Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Topics

Moving to Canvas & the Deadline to be off Blackboard

I’m ready to setup my course in Canvas! How can I learn it?

Faculty, GTFs and staff can attend a 2-hour, hands-on, workshop. (register here), or review the faculty training course in Canvas on your own.  When you first log into Canvas, you will see an announcement with the link to the quick start course. Also check these materials if you’re a DIYer.

When do I need to be off Blackboard?

For all credit courses, September 30, 2015.  Some departmental and Non-CRN sites will be available while we work to move them to Canvas.  Complete Blackboard access will be turned off at the end of fall term.

Can you train us at our department/faculty meeting?

Yes, of course! The Canvas Training Road Show would love to make at stop at your department meeting. Just call us at 541-346-1942 or e-mail at us with some possible dates, times and locations.

My Courses and Course Content

Will you move my course materials for me?

We have contracted to migrate the course content of all CRNs from Fall 2012 to Summer 2015.  This process is now complete and you will see the migrated course(s) listed – with its original term – in Canvas when you click on the “View all or Customize” link.  Note: winter term course shells will be created October 30, 2015.

You will need to then review the course and decide what you would like copied over to your empty course shell for the term in question.   We strongly discourage copying all of the old course content into your upcoming term’s empty course shell as the content will need to be sorted through.  We advise organizing that old course content and then selectively copy materials from the old course(s).

Do I need to export all my Blackboard courses?

No – we would not ask you to do that! We’ll take care of that for you.

Mens agitata molem. We have migrated content from nearly 22,000 courses – all Blackboard courses from Fall 2012 through Summer 2015.

I have a Bb course from a previous term. How will you know which courses I need you to migrate?

We will automatically migrate all Blackboard courses from Fall 2012 through Summer 2015 to Canvas.  Please note that migration simply means moving content, the re-organization of the content will still need to be completed by the instructor.

I have a non-credit Bb course site that we use for _______. Can I get this migrated too?

We will be in touch throughout fall term to do requirements analysis of what is needed for a non-CRN Blackboard course site on an operational level.

What should I do to be ready to use migrated content?

Expect to see some duplicate files and excess content that may no longer be valid.  You will need to do a lot of reorganization and delete some of the old content.  If you had videos in your Blackboard site, we recommend moving the migrated videos to a streaming service like Vimeo and link to them instead.  Try reducing file sizes, especially images, PowerPoint presentations and large PDFs.

Come to a face-to-face workshop (register here), come by Room 19 on the ground floor of the Knight Library or review these materials if you’re a DIYer.

Using Canvas

Accessing Canvas

How can I access my course from home to work on it? How will students find the link and access the course?
You can access Canvas by logging onto with your DuckID and password. This link also exists on the University of Oregon main website.

How do I add my GTFs and TAs?

By navigating to the course you would like to add the GTF to, then on left hand side menu, select “people” –> “add people”.  Add GTFs by typing their email address in the form: in the text box that opens up.  To add multiple GTFs at once simply hit the “return” key after each email address.  They will receive an invitation on their Canvas site, and once they accept it, they are added to the course.

How do I add a student to my course?

Students cannot be added to a course manually.  To be added as a student, the individual must register for the course through Duckweb.  You can add an “evaluators” to your course.  The “Evaluator” role in Canvas functions like the “Observer” role in Blackboard.  Evaluators will not be able to interact with the course as a student or see any student data (such as the roster) to remain FERPA compliant however they will be able to see and download the course content.


How do I know which role to assign?

Currently there are four roles in Canvas for the University of Oregon. GTF, Grader, Course Builder and Evaluator.

GTF: can modify a course just like the teacher/instructor role.

Grader: can only grade students using the Grade Center and cannot modify or evaluate content or coursework.

Course Builder: can modify the course content but has no access to the grades, the Grade Center or the class roster.

Evaluator: can only view the course content and has not access to the grades, the Grade Center or the class roster.


How can I communicate to the entire class by email or other method?

To send a message to your entire class in Canvas, you can use the “Inbox” feature. It’s located in the upper right corner of Canvas in the global navigation system. Once you click on that, you can click on the little pencil/paper icon to create a message. This will open a new window. First, choose the course you’re interested in using the drop down menu. Then, on the right hand side of the “To” line, you can click on the little contact icon to choose between the full class, only instructors, only students, only sections, or only groups. Then you can compose and send your message.

Does Canvas give us a CC to the email account of the sender?

Not automatically.  You can choose to have Canvas send a copy of all messages you send in Canvas to your email account by changing your notification settings.  To do this, click on your user name to get to your profile page, then select “notifications” on the left hand side of the page.  School to the section on “conversations” and find “conversations created by me.”  Hover over the email address cell and select the check mark.

Migration Training

What is the difference between migration and fresh start? 

Basically, if you requested a migration from Blackboard, all of your files are already provided in Canvas, but there will be a lot of organization to do.  With a fresh start, you will upload your files to Canvas from your computer hard-drive or copy files from your migrated course if you have one.

Feel free to register for to a face-to-face workshop (register here).

How do I get my previous course content from before Spring 2012 out of Blackboard?  

You can send an email to to request migration of the course.  Include in your email the original term and year, the CRN, and whether this is a merged course.  Please also provide the term you will need the content to teach a course.


Is there a plagiarism detection tool in Canvas?

Yes.  Our plagiarism detection tool is Vercite.  To use Vercite, create your assignment and select “external tool” from the drop down menu for submission type.  For more questions about Vericite, see our Vericite guide for instructors at



Can I read essays submitted online, make comments or grade them, and have the students access my comments?

