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Timetable for the LMS

  • FALL 2021
    • ALL COURSES taught in BbLearn
    • No courses taught in Canvas
  • Spring 2022
    • If Canvas is selected,
      ALL courses taught in Canvas
    • If Canvas is NOT selected,
      ALL courses taught in Blackboard SaaS

About the Canvas Pilot

Explore Switching the LMS: Why Now?

1) Opportunity to explore Canvas LMS at no cost

September 2020, the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) selected Canvas as its learning management system (LMS) and thus, the University of Idaho has access to use Canvas through Summer 2023 at no cost. This opportunity gives U of I the chance to compare Blackboard, our current LMS, with Canvas and determine which platform best supports our long-term instructional goals.

2) University of Idaho Online Education "working group" recommendation

The technology support and infrastructure sub-group recommended the following initial investments of time and money as part of the overall plan:

  • Adopt the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) which will be supported initially by the SBOE and develop training and transition plans from the Blackboard platform.

3) Recent cost and service changes with Blackboard LMS

  • Fall 2020 Blackboard Service Cost Increases
    • Blackboard ends the practice of waving U of I storage overage charges
    • Blackboard data reporting no longer covered for free under U of I's contract
  • January 2022 U of I required to migrate from Managing Hosting to SaaS, Bb's cloud service.
  • September 2022 U of I's Blackboard contract up for renewal

Canvas Pilot Overview

The goal of the Canvas Pilot has been to allow faculty to gain exposure to Canvas so they may provide feedback on its ability to meet their LMS needs. Feedback generated by participating faculty will be presented to leadership at the end of Summer 2021.

CanvasFeedback Categories

  • Faculty experience associated with migrating to Canvas
  • Canvas features look and feel
  • Support needed by faculty during a potential migration
  • Recommended practices in teaching effectively with Canvas

Pilot Participation

  • Spring Canvas Pilot: Fifty-eight faculty from 9 colleges (CAA, CALS, CBE, CLASS, CNR, EHHS, ENGR, LAW, SCI) participated in "getting to know" Canvas, experimenting with its key features, and providing feedback about their experience.
  • Summer Canvas Pilot: Twenty faculty from 6 colleges (CAA, CBE, CLASS, CNR, EHHS, LAW) went on to teach 23 summer courses in Canvas to a total of 312 students.

LMS Comparison

LMS Market Share Comparison

At the start of spring semester 2020, Instructure's Canvas LMS continued to widen its lead in US higher education over top rival LMS, Blackboard Learn.

Click on image above go to full article

Canvas has become the preferred LMS among K-12 and higher education institutions nationwide. With year-end 2020 data, Canvas leads with 32% of US & Canadian higher ed institutions, followed by Blackboard at 23%, Moodle at 22%, and D2L at 13%.

Click on image above to expand

The figure below shows migration trends from one LMS to another from 2018 to mid-2020.

State of Idaho Pathways

As part of a statewide effort and consortium, U of I may be able to acquire a more sustainable LMS platform to enhance instruction on campus and remotely, State of Idahofacilitate collaboration among institutions, and support the development of educational opportunities through dual-credit and Idaho Online programs.

  • During Summer 2020, the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) began the Idaho Online Initiative, a way to consolidate online courses offered through the state's eight public postsecondary schools, to streamline pathways to degrees and certificates and improve digital learning infrastructure. As part of this effort, the Idaho SBOE selected Canvas as its learning management system (LMS).
  • Locally, the Moscow School District adopted Canvas and within our state, our two- and four-year public institutions have either adopted or are contemplating the adoption of Canvas.

Blackboard and Canvas Feature Comparison

Explore the information provided in the following links to become familiar with the similarities and differences between Blackboard and Canvas tools and features.

CanvasUsing Canvas

Fall 2021

ALL COURSES taught in BbLearn. NO COURSES taught in Canvas during Fall 2021 regardless of which product is chosen as our future LMS.

Getting Started in Canvas

Login to Canvas

Canvas Support

Canvas offers excellent support to teachers and students. Click on Help at the bottom of the Canvas left menu to view your available options. Contact for U of I assistance.

The Course Navigation Menu can be customized to fit your needs--allowing students to easily navigate to the information they need. Learn how to customize the Course Navigation Menu.

Add a New Course

When Instructors arrive at their Canvas Dashboard, they may click on the Start a New Course button (shown on the right side of the screen) to create a new course. Individuals must be enrolled as an Instructor in at least one Canvas course before being allowed to create courses in Canvas.

Canvas Dashboard

Note: The Start a New Course feature will be available to teachers through October 2021. After that, new course requests must be emailed to

Migrate Content from BbLearn to Canvas

After course content has been migrated from BbLearn to Canvas, look it over carefully. Although much of the course content will transfer over to Canvas correctly, some tools (such as Journals and Rubrics) are incompatible and will have to be added after the migration.

Step 1

Exporting from BbLearn

Video: Export from BbLearn (7 min)

Step by Step: Export from Blackboard

Step 2

Importing into Canvas

Video: Import into Canvas (6 min)

Step by Step: Import into Canvas

Tip for Macintosh Users
If using Safari on a Macintosh, do not let the browser automatically unpack the exported ZIP file created in Step 1 (above). Follow our help on downloading ZIP files via Safari to prevent this BEFORE exporting from BbLearn.


All faculty should be mindful of the University's policies
regarding intellectual property and fair use.