Blackboard Canvas How do I do
it in Canvas?
How is Canvas Different?
Make Course Available Publish Course Documentation
  • Canvas courses are unpublished as a default. Instructors must "publish" their course for students to access it.
  • Publishing a course is irreversible - once published, a course stays published however you can change the start date of the course. 
Announcements Announcements Documentation
  • Users can receive notifications via Facebook, Twitter, email & text. 
  • Canvas allows students to comment on an announcement if instructor allows.
  • Announcements appear on the User Dashboard.
  • Canvas has the ability to add RSS feeds.
Files Files Documentation
  • Everything you upload or copy into Files is accessible to students by default. 
  • You can create folders to organize materials; folders and items can be locked.
  • Drag & drop files into folders.
  • All files in this area can downloaded as a .zip file.
  • You can upload a .zip file to this area and Canvas will unzip it for you.
Blackboard Content Items Pages Documentation
  • Pages are essentially a Wiki (you can edit and track their history).
  • You can grant the ability to edit the Page to students.
  • Pages can include text, video, links to your files, YouTube, NJVid video files and links to other course content such as assignments, discussion boards etc.
  • If you customize the Home Page layout of your Canvas course, you'll be creating a special page named Front Page.
  • Pages can be linked to other Pages.
Discussion Board Discussions Documentation
  • Can require users to post to the discussion before viewing other replies.
  • Instructors and students can easily view/filter posts.
  • Receive notifications via social web services, text, etc.
  • Group Discussions are seamlessly integrated into Group Pages.
  • In order for students to attach a file to a post, instructor must allow file attachments in Course Settings.
Send Email Messages/Conversations   Documentation
  • Private messages appear in your Conversations Inbox; Notifications will push out to Email, Twitter, Facebook, Text Message depending upon your selection.
  • Discussion responses can be accessed from Inbox.
  • Messages can include file attachments, webcam recordings, audio or video uploads, or just text.
  • Conversation messages are also generated by a comment made by a student or instructor on an assignment.
Assignments Assignments Documentation Video
  • Canvas uses a SpeedGrader. It gives the instructor the ability to comment/markup a document, without downloading the student’s submission.
  • When an Assignment is created, it is added to the Assignment page, Syllabus and Calendar. If updated, all links are updated.
  • You must create an assignment to create a column in the Gradebook. Interactive rubrics can be used for grading.
  • Students can submit multimedia assignments
  • Instructors can leave multimedia comments.
  • Peer Review assignments can be created.
Tests/Quizzes/Surveys Quizzes/Surveys Documentation
  • Quizzes/Tests/Surveys are automatically submitted if it is a timed assessment.
  • Timer can be adjusted for individual students to allow for extended time.
  • Instructor can selectively allow an additional attempt for a student.
  • Tests can be edited after student submissions and are automatically regraded.
  • Instructor can add Fudge Points.
  • Test questions and answers can contain audio/video/images.
  • Canvas does not have “Hot Spot” questions types available at this time.
  • Quizzes can be graded or not graded.
  • Surveys (also found here) can be graded or not graded.
Grade Center Grades Documentation
  • You must create an assignment to create a column in the Gradebook.
  • The SpeedGrader tool displays submitted assignments, grading rubric, and media comment options all in one interface without downloading files.
  • Grades can be weighted.
  • Easily sort columns in one click by due date or assignment group.
  • Instructors can curve grades.
  • Instructors can Mute assignments.
  • Message students who haven't submitted yet, scored less than or more/less than a certain criterion on an assignment.
  • Download submissions from the grades area or just view them online in Canvas.
  • Create text or media comments to provide assessment feedback.
  • Students can message instructor within the grade column.
  • Columns for assignment groups are shaded, and appear at far right of Gradebook by default.
  • Students can enter “what-­if” scenarios to calculate hypothetical grades.
Modify Course Menu Modify Course Navigation Documentation
  • At this time, Canvas does not allow you to create unique course navigation menu links nor rename existing menu links.
  • You can hide menu items from students.
  • Modules are used in Canvas for organizing content.
  • You can also rearrange the order in which these navigation menu items are displayed.
Calendar Calendar Documentation
  • You can copy the calendar feed link into any calendar app that takes iCal feeds (Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc.)
  • Calendar is automatically populated with items that have Due Dates.
  • Drag & drop items on calendar to make changes in dates. Any change made is applied automatically to all objects associated with that item in various areas of the course.
  • Instructors and students can view multiple course calendars in one view.
  • Each user also has a personal calendar (listed as his/her name) for events that aren’t class-­‐related.
  • Calendar items will be listed in the Syllabus page automatically.
  • The calendar has a scheduling tool.
Folders/Learning Units Modules Documentation
  • Modules are similar to folders/Learning Modules in Blackboard.
  • Drag & drop for ordering Modules and module content.
  • Can set Module prerequisites and Module completion requirements.
  • Can require students to go through Module requirements sequentially.
  • Modules can be "locked" until a given date.
  • Modules appear on the Modules page.
Groups Groups Documentation
  • Groups have access to many course tools including Announcements, Pages, Files, Discussion, Conferences and Collaboration.
Statistic Tracking Course/Student Analytics Documentation
  • Course Statistics identify which content items students are interacting with.
  • Student Analytics identify not only specific user tracking but assignment and grade distribution trends.
Mobile App Mobile App Documentation
  • There are 2 free mobile apps available to download. The Canvas App for iOS and Android as well as the SpeedGrader app for the iOS Tablet only.
Rubrics Rubrics Documentation
  • Integrates with gradable items.
  • Ability to add media comments and integration with SpeedGrader interface.
  • You can override the grade the rubric produces.
  • Student viewable.
No Equivalent SpeedGrader
(New Feature)
  • Grade/give feedback on all submissions for an assignment/test quickly in one place.
  • You can mark up the submitted file by adding comments, drawing, highlighting or text.
  • Able to download file as annotated PDF.
  • iPad app is available for the SpeedGrader (Free).
  • Record audio and video feedback for each student assignment.
  • Sort students in various ways so that you work on them alphabetically, or by submission date, or anonymously (their names can be hidden from the teacher), or by whether or not they’ve submitted the assignment.
No Equivalent Notification Preferences
(New Feature)
  • You can add additional contact methods besides email which is the default. (Text, Twitter, Facebook, Personal Email).
  • Define the objects that trigger the notification.
No Equivalent Syllabus
(New Feature)
  • Connected to course calendar.
  • Provides organizational view of course based on assignment and quiz due dates.
  • As you create/edit objects in the course, the Syllabus reflects the new or adjusted content.
  • Objects on the Syllabus are hyperlinked to content.
  • The page can be edited for customization purposes.
Bb IM/Pronto Chat
(New Feature)
  • Students and faculty can both start a chat.
  • Chats cannot be deleted from a course.
No Equivalent Attendance Tool
(New Feature)
  • Can easily take attendance based off a class list or seating chart. An assignment called Roll Call is created in the course.
ePortfolio ePortfolio
(New Feature)
  • Allows students to retrieve student's assignments, projects from previous Canvas courses.
  • Allow for different levels of sharing, can be shared with specific users or public to the whole world.


Canvas Support

WSU Canvas project site for
implementation updates & training:

WSU Canvas LMS Support for Faculty:
Canvas Instructor Guides:
SOM-WSU Canvas LMS Support:
Medical Education Support Group
Mazurek Education Commons, Suite 231