Below is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Canvas transition process. We will continue to update this page with additional information as the project progresses. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please use the Canvas Request/Feedback form to submit specific questions, comments, and/or concerns.
Will Blackboard be available for teaching during the Fall 2020 (2211) term?
The Reimagining Pitt Education task force, an interdepartmental working committee, led by Provost Ann Cudd and Jimmy Martin, dean of the Swanson School of Engineering, is currently exploring multiple options for resuming academic activities during the fall 2020 term. The University’s planning process for the fall 2020 term is expected to unfold over the course of the early summer months. While the work of this committee could result in additional changes to the Canvas transition, at this time Canvas is expected to be the learning management system for all fall 2020 term (2211) courses, and there are no current plans for courses beyond the summer 2020 (2207) term to be created in Blackboard. Faculty and students will retain access to existing Blackboard content until late in the fall 2020 term. A specific Blackboard retirement date will be announced when it is available.
When will Blackboard (CourseWeb) be retired?
Blackboard will no longer be retired on June 12, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. as previously planned. The new retirement date will be in the late fall 2020 term, and will be shared as soon as it is available. While we do not expect Blackboard to be available for course delivery during the fall 2020 term, it will be available for students and faculty to access previous term content until the new retirement date. Blackboard content is being archived for record keeping purposes, and designated Pitt staff will retain limited access to that archive content.
Will Blackboard content be migrated automatically?
Two years of Blackboard content is being migrated into Canvas. However, this migration does not include student work or grades. This process is currently in progress and will include all terms between the summer 2018 term (2187) and the spring 2020 term (2204). All courses that were active during those terms in Blackboard are included. As this content is available in Canvas, instructors will be enrolled in those courses based on current enrollments in Blackboard. Content for the summer 2018, fall 2018, spring 2019, and summer 2019 terms (2187-2197) was copied out of Blackboard the week of Oct. 28, 2019. Any changes made to those courses after that date will not be reflected in Canvas. Content for the fall 2019 (2201) term and the spring 2020 (2204) term will be copied out of Blackboard after those terms have concluded.
What happens to Blackboard content not covered by the bulk migration?
The University will continue to archive Blackboard content as it has in the past. If you are interested in importing content from a term not covered by the bulk migration, please submit a Blackboard content import request. Please note that while direct access to Blackboard for faculty and students will end late in the fall 2020 term, a small number of designated Pitt staff will retain access to Blackboard archive content beyond that date for record keeping purposes.
What if I need to import content from Blackboard that is not part of the planned bulk migration?
If you are interested in importing content from a term not covered by the the bulk migration, please submit a Blackboard content import request. In almost all cases, designated Pitt staff are able to locate older Blackboard courses that have been previously archived and can assist you in importing those into a Canvas course for you to evaluate
I have an existing Organization in Blackboard. How will it be handled in Canvas?
We will create a space in Canvas for all existing Blackboard Organizations, and enroll all Organization Leaders in those spaces. Organization Leaders will be notified when these spaces have been created. Given the ongoing nature of Blackboard Organizations, content will not be automatically migrated. When you are ready, Organization leaders can export content from their Blackboard Organization and import it into Canvas. Enrolling Participants can be handled by following these instructions. If you need assistance with the content import, please submit a Blackboard content import request.
What if I need access to content in Blackboard beyond the retirement date?
While direct access to Blackboard content ends for faculty and students late in the fall 2020 term, a small number of designated Pitt staff will retain access to Blackboard archive content beyond that date for record keeping purposes. While the exact details of this arrangement are still being finalized with the vendor, faculty and administrators who need access for requirements like accreditation and students completing G/I grades will be able to request help from Pitt staff to access that information. Administrators with accreditation requirements or other record keeping concerns are encouraged to contact us via this general request form.
When can I access Canvas to start learning how to use it?
Canvas is available right now via the MyPitt portal, AskCathy, and directly at canvas.pitt.edu. In addition to summer 2020 term courses, demo courses have been created for all faculty and teaching assistants. f you do not have a demo course but would like one, you can arrange it by submitting a Canvas demo course request. Please note that demo courses are only for demonstration and content development and cannot be used to teach with Canvas. Copying content from a demo course into an official 2207 course is a relatively simple process.
When can I start teaching with Canvas?
All summer 2020 term (2207) courses have been created in Canvas, and all fall 2020 term (2211) courses will be created in mid-April 2020.
What support is available for faculty?
24/7 support is available directly from Canvas via chat, email, or phone. Chat support can be reached from within Canvas itself via the Help Menu. The Canvas support phone number is (412) 314-1719. This is an additional level of support on top of what is offered by the Teaching Center’s Educational Software Consulting team, which will continue to be available to faculty as in the past. The Teaching Center team can be reached Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at (412) 648-2832, firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person in Alumni Hall, room B23. In depth training opportunities will be available, and more information on training opportunities can be found here.
What support is available for students?
24/7 support is available directly from Canvas. Chat support can be reached from within Canvas itself via the Help Menu. The Canvas support phone number is (412) 314-1719. This is an additional level of support on top of the Pitt IT Help Desk, which will continue to provide student support 24/7 for Pitt-specific technology questions. More information on student resources can be found at the Canvas Student Resources website.
Where do I find information on training opportunities?
The “Training” link in the top navigation of this website links directly to the latest listings in the University Calendar. Training offerings are published as they are scheduled, and many more are planned throughout 2020.
Will the other tools like Panopto, Turnitin, Top Hat, and Gradescope work with Canvas?
In most cases, yes. Many of these tools are already available and have been configured to work with Canvas. Others are still in progress. You can find out more information on specific tools here.
When will my summer course be available?
All summer 2020 courses are now available in Canvas.
Is there still space to teach using Canvas in the spring 2020 term (2204)?
Unfortunately, no. While we’re currently at capacity for active instruction for the spring 2020 term (2204), faculty who would like a course in Canvas for demonstration or content development purposes may submit a Canvas demo course request. Please note that these courses are only for demonstration and content development and cannot be used to begin teaching with Canvas before the summer 2020 term (2207). Copying content from one Canvas course to another is a relatively simple process.
What if I have a request or feedback not covered by these FAQs?
You can use our Canvas Request/Feedback form, and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.