Blackboard to Canvas terminology quick-reference guide

This guide provides a comparison between the terminology used within Canvas LMS and Blackboard LMS. Use this to familiarise yourself with the terminology, options, and how to locate the tools and features when moving between platforms.

BlackboardCanvas
Subject Availability

Published/Unpublished
Subject Home page > Published/Unpublished

Items that are Published in Canvas become visible to students.

Make Subject Available

Publish Subject
Subject Home page > Publish Subject

Publishing a subject makes it available to students.

A subject can be published or unpublished. Within the subject there are elements that can be published and unpublished, e.g. pages in modules, assessments, etc.

For more information see What does the ‘Subject Start Date’ and ‘Subject End Date’ mean?

Manage Subject Menu

Navigation
Subject Navigation > Settings > Navigation

You can customise how your Subject Navigation appears by

  • Showing/hiding the links to students in your Subject Navigation
  • You will not be able to rename the links.

Note: The University and certain faculties will have default templates outlining preferred Subject Navigation.

Module Page / Content Area

Modules
Subject Navigation > Modules

Modules are a way to organise the content in your subjects. For example, each Module may contain weekly subject content.

Email

Conversations
Global Navigation > Inbox (Conversations)

Conversations is Canvas's own messaging system that makes it easier to message students/staff in a subject. By default, every user will receive an email copy of any message they receive in Canvas.

Grade Centre

Gradebook/Grades
Subject Navigation > Gradebook/Grades

The Gradebook provides an overview of student marks in the subject. You can also set up grading policies in the Gradebook.

Groups

Sections
Subject Navigation > Settings > Sections

Sections are used to segment the class for administrative purposes, typically based on classes, lectures, workshops or tutorial groups. Use the Sections Tool to manage student sections.

See How to manage sections in your subject to learn more.

Handbook Information

Subject Overview
Subject Navigation > Subject Overview

Subject Overview is where you should add information from the handbook, such as Intended Learning Outcomes, Assessment Overview. Any assignments/gradebook weighting you add to your subject will automatically appear in the Subject Overview page.

Folders

Modules
Subject Navigation > Modules

Modules allow subject coordinators to organise content to help control the flow of the subject. Modules are used to organise subject content by weeks, topics, or some other logic. Modules create a linear flow of how students should progress through a subject. Each module can contain links to: files; discussions; assignments; quizzes; or other learning materials.

Items

Pages

Items that were within Folders in Blackboard will migrate to Canvas as Pages. Pages are content areas. Structure these within a module.

Discussion Board

Discussions
Subject Navigation > Discussions

Each Discussion in Canvas is a topic. When people respond to the Discussion, replies become threads within the initial Discussion topic.

Student Preview

Student View
Subject Home page > Student View

Student View allows you to view your subject as a student. You can interact with activities within the subject and test if they are working as you intend from a student perspective.

Enrolment list

People
Subject Navigation > People

The People list will show you all the users in your subject, along with their roles. Selecting All Roles, will show all people in your subject and their roles. The People list displays details such as when a user has last accessed the subject, along with the duration they have spent in the subject.

The User Profile displays how each individual user is engaging with content within the subject.

Notification Settings

Notifications Preferences
Account > Notifications Preferences

Subject Reports

Subject Analytics
Subject Home Page > View Course Analytics

Analytics include data on page views, participation, submissions, grades for each participant, as well as for the entire subject.

Important! Students need to be active for the View Course Analytics button to display

Blogs, Wikis, Journals

See relevant guides for the creation of similar activities.

Blogs
Wikis
Journals

Staff Information

No equivalent

While there is no equivalent in the Subject Navigation, we recommend creating a Staff Information page - within a module - that includes information such as staff contact details, location and office hours.

Subject Content

Files
Subject Navigation > Files

This shows all of the files that are stored in your Canvas subject. You can organise the content by creating folders. Files are accessible to all staff in the subject.

Tests

Quizzes
Subject Navigation > Quizzes

The Quizzes tool can be used to create and administer online tests and surveys in your subject (either graded or ungraded).

Tests

Survey Quiz Type
Subject Navigation > Quizzes > Quiz Type = Grades Survey or Ungraded Survey

The Canvas Quizzes tool has a feature that allows you to make surveys.

Performance Dashboard

People
Subject Navigation > People

The People list will show you all the users in your subject, along with their roles. Selecting All Roles, will show all people in your subject and their roles. The People list displays details such as when a user has last accessed the subject, along with the duration they have spent in the subject.

The User Profile displays how each individual user is engaging with content within the subject.

Subject Copy

Import Subject Content
Subject Navigation > Settings > Import Subject Content button

This allows you to copy content from one subject into another subject. You must be a subject coordinator in both subjects.

Calculated Columns

Assignment Groups
Subject Navigation > Assignments

Assignment Groups allows you to group multiple assessments and how they will contribute to the final mark. For example: each Assignment Group can be weighted to how it contributes to the final mark.

You can add rules to Assignment Groups to describe how each assignment with the group contributes to the total calculation within that Assignment Group.

An integration from the Handbook will automatically populate your subject with Assignment Groups. This is based on the information from the Handbook being correct.

Weighted Total Column

Total column
Subject Navigation > Grades > Total

The Total column in Grades is automatically calculated based on how you set up your Assignments and Assignment Groups in your subject. As a default, this column will NOT be displayed to students - this can be changed.
The simplest way to ensure the Total column displays the correct final grade is to use the weighting on your Assignment Groups to correctly calculate the grade.

Show/Hide Grade Centre Column

Total Column
Subject Navigation > Grades > Assignment column > Post Grades/Hides Grades

The Grade Posting Policy determines whether or not Assignment columns are automatically displayed to students. Note that if the Grade Posting Policy is set to Automatic, grades will be displayed to students immediately as they are entered. You can Hide Grades once you start entering grades.

If the Grade Posting Policy is set to Manual; Grades are hidden by default. You can choose to Post Grades when the time is right.

Important! Your assignment needs grades entered to access this option.

This guide was last updated 17 Apr 2020.
Please report any errors or omissions in this guide by submitting an LMS support request.

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