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Blackboard Courses Transitioning to Canvas by Fall 2021

Representation of Blackboard on a laptop computer migrating to Canvas on a laptop computer

Boise State University has entered into an agreement to implement Canvas as its new Learning Management System (LMS) platform. The university intends to fully transition to Canvas by Fall 2021.

“The world of digital learning is evolving rapidly and moving to Canvas gives Boise State the right tools to keep pace,” said Boise State CIO Max Davis-Johnson. “Canvas will allow us to focus more on learning and less on technology.”

Canvas will provide a modern user experience for faculty and students while taking advantage of emerging LMS standards and open architecture that allow for more meaningful and engaging learning experiences.

Why Change?

Several factors are influencing this initiative:

  • Boise State faculty expressed a willingness to explore other options, with a significant number mentioning Canvas.
  • The university conducted a pilot in spring 2020 to learn about preferences and support needs with Canvas. Faculty and student pilot participants preferred Canvas over Blackboard, with feedback noting the improved student experience and ease of building a course online. According to instructor Lane Gillespie, “The best part of Canvas was spending significantly less time doing tedious administrative labor in the software which freed up time to actually focus on the content of the class!”
  • Canvas has overtaken Blackboard as an LMS market leader and a majority of large educational institutions have moved to Canvas in recent years. In addition, the Idaho State Board of Education recently purchased Canvas for all Idaho higher ed institutions.

Course Migrations

Information about the migration process and support for instructors will be available soon. Most courses will teach in Canvas in Fall of 2021. Instructors may request sandbox access and training at any time. Some cohort-based programs will be able to teach using Canvas in Spring 2021 as a “soft launch.”

This is a massive undertaking that will impact all course sections. The university is cognizant of the impact that change of this magnitude brings and is investing in resources to help mitigate the transition.

The Office of Information Technology will provide additional information about planning efforts, timelines, learning opportunities, and additional support as it becomes available.

More Information

For more information or questions about Boise State’s Canvas implementation please contact Learning Technology Solutions at