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LMS Transition: Canvas

Canvas Support:
Phone: (844) 683-6439
Live Chat:
Hours: 24/7


Starting in Fall 2017, Temple University will be transitioning to a new Learning Management System (LMS) called Canvas. Canvas is robust and easy-to-use and will replace our current Blackboard LMS.

Why Canvas?
Temple is following the lead of many peer universities in adopting Canvas, which offers many benefits including:

  • strong support for Temple's pedagogical requirements and educational outcomes
  • a clean modern interface for easy navigation
  • tools to assist faculty in creating opportunities for student collaboration, while facilitating deeper learning and the ability to build communities beyond the classroom.


Spring 2017 Summer I & II 2017 Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Summer I & II 2018
Pilot Post Pilot Early Adopters & First Wave Second Wave Final Wave - All Classes Using Canvas

Faculty Support and Training

The Center for Advancement of Teaching (CAT) team is ready to help and support faculty in making the transition to Canvas. Consider taking advantage of the following resources:

You can contact the Center for Advancement of Teaching at 215-204-8761 or

How do I get my course materials from Blackboard to Canvas?

You will find it easier to start fresh in Canvas, depending on your circumstances. However, you can also move the materials you want to keep or save them for future use. Please click here for a step-by-step guide on how to Export your Blackboard course material. Please click here for a step-by-step guide on how to Import your course material into Canvas. We are archiving all of our blackboard content from our managed-hosted Blackboard environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I did not know Blackboard was being retired. What happened to my course information? How can I get it back?
    We have been communicating for about one year that the University has made the decision to transition learning management systems from Blackboard to Canvas. As always, the university policy has been to back up your course information and grades. If you did this, you can use this information to reconstruct your Canvas course. If you were not able to back up your course information, you will need to construct your Canvas course from scratch. There are plenty of resources available to assist with constructing your course including – the Center for the Advancement of Teaching; the Canvas help desk and Canvas guides and videos.

  • I need a document I saved in my Blackboard course 2 years ago and I do not have a copy saved locally. Can anyone retrieve it for me?

    We cannot retrieve documents from the old Blackboard learning management system. We have been communicating about the transition for about one year so that faculty would take the appropriate action.

  • How can I gain access to the information in my Blackboard Organization now that we no longer have access to Blackboard? 

    If you did not copy or move your Blackboard Organization information prior to May 31, 2018, you will no longer have access to it. Your option is to recreate what you did in your Blackboard Organization in Canvas, OwlBox or some other application (depending on your needs).

  • Will all of my course data import into Canvas from Blackboard exports/archives? 
    Student enrollments, grades, and individual student feedback will not import into Canvas. We strongly advise faculty who use the grade center in Blackboard to export their entire grade center into excel at the end of the semester to ensure all student data is archived and easily accessible. To export the grade center to excel, click on the "Full Grade Center" in Blackboard and then click on the "Work Offline" button in the top right corner. Next, click download and indicate that you'd like to select all columns and submit. The file will appear in "Downloads" on your desktop once it is finished. Please click here for a step-by-step guide on how to Export your Blackboard course material. Please click here for a step-by-step guide on how to Import your course material into Canvas. For further assistance, please contact the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at 215-204-0789 or click here to visit their Blackboard Export/Canvas Import resources. 

  • When is the last possible day I can access my Blackboard courses?
    Blackboard will be available until May 31, 2018 at 11:59 PM at which time Temple University's contract with Blackboard Inc. will formally end and we will no longer have access to Blackboard. Any retrieved data stored within the Blackboard system will not be accessible. Instructors are responsible for the backup of their Blackboard course material as listed in the Temple policy. All instructors are strongly advised to export their Blackboard courses and attempt all imports to Canvas before May 7, 2018, so that failed imports can be addressed prior to the expiration of Temple's contract with Blackboard on June 1.

  • When will Fall, Spring or Summer courses be available to create in Canvas?
    Courses for an upcoming semester are made available by the end of priority registration for that semester. For example, for the Spring 2018 semester, Canvas courses will be available by November 13, 2017. Please remember to create your course in Canvas, click on the Course Tools icon on the left-hand global navigation bar, then click on the Banner tab. Your courses should be listed here. Click the plus sign next to the course you would like to create and indicate “Canvas” as the target LMS.

