Skip to main content

Transitioning to Canvas

Boise State is transitioning to Canvas, a new Learning Management System (LMS). Canvas is robust and easy-to-use, and replaces our Blackboard LMS.

Canvas is Coming to Boise State!

The migration from Blackboard to Canvas has begun and we expect to be fully migrated to Canvas for Fall 2021! LTS will contact faculty directly as we complete the migration of your courses to Canvas.

Access Canvas

Once your courses are set up, you can access Canvas at https://boisestatecanvas.instructure.com.

24/7 Support

You can access Canvas support within Canvas by clicking the “Help” button on the left Canvas global navigation.

screen shot of the Canvas help button in the global navigation

What Can Faculty Do Now?

Here are our recommended next steps for instructors:

  • Growing With Canvas – This self-paced course, presented in Canvas, provides a high-level yet comprehensive overview of the most used features of Canvas.
  • Canvas Overview Webinars – These 90 minute webinars presented by LTS are a great way to introduce yourself to the features of Canvas and resources you can take advantage of.
  • Request a Sandbox Course – If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, request a sandbox course, install the Boise State course template and start building your actual Fall 2021 course in Canvas. See “How to Request and Set Up your Canvas Sandbox” below.
  • Canvas Overview for Faculty (Presented by Canvas) – April 29, 12 – 3pm. Register now for this online course that presents how to take advantage of the most used features of Canvas.
Thursday, April 29, 12 - 3 pm

Canvas Overview for Faculty

This class, presented by Canvas, provides an interactive, high-level overview of Canvas along with details on how to get the most out of popular features.

Register Now!

Project Timeline

Visit the Project Management Office website for details on the Canvas project.

Spring 2021

  • LTS Migration Team begins conversion of Fall 2021 courses from Blackboard to Canvas.
  • Selected programs use Canvas as part of a soft launch to ensure that our integrations, both with our campus systems and external tool providers, are working correctly.
  • OIT Development Team continues work on Middleware for Canvas.
  • Canvas overview sessions presented by LTS, self-paced course presented in Canvas, and webinars presented by Canvas available to faculty.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and eCampus Center provide consultations to assist in refining your Canvas courses to optimize navigation, student communication, and content engagement.
  • 24/7 support is available to faculty within Canvas.

Summer 2021

  • LTS Conversion team continues to migrate Fall 2021 courses from Blackboard to Canvas.
  • Selected programs use Canvas and continued refinement of the migration process and integrations.
  • Testing and refinement of Middleware for Canvas.
  • Development in Canvas to replicate the Blackboard grade transfer tool.
  • Canvas overview sessions presented by LTS, self-paced course presented in Canvas, and webinars presented by Canvas available to faculty.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and eCampus Center provide consultations to assist in refining your Canvas courses to optimize navigation, student communication, and content engagement.
  • 24/7 support is available to faculty within Canvas.

Fall 2021

  • All Boise State courses taught in Canvas.
  • 24/7 support is available to faculty within Canvas.

Getting to Know Canvas

Are you excited to learn more about Canvas and how the course authoring and administration tools work?

“Growing With Canvas” Self-Paced Online Tutorials

Learn about Canvas by taking this self-paced tutorial course that’s presented in Canvas. This course provides a high-level yet comprehensive overview of the most used features of Canvas. There are multiple modules, lots of short videos, links to detailed information about each feature and even several exercise assignments.

We recommend starting with the introduction section and working sequentially through the modules. Most new Canvas users get through all the tutorials in 6 to 8 hours.

Be sure to check out the “Your Canvas Sandbox” section below to learn how to set up a “playground” course where you can complete the tutorials and try out features.

Access the “Growing With Canvas” online tutorials here.

Workshops Presented by LTS

The Boise State Learning Technology Solutions (LTS) team presents synchronous webinars including a “Canvas Overview” webinar as well as webinars on various features such as quizzes, question banks, assignments and more.

Visit the LTS Training website for schedule and details for each of these webinars.

Jump In With Your Canvas Sandbox

You can request a Canvas sandbox course that will allow you to become familiar with the features without worrying about breaking anything.

The sandbox course is a great way to explore what’s possible with Canvas. It’s also a great place to practice concepts in the “Growing With Canvas” tutorials described above.

How to Request and Set Up Your Canvas Sandbox

  1. Using Firefox or Chrome visit https://middleware.boisestate.edu.
  2. If prompted, sign in with your Boise State username and password.
  3. On the LMS Middleware Landing Page click Try Now! in the “Canvas is coming to Boise State! Create a Sandbox now!” box at the top of the screen.
  4. A new screen will appear asking you to confirm that you would like to create a sandbox course in Canvas. Click YES.
  5. Within a minute or two you can refresh your screen and a VIEW COURSE button will appear. Click the VIEW COURSE button.
  6. Canvas will launch and you’ll be taken to the home screen of your sandbox course shell. Please note that this blank course shell does not have any content.
  7. Here’s how to add the Boise State Canvas Course Template to your sandbox course. This template has some helpful tips on creating content and provides a basic structure for course design.

Teaching in Canvas

The transfer process provides a great opportunity to think about small changes you can make to your courses so they’re more accessible and navigable for students. For example, when sharing content in a course, you should organize it using modules so students can easily follow the flow of the course and know when activities are due. For more tips like this, check out the Canvas Best Practices and Tips article in the LTS Knowledge base.

In addition, The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and eCampus Center provide consultations to assist in refining your Canvas courses to optimize navigation, student communication, and content engagement. If you would like to work with an Instructional Design Consultant, please contact the CTL (for in-person/hybrid courses) or eCampus Center (for online courses).

Frequently Asked Questions

What Am I Supposed to Be Doing Right Now?

If you are not part of the Spring or Summer 2021 soft launches, you are not expected to do anything regarding Canvas at this time. The LTS Conversion Team will contact faculty directly when your courses are migrated to Canvas.

In the meantime, check out the “Getting to Know Canvas” section above to learn as much as you want starting with a webinar overview of features or check out the self-paced online tutorials.

How Will I Migrate My Course Content?

The LTS Conversion Team will contact faculty directly when your courses are migrated to Canvas and ready for your review. You can schedule a one-on-one consultation at that time to answer any specific questions you have about your course.

In the meantime, check out the “Getting to Know Canvas” section above.

What is the Spring 2021 Soft Launch?

Seven programs, about forty courses, and about 500 students will be using Canvas for the Spring 2021 semester. These programs and courses were chosen because their students were in “cohorts” and were unlikely to have other courses in Blackboard. The “soft launch” allows us to use Canvas in production while keeping the number of students using multiple LMS’s to a minimum.

Why Canvas?

Students and faculty want it

In 2019, as a response to two years of data from faculty surveys, a shifting market share in the LMS space, and support issues with Boise State’s version of Blackboard, Learning Technology Solutions, eCampus Center, and faculty representing each academic college began investigating alternatives.

After a lengthy review that included a Spring 2020 pilot, usability testing, and other feedback from the Boise State community, the university decided to move to Canvas. With a modern, user-centric design and easy to use features, Canvas satisfies many of the concerns faculty and students have expressed about Blackboard Learn.

The State of Idaho is funding it

The Idaho State Board of Education has agreed to fund Canvas for all state higher education institutions.

Contact Us

Please contact Learning Technology Solutions for more information about Boise State’s migration to Canvas at LTS@boisestate.edu.