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Canvas Transition Information and Timeline

BB to CanvasIn fall 2017, Mississippi State University's Instructional Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) recommended that Canvas by Instructure replace Blackboard (myCourses). With the approval from the Provost Office, Canvas was purchased in the spring of 2018. For the fall 2018 semester, MSU will conduct a pilot of approximately 66 instructors and 151 courses in the Canvas system. The pilot instructors include representation from all MSU academic colleges. In the fall 2018 semester, Canvas and Blackboard will run simultaneously. All non-pilot faculty will use Blackboard for fall 2018. Spring 2019 semester, all courses will be in Canvas and we will begin decommissioning our Blackboard server. Faculty, staff and students will be unable to access Blackboard after June 30, 2019.

Several benefits that Canvas brings to the teaching and learning experience include:

  • An intuitive, easy to learn interface, including an improved mobile app experience
  • Enhanced and easy to manage syllabus, course calendar, and course schedule that automatically updates due dates for course activities
  • Improved workflow for more streamlined grading
  • A dashboard that quickly summarizes all relevant course events and items
  • Simplified student collaboration and group options

Canvas Transition Timeline

Spring/Summer 2018

  • System setup/configuration
  • Admin and support staff training
  • Canvas training begins for pilot faculty

Fall 2018

  • Canvas pilot with 66 trained instructors teaching from production Canvas
  • Canvas Preview Sessions begin in late August
  • Canvas training begins for non-pilot faculty in September
  • Non-pilot faculty gain access to spring semester courses when spring term opens
  • All academic courses will automatically be sent to Canvas for spring 2019 semester
  • External course requests will begin in early November
  • Faculty are encouraged to begin moving needed Blackboard content, grades, assignments to Canvas
  • All non-pilot courses using Blackboard

Spring 2019

  • All courses are taught in Canvas
  • Faculty Canvas training continues
  • Faculty will continued to have access to all previous Blackboard courses
  • Faculty are encouraged to continue moving needed Blackboard content, grades, assignments to Canvas
  • Faculty are reminded that incomplete grades in Blackboard must be completed in Canvas

Summer 2019

  • Faculty must move any needed Blackboard content, grades, assignments to Canvas
  • Blackboard is shut down in June 30, 2019
    • Access to Blackboard terminates begining July 1, 2019


Training and Support

ITS will host Getting Started with Canvas handson workshops monthly.  Registration is now open at  All instructors are encouraged to minimally attend the Getting Started with Canvas workshop. Prior to the training sessions, faculty can get started by watching the following videos:


  • Course Basics (54 minutes)
    • Course Basics provides an overview of the layout and features included in a Canvas course. Users will learn about the Course Navigation Menu and individual components that can be used to deliver content and assess student performance. This introductory demonstration provides users with the background knowledge to begin their Canvas journey.
  • Canvas Courses – Self paced online training courses provided by Canvas.
  • Instructor Guides - A series of guides for instructors about Canvas tools and features.
  • Instructor Video Guides - A series of videos for instructors about Canvas tools and features.
  • Release Notes - View the most recent release notes




Article ID: 1337
Wed 5/23/18 8:55 AM
Mon 11/12/18 3:27 PM