Migrating Courses from iLearn to Canvas

*Please note the iLearn to Canvas migration completes on June 2022, at which point iLearn will be shut down and all content will be permanently inaccessible.

Moving Content from iLearn

Instructors are responsible for ensuring that any course content they would like to keep is downloaded and either uploaded to Canvas or stored on a personal drive. This includes exam content, grades, PDFs, etc.

Should I start from scratch? Or should I copy my content over from iLearn (aka Blackboard)? It may seem like an obvious answer, but not so fast!

Depending on the complexity of your existing iLearn course, you may end up spending as much time reorganizing copied content as you would if you were to start from scratch.

  • Starting from scratch gives you an opportunity to get to learn and know Canvas better. It is also a great opportunity to redesign and optimize your students’ learning experiences. True, it may take more time to build a course from scratch, but keep in mind that the content you develop can be reused in subsequent terms.
  • Copying content from iLearn to Canvas can make the move easier. You will still need to spend some time reorganizing the transferred content. Also, some activities, such as blogs and journals, won’t transfer over correctly, so you will have to rethink how to best reinterpret those kinds of assignments. Lastly, copying an iLearn course over to Canvas may lead to adding many obsolete and/or redundant files. Therefore, consider doing a little spring cleaning prior to transferring your material. If you opt to use this method, checkout the Migrating from iLearn to Canvas page for step-by-step instructions.
  • Many instructors have found that the easiest thing to do is a combination of the above methods, where they bulk upload course-related files and then recreate the page, assignments, and discussions in Canvas. This is the method that we in XCITE recommend as you migrate over to Canvas.

Exporting Your Course From Blackboard

Exporting your course from iLearn (powered by Blackboard) and importing it to Canvas can be a quick way to move some of your course materials. Most content in Blackboard has a 1:1 complementary tool in Canvas. This means that most content will copy to Canvas in a way that yields a similar course structure (or functionality) to your course in Blackboard.

1.    Log into iLearn and open the course you want to export.
2.    In the course, locate the Control Panel on the left navigation menu under Course Management
3.    Select Packages and Utilities
4.    Select Export/Archive Course

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  1. At the top of the Export/Archive Course page, select the Export Course.   

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  1. On the Export Course page, check the box next to “Copy links and include copies of the files in the course default directory.”
  2. Select the items you would like to move to Canvas by selecting the checkmarks next to each type of content OR select Select All to copy all course content.

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  1. Click Submit at the bottom of the page.

Blackboard will prepare a downloadable file (.zip) of your course contents. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, but you can leave the page and revisit it when the process is done. You will receive an email when the file is ready. Refresh the page and you will see a link.  

  1. Click the link to download the file to your computer (do not unzip the file).

Importing Your .zip file into Canvas

  1. Navigate to Canvas and sign in with your UCR NetID and password. Open the course to which you’d like to import the content, and on the left navigation menu in your course, select Settings.
  2. On the right-hand side of the Settings screen, select Import Course Content.
  3. On the Import Content page, select the Content Type drop-down menu. Select Blackboard 6/7/8/9 export .zip file.

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  1. Select the Choose File button and upload the Blackboard .zip file you exported (in Steps 6-10) from Blackboard.
  2.  Select All Content or Select specific content to choose want to import from the Blackboard course.
  3. Click the Import button.

The import process will now begin. Don’t exit the browser window until it is complete (if possible). You will likely see some “errors” on the import page. In general, you can ignore those. Congratulations! You’ve imported a course from Blackboard into Canvas.

Reorganizing your course, made easy with our template pages

After importing a course, take time to visit the different areas of your Canvas course to make sure items imported as they should. Check your Assignments, Quizzes, and Grades areas. Your content will almost certainly need reorganizing after an import.

The main view for a Canvas course is “Modules,” which typically displays the course chronologically in “weeks” or “units.” In other words, it’s a clickable course schedule, making it very easy for students to navigate. If you had set up your iLearn course by content area (i.e., assignments, readings, etc), this is the perfect time to reorganize. 

If you don’t want to start with a blank slate, import our template pages.

If you have any questions about the import process, please contact XCITE.