Winter 2022, from your Canvas Dashboard, select Start a New Course for the bottom of the right menu panel
    3. NOTE: As mentioned in Getting Started, you may wish to develop a course structure prior to uploading your course content. Once you have your structure, save it as a separate course.

Process 3 – Importing your content into Canvas


  1. Once inside your course, go to Settings at the bottom of the left panel
  2. Select Import Course Content from the right panel, (to import your course structure, go to 2a., if not skip to 3)
    1. If you want to import a Course Structure from a previously created course, under Import Content/Content Type select Canvas Course, and select the appropriate course.
  3. Under Import Content/Content Type select Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file
  4. Then for Source click the Choose File and go to where you save your BB course .zip file
  5. Default Question Bank? – Adding questions to an existing question bank
  6. For “Content” we recommend “Select specific content”
  7. For Options,
    1. leave “Overwrite assessment content with matching IDs” blank
    2. Select Adjust Events and Due Dates if you would like to shift the due dates automatically in your course.
  8. Select Import
  9. Once processed, you can select the content you would like to import by clicking on the arrows beside the name and selecting the content. When you have finished selecting your content, click the Select Content button on the bottom right.
  10. Explore your course content, arrange as you would like, and enjoy!

Profile and User Settings let you control your personal information in Canvas. Profiles allows you to update your name, preferred contact methods, and any personal links for your account. Your profile information can be viewed by all users in your courses.

To learn more about Profile and User settings and how to manage them, click on the links below.

What are Profile and User Settings?

Canvas User Settings 

Canvas Profile 

How do I add a profile picture?

Canvas Cross-listing allows section enrollments from individual courses to be combined into one course. This feature is helpful for faculty who teach several sections of the same course and only want to manage course data in one location. Instructors can use sections to create differentiated assignments and section-specific due dates, create self sign-up groups where students must all be in the same section, and specify that enrollments can only interact with other users in their section. Instructors can allow students to view users in other sections or limit them to only view users in the same section. Section names do not change when they are cross-listed; the section is just moved to another course.

Cross-listing is a process that merges together two or more course sections – each identified by a unique Course Registration Number (CRN) and given its own individual course shell in Canvas – into one course shell. This merging eases certain elements of course administration. In Canvas, cross-listing does not create a new course shell. Instead, the students are moved from one course into the other, and the name of the destination course will not change.

Whether instructors cross-list their courses or not normally depends on the following pros and cons:

Pros Cons
– Can make changes in one course instead of several, including:

  • Updating content in Modules
  • Sending out an Announcement to all of your students
  • Make modifications to your online assessment structure
  • etc 

– You can filter the SpeedGrader, Inbox, and Grades tools by Section in order to still list students by the CRN they are enrolled in

– Allows students to work together online across multiple course sections in tools like Groups and Discussions (note: you can choose to restrict this functionality)

– Need to take additional steps to interact with a specific section, including use of Assign To and/or Post To to provide:

  • Different due dates for a given Assignment Folder
  • Different availability dates for a given Quiz
  • Visibility of a given Announcement
  • etc

Cross-listing in Canvas at Loyalist College is admin permission only. Faculty who wish to cross-list their Canvas courses should email In the subject line of the email please put “Canvas Course Cross-list Request”, in the email include the following information: course name, code and CRN. Please allow 2-3 business days for these requests to be completed. 

We recommend cross-listing requests be sent either before, by or shortly after the first class. Courses cannot be cross-listed after students have submitted assignments, contributed to discussion boards, and when assessments have been graded by the instructor. 

We recommend only cross-listing courses with the same name. For example, if you cross-list the students from “Aircraft Maintenance” into “Aircraft Systems,” then both groups of students will be in “Aircraft Systems” and the students who have moved will no longer see “Aircraft Maintenance” in their course list.

The Canvas Teacher app allows teachers to facilitate their courses on the go, both inside and outside the classroom. This app provides quick access to grading, communicating, and updating-three of the most frequent course facilitation tasks for teachers through Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes.

Canvas Teacher requires a Canvas account and is available for both Android and iOS devices. Learn how to set up and use the Canvas Teacher app HERE.

The Canvas Student app allows students to access their courses and groups using a mobile device. Students can submit assignments, participate in discussions, view grades and course materials. The app also provides access to course calendars, To-Do items, notifications, and Conversations messages.

Canvas Student requires a Canvas account and is available for both Android and iOS devices. Learn how students would use the app HERE.