Canvas logoThis summer, the university will begin transitioning its learning management system from Blackboard to Canvas. This transition will span an entire calendar year and involve several learning sessions in which you, the faculty, will get the support, guidance, and information you need from our team at Strategic Learning (formerly iLearn) to ensure that the switch to Canvas is as smooth and seamless as possible.

Check out our calendar for information on upcoming training sessions, including dates and times, or feel free to drop by for walk-in hours. You can also contact us to schedule an appointment, request to be an early adopter, or ask any questions you might have.

We look forward to working with you, answering your questions, and assisting in any way we can as we bring Canvas, our new learning management system, to Ball State University.

Canvas Key Features

Open Web Standards

Canvas is compatible with current learning tools including YouTube.

24/7 Support

Canvas provides a user-friendly 24/7 support system for faculty and staff.

Cross-Platform Integration

Canvas has a superior mobile app for tablets and smartphones

Training Schedule  Learn More from Canvas

We Want to answer your questions

You will be responsible for exporting your course content out of Blackboard so that you can transfer it to Canvas. This way your content will be saved before Blackboard is shut off for Ball State on May 31, 2019.

We will cover all of that in training. And, this important step is one of the reasons we encourage faculty to not wait until the last minute to get training and start building your Canvas courses. 

All faculty will need to transition out of Blackboard into Canvas in time for the start of Summer 2019 courses. We are encouraging everyone who wants to get a head start to do this summer. View the training schedule.

Beginning in Fall 2018, a full implementation plan for colleges and departments will be announced.

We are working on a solution to replace Blackboard Communities. Right now, several potential solutions include using a Canvas Course, Canvas Groups, WebEx, and/or We can recommend a solution depending on how you are currently using Blackboard Communities. Please contact Strategic Learning to schedule an
appointment so we can help you determine the best solution for you and your students.
The “username not found” error is caused by entering your entire Ball State email address (i.e. when trying to register for courses on Ball State's minicourse calendar.. Simply enter your username (ccardinal), and you should be able to login and register. If not, please reach out to the Technology Help Desk.

The decision to move to Canvas followed a three-year, comprehensive pilot test in which Canvas received overwhelming support and backing from students and faculty who pilot-tested the learning management system, as well as from chairs, deans, and Information Technology staff and leaders.

In testing, Canvas met and exceeded all of the key factors identified as needed for an LMS, including:

  • an easy to use and learn interface
  • 24/7 support for faculty and students
  • a stable environment with no downtime needed for upgrades
  • a superior mobile app for tablets and smartphones
  • open web standards, which means it will be adaptable and flexible for the integration of current learning and content tools such as YouTube and Mediasite, as well as future technologies
  • adherence to Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards

The pilot included courses taught by faculty from every college educating both main-campus and online-only students. If you are interested, you can read the final report from the Canvas Task Force.

Canvas Tool Series

Deep dive into a specific teaching tool available in Canvas by signing up for and attending one of our many training workshops. To participate in any of the sessions below and get the skills you need to get the most of Canvas, register now.

Canvas Tool Series Workshops

Discover how to use the Canvas plagiarism tool, Vericite, to directly link the use of the reports produced by the detection tool to the educate the students in the correct way to use source material. Walk away with a templated assignment and a choice of tutorials and resources to help your students create work with integrity.

Discussions: Why are they used, and how are they created in Canvas? This workshop with help you to understand why discussions are needed in the classroom whether face-to-face or online, and the need to build communication and community within the classroom. Along with the conversation on discussions, the participants will be shown how to create a discussion board in Canvas.

Canvas includes a set of default notification settings enabled for all of your courses. However, you can customize the default settings. Pedagogically, notifications allow the instructor the opportunity to harness and enhance student engagement and establish a social presence in your courses.

Students love the idea of extra credit, but how can you make it fair, meaningful and useful for learning? We will discuss options, and how Canvas can accommodate these extra points in the gradebook.

What is challenging in both online and campus courses is keeping students and faculty connected throughout the term. Stop by to see a demonstration about how setting up automatic messages, notifications, due dates on the calendar and sending specific messages to students can help to not only connect with students but also remind and retain students.

