Blackboard to canvas migration: ASU Online student Q&A

July 10, 2018 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
Arizona State University transitioned to Canvas in 2018 as the primary learning platform for students earning their degree online.

After a thorough review of learning management systems that included course pilots and feedback from the ASU community, ASU has decided to migrate from Blackboard to Canvas. The course migration is an effort to promote an even more innovative student and faculty experience. ASU’s transition to Canvas will give faculty significant opportunities to reimagine their courses and leverage a range of new teaching and learning services for students.

Blackboard will be available until June 30, 2019. During the transition period, both systems will be accessible. The following Q&A and resources address the most common questions and concerns for ASU Online students.


How will the move to Canvas impact students?

During the yearlong migration period before the full phaseout of Blackboard in July 2019, ASU Online students may have classes in both Blackboard and Canvas. This transition phase will give students who have previously only used Blackboard the opportunity to explore Canvas and get a feel for its course navigation structure and functions. Although Canvas is different from Blackboard, students report that the two systems follow a generally universal approach that allows users to quickly identify and adapt to the navigation and functionality of Canvas, similar to the experience of navigating two different websites.


What should students do to prepare for the change?

To prepare for the migration to Canvas, students should access their courses as soon as possible and explore the new system. Use the on-demand Canvas student guide, as well as the glossary on Canvas features and their equivalents for current Blackboard users.


How will students navigate to Canvas?

Students will continue to access their courses through their My ASU homepage. Should My ASU be inaccessible for any reason, students can also navigate directly to Canvas via


What are some major differences between Blackboard and Canvas?

Blackboard and Canvas are similar in most all of the main functions for students. The systems are a place for students to access content, submit assignments and communicate with the instructor and other students. When it comes to features, there are not significant differences from the student user perspective.

What are some of the advantages of using Canvas over Blackboard?

The Canvas platform will not experience planned outages for maintenance and updates in the way Blackboard does, which is a benefit to students as it maximizes their flexibility to work online in coursework. The Canvas user interface has a modern look and feel, with a high focus on user-friendliness to promote intuitive usage. There is also a powerful mobile application component for use on tablets and other mobile devices.


Will it be confusing for students who have classes in Blackboard and Canvas?

We are addressing areas that could cause confusion with a five-step quality check process. One step is that we will be checking for platform-specific content or directions when interacting with a course. For example, if we migrate a course previously offered in Blackboard to Canvas and the text-based instructions are specific to the Blackboard system, this could cause confusion for students. We will be making sure that those instructions are identified and updated accordingly.

Technically, things will look different between the two platforms. However, the functionality will be mostly the same for main course interactions for the student.


Will My ASU look different?

No, My ASU is not expected to look or act differently as a result of the migration. It will still act as the primary access point for students to enter into courses and that will be seamless, as My ASU will automatically point students to either the Blackboard or Canvas system where their course is located.


Who should students contact with questions?

The ASU Help Desk is fully trained and has resources for working in both Blackboard and Canvas. With availability online and via phone 24/7, it should be the first stop for students.


Quick links to important Canvas resources:


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