  • Will my students be automatically enrolled in my course once it’s created in Canvas?
    Once you have created your Canvas course using Course Tools, the CRN associated with your course will be automatically enrolled. While your students will be enrolled, they will not have access to the course until you publish it. To learn how to publish your Canvas course, click here.

  • Where can I find a comparison of Blackboard Learn features and Canvas features?
    Click here to view how Blackboard features compare to Canvas features.
  • What if there are features I use in Blackboard that I do not see in Canvas?
    Over the years, Blackboard has integrated many different features. Canvas takes a different approach and allows for third party applications to be integrated. Please check the website (link coming soon) third-party applications area to find what you need. If you do not see an application/feature you need please send a message to along with a description of what you need. 
  • Why did the university choose Canvas?
    Canvas offers many attractive features and works well with other university systems. Please see the university announcement for more information. 

    The choice followed a thorough review and pilot of 24 courses, 18 faculty and roughly 900 students in the Fall 2017 semester. Faculty were involved in all stages of the review and decision process.

    Consider this a chance to do something new. You will have the opportunity to review, re-imagine, and improve your courses.

    You will be able to create courses that look like appealing and intuitive websites. The new layout will be easier for students to navigate and locate the course materials they need. 

  • What are the benefits of moving to Canvas?
    Many large-scale research universities similar to Temple already use and trust Canvas, and its adoption in Higher Education continues to grow rapidly. Other universities have regarded Canvas as dependable, rich with features, and intuitive. Canvas can be integrated with university systems and data sources, and with relevant third-party applications. Canvas has demonstrated that it can meet the high-level requirements in terms of usability, accessibility, learning tool integration and mobile use. We have confirmed this information in our Canvas pilot conducted in the Spring 2017 semester.

  • Where can I get more information about the move to Canvas?
    The “LMS Transition: Canvas” website is the best place to start. If you have specific questions or concerns not addressed in this FAQ or on the website, please send them to Both Canvas and The Center of Advancement for Teaching will be providing help with learning Canvas and assisting with course setup.

  • What should I do now to prepare to move to Canvas?
    To learn more about Canvas, you can read or watch any of the getting started tutorials/videos and/or by attending one of the workshops or training sessions that will be offered by the Center of Advancement for Teaching. You can also practice building a course at Think about which of its features you want to use, and how you might use them. Identify materials you have stored in a Blackboard course that you want to move to Canvas. Look for updates on the transition. We will regularly post information on this.

  • How can I familiarize myself with Canvas?
    Visit any of these links:

    Canvas 101
    Canvas Instructor Orientation

    Canvas Faculty Training Courses
    Learn Canvas 2016
    Canvas Community Guides

  • Can I have an auditor, guest lecturer, or guest student included in my site?
    Yes. You can request a GARS account for a non-temple user. Once the account is approved and created, you can enroll the GARS account into your Canvas course. 

  • Will I be able to access Canvas from my mobile devices?
    Yes. You will be able to access to Canvas on your mobile device through any mobile browser. However, Instructure recommends using Canvas mobile applications for an improved user experience. An especially popular choice is the SpeedGrader app.

  • Will Canvas be accessible?
    Yes. It is a key focus of Canvas to ensure an accessible and pleasant experience to all users, regardless of ability. The Canvas platform was built using the most modern HTML and CSS technologies, and is committed to W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and Section 508 guidelines.

  • Is there someone I can talk to if my question(s) were not answered here?
    Yes. Please contact us at and provide your question and your phone number so we may contact you.

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  • Canvas Support
    Phone: (844) 683-6439
    Live Chat:​
    ​Hours: 24/7
  • Faculty
    To report a problem or to schedule a one-on-one consultation, please contact the Center for the Advancement of Teaching's Instructional Technology Consultants at 215-204-8761. You can also visit the Center for the Advancement of Teaching's Programs & Events page to view and register for a Canvas workshop.
  • Students
    For assistance regarding system your particular Canvas courses, call the Help Desk at 215-204-8000 or click the Request Help tab on the Information Technology Services home page.