Canvas Crosswalk

This guide is best viewed on a laptop, desktop, or larger-sized tablet due to its verbose nature.

In order to make the switch from Blackboard to Canvas a little easier, we’ve put together a quick guide to commonly used tools in Blackboard and their equivalents in Canvas. Please note that though some terminology may be the same, the Canvas tool may not function as expected based on your experience in Blackboard.

Blackboard Canvas Canvas Quick Facts
Course Copy Import content into this course
  • Test questions/pools and content stored in Bb Learning Modules transfer extremely well from Blackboard to Canvas.
  • Announcements, content items, and files are transferable but often appear in a different order or format than expected. We have found it easier to first build out your course structure in Canvas (Modules), download only the necessary content out of Blackboard, and drop them into Canvas to ensure you do not lose any of your work. Detailed course migration instructions are coming soon!
  • Once you have a course built out in Canvas, it will be much easier to copy that content over into a new Canvas course site at the start of future semesters
Help Help
  • Our Office of Distance Learning Technical Support staff are happy to assist you, as always!
  • This is where you can access ODL Technical Support contact information and other helpful resources.
Make course available Publish course
Notifications Notifications
  • Can opt to receive weekly notifications.
  • Chosen settings apply to all courses within Canvas – cannot choose one set of settings for one class and another set of settings for a different class.
  • Notifications via Twitter and other social media outlets available.
  • Can add a text (SMS) contact method for notifications.
Profile Profile
Student Preview Student View
  • Student View allows instructors to upload materials, take quizzes, and navigate the course as a "test student."
  • The test student will appear in the Gradebook for assessment when instructors leave Student View.
Tool Availability App Center
Blackboard Canvas Canvas Quick Facts
Calendar Calendar
  • Drag and drop to make changes.
  • Assignment due date changes made in your Calendar are automatically updated everywhere else in the course.
  • One-way sync of Calendar feed from Canvas to external Calendars like Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc.
Collaborate Collaborate
  • We will have access to the same features for distance learning courses in Canvas that we had in Blackboard.
Course Reports View Student Progress for Modules or People
N/A Conferences
  • Used for synchronous class meetings, virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and available to student groups.
  • Can accommodate a maximum of 50 users at one time.
  • Integration with BigBlueButton to power this feature.
Groups Groups
  • Create Group Sets within People section.
  • Ability to drag/drop students into groups, allow self-assign, or randomize group enrollments.
  • Can optionally assign a group leader if desired.
  • A group workspace is created where students can create Pages, Announcements, Collaborations, Discussions, Calendar events, and chat in real-time.
Performance Dashboard People
Send Email Conversations (Inbox)
  • Built-in messaging tool.
  • Send messages to individual students or the entire class from the Global Inbox. Users can reply to messages.
Blackboard Canvas Canvas Quick Facts
Announcement Announcements
Blogs No equivalent - we recommend Discussions
  • You can use the course discussion board to create a thread for each student to post their blog in, or you can create group discussions and assign them to certain students in your course.
Content Area Module
Content Collection Files
Discussion Board Discussions
N/A Syllabus
  • Similar to the Word document/PDF syllabus you have been uploading to Blackboard, except it is more interactive for students (e.g., students can click on specific assignment titles and be taken to that Assignment page in Canvas).
  • Automatically syncs with Calendar to display assignment dates.
  • Can be displayed as the Course Home Page.
File in Content Area File in Module
  • Can add a file to a Module in the same way that you could add files to content areas and content folders in Blackboard.
Item Pages
  • Can make pages editable only by instructors, both instructors and students, or by everyone in the course.
  • Link to Assignments, Quizzes, Files, etc., by using the content tools in the sidebar.
Journals No equivalent - we recommend Assignments
  • Assignments can be set to allow multiple submission attempts and can easily be used for a weekly reflection journal.
Portfolios ePortfolios
  • Using ePortfolios may be useful for longer-term projects, such as an Honors Thesis, a Directed Independent Study project, or a certificate program that combines work from multiple courses.
  • ePortfolios can be downloaded as a zip file.
  • For career development portfolios that can be viewed outside of Canvas by potential employers, we recommend that students use FSU Career Center’s Portfolio feature found at
Wiki No equivalent - we recommend Pages and Collaborations
  • When creating a page, you can choose whether it is editable by instructors only or both instructors and students.
  • There is no Gradebook integration for wiki pages in Canvas, so grading students' wiki page contributions will have to be done manually.
  • Collaborations allow students to collaborate in either a synchronous or asynchronous fashion using a Google Doc.
  • Limit of 50 users that can collaborate on a single Google Doc, and all users can view and edit the document at the same time.
  • Using Collaborations in your course will require that each collaborator have a Google account and connect Google Drive as a registered service in Canvas.
Adaptive release rules
Content availability rules
Blackboard Canvas Canvas Quick Facts
Assessments Quizzes
Assignments Assignments
  • Multiple submission options: text entry, file upload, media recordings, or URLs.
  • Can set up peer review assignments.
