Migrating from BrightSpace into Canvas

Migration Guide

These courses will need to be redesigned to fit the new LMS Canvas layout. The intuitive user interface and time-saving tools will help ease the transition. Support is available to assist you with the redesign: instructional guides, self-paced online courses, workshops, and consultations are available through the AT department.

Migration Tables


Depending on your course content, some items will not transfer or will need editing.

  • Activity Restrictions and Release Conditions comparable to those in BrightSpace exist in Canvas, but such settings need to be reconfigured in Canvas following the migration (Prerequisites and Requirements are set at the Module level in Canvas, and release conditions are part of Canvas’s Mastery Paths function).

Content Migration Table

BrightSpace Canvas
imports into Canvas Announcements (one way - instructor post)
imports into Canvas Discussions (collaborative post)
Assignments assignment descriptions will import, but Rubrics and Marking Guides will not.
Files imports into Canvas
Pages imports into Canvas
Question banks imports into Canvas
Quizzes imports into Canvas, need to change from "practice' to "graded"
Surveys imports into Canvas, need to change from "practice' to "graded"


Quiz Questions

Depending on your quiz question type, some questions will not transfer or will need editing.

  • Very long question text will not import properly.
  • Questions rendered by the BrightSpace equation editor may not import properly.
  • Question banks imported from BrightSpace will not support the strict multilevel hierarchy categorization. Canvas' Question Groups support: bounded randomization within questions associated to a common topic. 

Quiz vs New Quiz Comparison
New Quiz FAQ

Quiz Migration Table

BrightSpace Canvas

Writing Prompt

doesn't import. Are considered Essay Questions in Canvas.
Ordering doesn't import. It is called Matching in Canvas.
Short Answer
comes over incorrectly. Imports as Fill in the blank but needs to be manually changed to an Essay Question in Canvas.
Text Only Question
imports corretcly. May have a hidden point value that differs from D2L's side.
Matching imports with problems. Matching may be flipped upon import.
Images within questions none: need to re-add images
True/False True/False



Just migrated your BrightSpace into Canvas....

Once you have used the Course Import tool to upload your Zip file (BrightSpace) into Canvas...

  1. Organize Files  
  2. Course Settings: show or hide items in Course Navigation Menu (recommend hiding Files, Pages, Outcomes, People, Conferences) 
  3. Review, revise, and organize content 
    • Use Modules to organize content 
    • Use Pages to add text content (minimize the use of document files) 
  4. Determine whether you will organize your course via Modules or Pages 
  5. Choose the Home Page (if using a Page). Set Homepage (Activity Stream, Front Page, Modules, Assignment list or Syllabus).
  6. Default Grade Policy = missing assignments 100% (meaning students will get an A for not doing the assignment). Change your Grade Policy.
  7. Check Link Validation from Course Settings
  8. Cross-List course sections if you want to manage one Canvas course. 
    NOTE: Once you Cross-List, the child courses will no longer appear in your Dashboard. ALSO - you will manually need to create a group for your sections if you want to keep them separate in the grades, activities, or other.  If your course has group assignments - use Group Sets
  9. Publish the course
  10. You currently have access to multiple courses on your Dashboard. If you do not see a course in your Dashboard, click on the Courses > All Courses link to view all. On this page, click on the Star icon to favor the course you want to see on the Dashboard. Make sure to favor ALL the courses you want to see.