Using Quiz Banks and Groups in Canvas is used to randomize the questions being given to student, which helps to increase security of your exam, test, or quiz. You can also use Groups to help save you time in building an assessment by differentiating between question times (i.e. essay, multiple choice, and true/false) or by topic area. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Convert your imported assessment from Blackboard into a Bank or Group.
  • Build Banks and Groups to create an assessment.
  • Leverage Canvas Banks and Groups to build an assessment that randomizes the questions.

The Attendance (Roll Call) tool in Canvas is used for taking attendance in Canvas courses and can be used for online, blended, or face-to-face courses to help you get to know your students or track their progress. If you do use the Attendance tool, students can view their attendance report through the Roll Call Attendance submission details page. Join us to learn how to use the following components to leverage the Attendance tool:

  • Use the tool to track attendance or participation and connect it to your gradebook to track points.
  • Implement the statuses of present and on time, not present, late, and unmarked (excused absence).
  • Control notification of attendance so that students will not receive automatic notifications for every class meeting.

If you have ever wanted to easily see what your students are doing in your course, Canvas course analytics are for you. In this session, we will cover what kind of information you can glean from Canvas course analytics, how to find this information, and some possible interpretations of this data. Let Canvas help you work smarter, not harder!

Incorporating peer review into your course allows your student to critically engage with both the content and each other to strengthen their assignment submissions. Explore the Peer Review tool in Canvas and learn how you can:

  • Build student comfort and normalcy around receiving constructive feedback.
  • Strengthen student and reviewers’ own work.
  • Save grading time.

Streamline the grading process: Learn how the speedgrader feature can make grading more efficient and effective.

Canvas on the Go: Grade assignments, post announcements and send emails on a mobile device! Come explore the possibilities with the Canvas Teacher App.

Test Security in Canvas (Respondus Lockdown and Proctoring) Writing a test is a lot of work. Keeping it secure and making sure the right person is taking it doesn't have to be. This session will focus on how to improve test security with Respondus Lockdown Browser (for campus testing labs) and B Virtual/SmarterProctoring for online course sections.

Faculty-student meetings, TA sessions, team project meetings, presentation and office hours signup can be a challenge to manage per course. Stop by to see a demonstration on how Scheduler allows students to sign up for individual time slots or group appointments by course. Appointments show up on faculty and students' Calendar. Quickly see all appointments in one location by course to assist with meetings, office hours and presentation schedules with students after class.

Discover Group tools in Canvas. Research shows that educational experiences that are active, social, contextual, engaging, and student-owned lead to deeper learning. The benefits of collaborative learning include:

  • Development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
  • Promotion of student-faculty interaction.
  • Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
  • Exposure to and an increase in understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Preparation for real life social and employment situations.
Accessible course design does not just help learners who need accommodations – it helps all learners! Come to this short session to learn about common pitfalls, easy measures you can take to ensure your Canvas course site is accessible to all, as well as the pedagogical reasoning.

When used correctly media offers both cognitive and affective experiences and make a connection to theories taught in the classroom or online. A teacher can they translate reactions to the media into a group discussion, a self-assessment, or an individual assessment allowing students to hone their analytical skills by analyzing media and making connections to course content.

This session will cover how to use tools built into Canvas as well as integrate Ball State University’s purchased tools into Canvas. This session is designed to give you exposure on how to:

  • Embed YouTube and Vimeo videos
  • Place your personal videos on Mediasite into Canvas
  • Use content from BSU supported media distribution tools Kanopy and NBC Learn
Research shows that web conferencing is a critical skill that today's students will need for professional presentations. Web conferencing is a tool that can facilitate a virtual teaching and learning environment that connects faculty and students in an online, blended or traditional face-to-face course. Stop by for a demonstration on how conferences can help faculty connect with students anywhere, anytime during virtual office hours or use the whiteboard for review sessions and create group collaborative spaces that extends the learning experience outside the classroom.
Learn to use the Canvas Quiz tool and explore the question types. Pedagogically, quizzes empower both instructors and students improve the quality of learning. Quizzes indicate how well the instructor has taught and how well students have met the instructional outcomes.


For any questions or inquiries, please email us at, or call us at 765-285-6582.

Ball State University’s access to Blackboard will end May 31, 2019. All information–including courses must be exported prior to this date or it will be lost.

Strategic Learning provides support and assessment for technology-enhanced teaching and learning for on-campus, online, and blended courses and programs. Our aim is to establish an institute of good practice that all faculty will find useful, formidable, and essential to their aspirations of excellence in teaching.