  • Includes all graded items (graded discussions, quizzes, submitted items, etc.) on this page.
  • Combine assignments to include % of total grade (e.g., Quizzes, Other, Assignments). "Assignment Groups" are similar to Blackboard's Grade Center "Categories."
  • Grade Center setup/weighting happens here.
  • Ungraded Assignments create a deadline in the Calendar and Syllabus, but do not create a column in the Gradebook.
Crocodoc Crocodoc - accessed via SpeedGrader
  • Add annotated comments to student assignments (Word, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint files) just like in Blackboard assignments.
  • SpeedGrader app available for iPad and Android devices.
Full Grade Center & Inline Grading Grades & SpeedGrader
  • Faculty can enter grades and comments directly in Grades or SpeedGrader.
  • Gradebook is automatically populated with columns corresponding to items in the Assignments list.
  • Muting an assignment allows you to hide grades from students until you have finished grading.
  • Students can figure out hypothetical "what-if" grades.
  • Sort columns easily by due date or assignment category.
  • Late student submissions are highlighted in red.
  • SpeedGrader displays submitted assignment, grading rubric, and media comment options all on one page.
  • SpeedGrader allows you to add audio or video comments directly to assignments from within Canvas via a microphone or webcam.
  • SpeedGrader app available for iPad and Android devices.
Question Pools Questions Banks
  • No single repository for all questions.
  • Question banks are tied to the course and not to your account, just like in Blackboard. You will need to add your question banks to each course that needs them.
  • If you change a question in your question bank it does not change in the quizzes that the question is being used in. You must manually update the question everywhere.
Question Sets Question Groups
Rubrics Rubrics
  • Can be used both for grading or feedback only.
  • Easy setup – just click to add columns.
Blackboard Canvas Canvas Quick Facts
Cohorting Cross Listing Canvas has a built-in Cross Listing feature that improves upon the custom cohorting process we developed for Blackboard. You can easily merge or unmerge any sections you are teaching from the course settings page. Just make sure to do so before student work is entered in the Gradebook so that all students' work is saved properly.
Enrollments Enrollments As in Blackboard, Canvas enrollments will automatically run throughout the day, syncing up with myFSU enrollments. If you are in charge of an organization website that currently uses automated enrollments, these can be set up in Canvas for you by request.
FSU Bb Course Request Module Development Site Request Tool We plan to create everyone's course websites for them in Canvas since instructors can merge/unmerge sections on their own (see Cohorting above). We hope this will save everyone time and headaches. If your department is having trouble assigning you as the instructor of the course, we will be happy to add you with their consent. We will create a Development Site Request Tool similar to what is currently available in Blackboard so you can prepare your courses in advance, or test out the course features with no one looking.
FSU Class Schedule N/A We will not be redeveloping the FSU Class Schedule since this information is provided in myFSU. The FSU Class Schedule was developed when Blackboard was FSU's portal for class registration information, but that time has passed.
FSU First Day Attendance Quizzes or Attendance Tool Since student information (including EMPLIDs) appears in the Canvas Gradebook and is downloadable in Excel, we have decided to deprecate the First Day Attendance tool in lieu of Canvas's Quizzes feature. Or, in-class instructors may prefer to use Canvas's powerful Attendance tool for first-day attendance.
FSU Organization Request Module Organization Site Request Tool The creation of new organization sites will work the same way as it did in Blackboard: You request the organization site via the same organization site request tool that you are used to, and we will create the organization site for you.
Grade Upload Tool Grade Upload Tool We will be developing our current Bb Grade Upload Tool for use in Canvas so that you can easily and quickly transfer final grades over to the Faculty Center in myFSU.
Libraries Integration Libraries Integration We will be developing an FSU Libraries integration for Canvas that we expect to function much like the current Libraries integration available in Blackboard.
Organizations Courses We plan to use Canvas's course feature similarly to the way we use Organizations in Blackboard. While Canvas does not officially have an "Organizations" feature like Blackboard, all of the same functionality exists within Courses. We plan to clearly distinguish organization sites in Canvas from course sites so that they will be easy to locate. All features described in this crosswalk are included with Canvas Organization sites.

External apps

The following external apps are available for use already in our Canvas system:

  • Bb Collaborate
  • BookShelf by VitalSource
  • Cengage
  • EvaluationKit
  • Examity
  • ExamSoft (Department of Psychology, Law School, and Medical School courses)
  • FSU Final Grade Upload Tool
  • iClicker
  • Kaltura
  • Labster
  • McGraw Hill
  • OER Commons
  • Office365 (OneDrive)
  • OneSearch: Curriculum Builder
  • Pearson
  • Piazza
  • SquareCap
  • Top Hat
  • TurningPoint
  • Turnitin
  • WebAssign
  • W.W. Norton

The following external apps are still being installed and configured:

  • LaunchPad

Please note: SafeAssign will not be available to us once we have moved over to Canvas. We are also continuing to look into alternatives to Turnitin for plagiarism screening.

To find out more about Canvas features, see their feature list.

This article is based on the UNF Crosswalk and has been adapted for and expanded to address FSU's specific concerns.

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  • 14-Mar-2019