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Importing A Blackboard Export File into Canvas

Importing A Blackboard Export File into Canvas 

Canvas has drastically improved this process, so you should be able to easily import courses from your existing Blackboard course archive files. [Learn more about finding your course archives.] 

Import Content from the Course Setup Checklist

There are two ways you can get started importing content from a Blackboard export file. The first is to use the Import Content link in the Course Setup Checklist. The second way is to look in your course's Settings link.

Import Content from the Course Setup Checklist

Import Content from the Course Settings Screen

Clicking on Settings in the Course Navigation will bring you to the settings for this course. From there, press the button for Import Content Into this Course. Both of these two methods will get you to the Content Import Wizard, but since the Course Setup Checklist goes away after you publish your course, this is another good way to find the button.

Import Content from the Course Settings Screen

Content Imports with the Import Wizard

This page allows you to import files and quizzes as well as complete courses. To import a Blackboard Export file, select Import content from a content package or from another system.

Content Imports with the Import Wizard

Choose Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file

On this screen, select Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file from the dropdown. This tells Canvas that you will be uploading a Blackboard export file.

Choose Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file

Navigate to your Blackboard Export File and Select

Press the Choose File button and use the system dialog to find your saved Blackboard Export file. Press the Open button to select the file and return to the Import Wizard.

Navigate to your Blackboard Export File and Select

Use Default Settings and Press Import Course

You can leave the other options on this page alone-- the default settings are the best for Question Bank Configuration and Selective import. Press the Import Course button to begin uploading your BB export file.
PLEASE NOTE: Uploading your course export file can take several minutes, especially for large courses. You will have best results if you do this from a fast and reliable wired or wireless internet connection.

Use Default Settings and Press Import Course

Wait for the Import Process to Complete

Once your file is uploaded, Canvas has to do some processing before you can move to the next step. Watch your email inbox for a notification that the import has completed.

Wait for the Import Process to Complete

Click the Email Notification

You will receive an email in your inbox with a link to continue the course import process. Click it to continue.

Click the Email Notification

Migrate from Another System

You will next be confronted with a long long list of the elements of your old Blackboard course. Let's talk about some individual sections one-by-one.

Assignments and Quizzes

The Copy Everything checkbox works like a "Check All" or "Uncheck All" button. Most likely, you will want it checked, and then uncheck individual course elements from the list.

You will most likely want to copy in all of your Assignments and Quizzes, so these are best to leave checked.

Assignments and Quizzes

Importing Files

Notice that the files you uploaded to your Blackboard course are stored in strangely named folders like "ppg" and "res00040/_356308_1". Unfortunately, this is the proprietary way Blackboard saves your files in its export files, and Canvas doesn't do a great job "unpacking" the files. You can leave all of these boxes checked because, even if you uncheck the folder name and re-check the file, it still imports the folder anyway. We'll talk later about how to clean this up.

Importing Files

Content Folders

These are the various Content Folders you used to organize your content in Blackboard's left-hand navigation menu. This import happens smoothly so you can leave these checked.

Content Folders

Discussions

In most cases, you will save yourself time by creating discussion topics from scratch in Canvas. For some reason, student postings are included in the Bb export file, and are often improperly nested. Take a look at how your course looks and make the decision what you want to keep and what you can just re-create.

Discussions

Student Groups, Assignment Groups, Wikis, and Due Dates

You will want to uncheck the Groups, as these are student collaboration groups you had in your Bb course.
You will probably also want to uncheck the Assignment Groups option-- this controls how your final course grade is weighted and is very easy to set up in Canvas.
Wikis is OK to keep.
Due Dates-- This feature will transpose your course due dates from one term's calendar to another, but since we do not normally enter due dates into Blackboard, this feature is useless now. It'll be great when you copy your fully "Canvasized" course into another Canvas course shell the following semester.

That's it! Press Import Course Content and let Canvas do its work!

Student Groups, Assignment Groups, Wikis, and Due Dates

Wait for the Import.

You will receive an email when the Import process is done, at which time, you will be able to enter the course and see how it looks.

Wait for the Import.

So Where's my Stuff?!?!?

When you re-enter your course, you may be a little disoriented. This is normal. Let's talk about where everything went....

So Where
Your Course Navigation Folders are now in Pages

Cleaning Up Your Files Folder

Go into the Files screen of your Canvas course. You will see a phalanx of folders with unrecognizable names. Inside the folders are the files you had uploaded to your Blackboard course. This makes it very hard to find and navigate your files when you need them. The best way to proceed is to drag them out of their folders one by one.

Cleaning Up Your Files Folder

Unpacking your Folders

The big idea here is that we are going to drag each file out of its folder and into the "top level" course folder. This will result in a nice list of files without all the weird folders (which you can delete at the end).

1) Click on the folder containing the file you want to move in the left hand file window. This will create a preview of the contained files in the right window.
2) Click and hold on the icon for the file you want to move.
3) Drag it from the right hand window to the very top folder in the left hand window.
4) Repeat as needed.

Unpacking your Folders

How it should look when you're ready to delete the folders

After you have opened each folder and moved all the files to the "top level" of the course files folder, you should have a long list of empty folders, and then a long list of recognizable files at the bottom.

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Delete the old folders

1) Select the "top-level" course folder in the left-hand window. This will show you a preview of all the enclosed folders in the right-hand window.
2) When you mouse over a folder you know is empty, a trash can icon will appear on the right. Click it to delete the folder.
3) Repeat.

Delete the old folders