Yes. In the grade center, click on the assignment title, then click on “speedgrader” on the right hand side. This will open up the assignment submission (if doc, docx, or pdf) into a text pad where you may pin comments where relevant in the text. You can also provide text, audio, or video commentaries, or attach other files. Student will see these once they access their grade.


Can I re-order discussions like I can reorder pages in modules?

Discussions are ordered by recent activity. If you pin a discussion to the top of the page, you will have the ability to manually order your pinned discussions. An alternative is to create a discussions module, link to your discussions, and you will retain the ability to reorder the discussions, just like you would within any other module.


How do I import course content?

Importing a select file: Navigate to your course files, and click “add file.”
If you would like to import more content at once:

  1. Navigate to the course you would like to import content into.
  2. Click on the left side navigation to your course “settings”. On the right hand side it says “import content into this course.”
  3. Select content type. For example, “copy a canvas course” or “unzip zip file into folder.” Note that if you bring in a folder of things, you will need to zip this first. However, if you downloaded multiple files from blackboard (by navigating to blackboard files and download), the files will be zipped automatically, after which you can just import the folder into your target canvas course.


What is the space limit?

It’s the same limit as in Blackboard.

The size limit per course is currently 2GB, and size limit for your profile files (within the global settings up top) is 50 MB. Everything you upload into a particular course will contribute to the 2 GB limit per course. This includes all files. If you are concerned going over that limit, we recommend linking to videos that are on YouTube instead of uploading them to the site. You can create a private YouTube channel if you have lecture videos, and link there. Otherwise, you can just link to the video by editing a “content page” on Canvas and clicking on the YouTube icon.


How can I add a file that is on my computer to a module? 

Go the module and click the gray plus button. Select add file from the drop down menu. Click “new file” and then click the “browse” button to then select a file from your computer library. Then click the blue “add item” button to add your file to your module.

How can I add content to my modules?

  1. Navigate to the module
  2. Click the + sign for adding a new element
  3. Choose your addition type. For example, “content page” from the “add…” option.
  4. Click on “[new page]” and give your item a name, such as “readings”. Click: “Add item.” You can also choose from the list of items already in your Canvas course, instead of adding a new item. If you create a new page:
  5. Click the title of the new page on your module you just created. Click “edit” button. On the right hand side, select “files”, “upload new file”, choose from your computer, and click “upload”. This will create a clickable link for students that will open the file for them. You can add multiple files, and add directions for the students.
  6. You can also add images, audio, or video, for example, to a page.
  7. Click “save” and “publish.”
  8. The page with the files in it should now be visible in your module, if you have published your module and there are no time restrictions on it.

Note: The advantages of creating pages for your files (instead of adding single files) include being able to give directions/description about the content to guide the students for the task.


Are there workshops for GTFs?

GTFs are welcome to sign up for the same workshops as the faculty. Schedule is at

Where can students get support?

Click here for information about support for students:.

ALSO: Students working at the Computer Help Desk on the 1st floor of Knight  library and technical support desks in many other locations throughout  the campus (IS TechDesk, Education, CAS-IT, Journalism, and Business)  will be available starting the first day of Spring Term, 2015 to answer student  questions about Canvas.

The library student help desk is coordinating the training for students. You can point your students to the Canvas student guides:


How do I edit the syllabus?

You can navigate to the “syllabus” tab, then on the right is a button “edit syllabus description.” Here, you should see your syllabus as a link, you may delete that link as if in a text editor. Then, on the right, click “files” –> “upload new file” –> select file –> click “upload”. Now this should be a link in the text editor. Scroll down and click “update syllabus.”

Merged Courses

Can I merge a course that has multiple CRNs?

Yes, as long as your students have not begun submitting homework or assignments.  You would request this by submitting a ticket to requesting the merge and include your CRNs.


Best Practices for creating Extra Credit opportunities

When you wish to give your students the option to complete extra credit, you have several options to do so in Canvas.

Create an extra quiz or assignment


  1. Create a quiz.
  2. Provide point values for each question. (making the quiz worth “X” amount of points – the total number of points the extra credit should be worth.)
  3. Publish the quiz and give the students the option to complete it.
  4. Have all students take the quiz and give them a score, which is recorded in the Gradebook, then proceed to step 5.
  5. Edit the Quiz and change the Quiz type to a Graded Survey worth “0” points. The number of points the students originally earned on the quiz will not change; the only thing you are changing is the type (Quiz to Survey) and the number of points possible (X points to 0 points).
  6. The student will then receive whatever extra credit value they earned from the quiz.

(IMPORTANT: When you copy the course it will copy this quiz as a survey – so be sure to edit and revert it back to a graded quiz for the next term!!)


  1. Create an assignment with no submission.
  2. Give the assignment 0 points possible.
  3. Publish the assignment and give the students the option to complete it.
  4. Add points to the Gradebook per your evaluation of the students’ performances on the assignment. These will be calculated as extra credit.


Considerations for when using weighted grades:

If you are using weighted grades, you will need to place your quizzes or assignments worth 0 points within an assignment group that has at least one assignment or quiz with a point value greater than 0. Canvas is unable to calculate weighted percentages in groups where the total points possible for all items are 0.

Add points to an existing assignment

For assignments that you have already created and assigned, you can add points to the Gradebook over the amount the assignment was originally worth. For example, if you had an assignment worth 15 points, but offered the students extra points for additional work, you could give the students that successfully completed the additional criteria 20/15 points.

Add “Fudge Points” to a quiz

 In Speedgrader, you can manually override the point values given to specific questions by typing them into the Fudge Points box. A positive value will give more points, while a negative value will take points away from the preset value given when the test was created. This will need to be done to each students’ quiz manually.


Don’t see your question listed?

Send us an email, or drop by CMET in Knight Library Room 19, and we’ll answer it.

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