Canvas FAQs

These are UBC-specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Canvas—the learning management system replacing Connect at UBC—and its migration and roll out.

Jump to a section: Initial Setup | Content

Initial Setup

Your course’s move to Canvas is dependent on your faculty’s migration timeline. For UBC Vancouver, please check in with your Faculty instructional support unit for more details. For UBCO, you can contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning for assistance ( in planning your migration. If you aren’t sure who to contact you can email and we can point you in the right direction.

Yes, you can. Keep in mind that the two systems are quite different, and you won’t be able to completely recreate how your course looks like in Connect within Canvas. Some items will import into Canvas better than others, and you might have to manually transfer files and rebuild other content. Note: It’s highly recommended that you perform a ‘spring cleaning’ on your Connect shell before importing it into Canvas.

Click here for a migration guide and checklist we're developing.

Yes, you can and, in fact, we have heard from other institutions that have gone from Blackboard to Canvas, that it often results in a better experience for students if you do choose to redesign/rebuild your course. If you would like to rebuild your course in Canvas we recommend that you first contact your Faculty instructional support unit for UBC Vancouver or the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UBCO. They can assist you with the rebuild or point you to resources that will guide you as you rebuild yourself. If your faculty has selected/informed you or you volunteered to teach your course(s) in Canvas, you have the option of using your ‘spring cleaned’ and migrated course material or start from a blank course. The option you decide will depend on the complexity of your Connect course. See “Can I import a course from Connect into Canvas myself?” above for further details on importing content.

The focus during the launch of Canvas will be on the initial set of courses and their instructors, TAs, students, and Instructional Support Staff. Sandbox courses or testing purposes will be available at a later date.

“Cloud-based” means is that the storage and access of your course data, information, and material is performed over the internet rather than on your own PC, Mac, or mobile device. Unlike other learning management systems, Canvas does not require its customers to go through periodic disruptive upgrades or periods of downtime; rather, updates are rolled into the product (for optional adoption) every few weeks. Running on Amazon Web Services allows Canvas to scale up computing and storage resources automatically as needed; thus, we see no impact from the rush of activity during semester start-up, midterms, or final exams. Information and material that you put into Canvas is securely stored and managed by Instructure (rather than by UBC) and is governed by BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).


Some items will import from Connect to Canvas better than others, and you might have to manually transfer files and rebuild other content. We’ve compiled a Migration Guide to help you through this process. Note: It’s highly recommended that you perform a ‘spring cleaning’ on your Connect shell before importing it into Canvas.

No new courses will be taught in Connect as of September 2018. At the present time, there is no set date to decommission Connect. Prior to decommissioning Connect, communications will be provided so you can ensure you have access to all of the content that you need..

Professional development opportunities will start being offered mid June 2017 and run throughout the year. A variety of training formats will be provided such as lunch’n’learns, open studios, the LT Hub, a Canvas Online Orientation for Faculty (launching mid July), and much more. Support and resources are also available at Individual instructional support (ISS) units and and the LT Hub also offer one-on-one consultations and expertise during and after the transition phase. See CTLT professional development for training opportunities starting June 13th, 2017.

In addition, Canvas has excellent resources on their website:

Yes, there is! You can download the Canvas mobile app from the Apple store (for iDevices), Google Play (for Android devices). You can also use Canvas on your mobile device without the app since it is built on responsive design.