Technology & Learning Program

Countdown to Canvas

Canvas for Newbies

Check out this great Canvas Overview from Jason Richter, our Canvas representative.

Trust us, it is well worth the 45 minutes. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    When Can I Get Into Canvas?

    Faculty Access to the Chico State Canvas System
    • It is not ready for users yet. Still lots of configuration and integrations happening. 
    • Won’t be ready until August 1 for the 20-30 selected faculty and newly hired faculty.
      • Some tools and features may still be limited.
    • Faculty will have access to Chico’s Canvas in mid-fall or earlier, if possible.
    Faculty can get a free Canvas account from Instructure now
      • Get a free account to start from scratch or just learn about the Canvas tools and navigation.
      • If you start from scratch, when Chico State Canvas is then ready, you can export from that Instructure account and import into the Chico State Canvas instance. 
      • We don’t recommend exporting Bb content to import into Instructure account.
      • We have migration services from Bb to Canvas that will take less time than starting from scratch. 
      • This Instructure account doesn't't’t include all the tools that Chico State has licensed/integrated.
    What can I do now to prepare for going to Canvas?
    • Improve Blackboard Course Content - Improve the Accessibility Now by Requesting Service
    • Migrate any videos in Blackboard Courses to Kaltura
    • Flatten file structure in Blackboard - eliminate nested folders:  folders within folders within folders
    • Delete any unlinked/unused files in your Blackboard course

    What will happen to my Blackboard course content? 

    Migration services have been contracted and processes are being developed to help faculty migrate certain types of content from Blackboard Learn into Canvas.

    •  Student data
      • Will be copied to an archive system and will be stored for x of years. The retention schedule for this data is outlined the EM 
    • Course content, quizzes, video links, et…
      • Using migration services, course content can be migrated to a Canvas course shell for faculty.

    When can I expect to get training?

     Live and on-demand training will be available in mid Fall 2022.

    Can I continue to use Blackboard Learn to host my course content and manage my courses? 

    To mitigate duplicate licensing costs, Chico State will terminate the contract with Blackboard Learn June 2024 and take the following steps to decommission the application: 

    • Access to Blackboard will be removed for all campus users 
    • Student Information System data integration will be deactivated 
    • Content identified for archival will be removed and stored in a designated repository 
    • Data stored in Blackboard Learn will be purged off of the vendor’s servers 
    • Blackboard Learn support materials will be removed 

    This process to decommission Blackboard Learn will occur after all courses and content are moved into Canvas. 

    Can I get access to Canvas now so I can start building out my courses in the new system? 

    Faculty can get  a free Canvas account from Instructure now. This account will give faculty the opportunity to develop courses from scratch, learn about Canvas tools, and familiarize themselves with the general navigation. The free Instructure account doesn't't’t include all the tools that Chico State has licensed/integrated (such as Zoom, TurnItIn, and Kaltura). Once faculty are given access to the Chico State Canvas instance, these additional resources will become available.

    I have my free Instructure account, now what?

    We don’t recommend exporting Blackboard content into the free version of Instructure because every Blackboard course will be migrated over to Chico State’s Canvas instance, removing the need to manually upload files such as quizzes, documents, and embedded Kaltura videos. 

    When can I get access to Chico State’s instance of Canvas?

    Not right now. The technical teams are actively working to configure Chico’s instance of Canvas and as you can imagine there is a lot to do. A small cohort of faculty will begin teaching in Canvas in Fall 22. It is anticipated that expanded access to Canvas will occur in mid fall with more faculty teaching in Canvas in Spring 23. 

    What can I do now to prepare for the move to Canvas?

    • Improve your course content accessibility now by requesting help from TLP. You can submit the request by submitting a ticket. To find out more about the accessibility of your course content please go to
    • Migrate any large video files in Blackboard Courses to Kaltura (if you have not already) 
    • Delete any unlinked/unused files in your Blackboard course

    When campus moves to Canvas, will I still be able to use the third-party applications I use in Blackboard today? 

    Technical staff are currently reviewing all third-party applications configured in Blackboard and making plans to configure many of them in Canvas. There may be some applications that are either not supported or Canvas has other tools embedded that would provide parity with the external application. More details will be forthcoming as the technical team has an opportunity to complete the assessment of 50+ applications.

    During the migration to Canvas, will students have classes in both LMS environments?

    Students will potentially have classes in both Canvas and Blackboard Learn beginning in Fall 2022 through Fall 2023.  Student training and support resources will be available for both LMS environments through Wildcat Computing Support

    Does Canvas Have the Same Features as Blackboard? 

    Canvas does not have Journals, Blogs and Wikis. However, there is a tighter integration with Google and students do have the ability to edit Pages. 

    Check out this Blackboard to Canvas Equivalencies Chart(opens in new window). We think it is pretty good. 

    Why is campus making the transition to Canvas? 

    The Governor’s 2021-22 budget provided $2 million in new ongoing funding to the CSU, contingent on all campuses standardizing on a single LMS platform. The LMS chosen is Canvas. The funding will pay for the concurrent licensing costs of two LMS systems as the seven remaining campuses transition to the new platform. Why was Canvas chosen? 

    • 16 CSU campuses already utilize Canvas as their LMS 
    • The California Community College system has standardized on Canvas 
    • Almost every campus in the UC system uses Canvas 
    • Canvas provides a better user interface/experience for faculty and students 
    • Canvas’ mobile app provides better features for faculty and students from their phone/tablet 

    Why are we making the transition now? 

    In order to secure the funding, the seven remaining campuses* must move to Canvas by the beginning of the Spring 2024 semester. 

    *Seven campuses: Chico State, Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State University, San Marcos, Long Beach, Maritime

    What happens if we don’t move to Canvas? 

    • CSU system could lose $2 million in ongoing annual funding 
    • Blackboard is a legacy platform that campus may be forced to replace in the near future anyway 
    • Miss an opportunity to utilize an LMS system that many of our students are familiar with 
    • Miss an opportunity to provide a better user experience for both students and faculty 


timeline showing phases - fall 2023 has all faculty teaching in canvas
Project Information

View Project Charter. (PDF)

Log in to Team Dynamics for weekly project updates(opens in new window)

We will communicate details about access to Canvas for faculty later in the spring semester.