Considerations in Leaving Blackboard and Moodle

With the closure of Blackboard and Moodle (“legacy systems”) on June 30, 2018, faculty should consider their obligations and needs regarding the class content and student records that those systems have contained. Here are three primary considerations for faculty:

  1. Export all content from legacy systems to rebuild classes in Canvas if that is still needed.
  2. Access to grade records from legacy system classes in the event of grade challenges.
  3. Need to be able to resolve incompletes for classes that were run in a legacy system this spring.

Please review the following for information and instructions on downloading gradebooks, student work, and entire course archives from your:

See below for more details on the three considerations listed above, as well as one additional possible concern.

Rebuilding Legacy System Classes in Canvas

MiraCosta’s Canvas page for faculty includes all kinds of resources, information, and recommended training materials to help faculty learn Canvas, including information on transitioning from legacy systems to Canvas.

For simple classes where the course management system is used fairly minimally, transitioning to Canvas should be straightforward. For more complex classes, especially hybrid and online classes, faculty typically report that it is a significant investment of time to rebuild in Canvas, but one that is well worthwhile.

Some elements of classes may export from legacy systems and import into Canvas in a useful way. Other elements are best to copy separately and paste into Canvas or re-create altogether. The following resources may be especially useful in helping faculty with this process.

Reference material

Videos of MiraCosta workshops

Maintaining Grade Records in Case of Challenges

For access to grade records, it is each faculty member’s responsibility to download/export what they need from the legacy systems. Please refer to AP 4231 (Grade Changes) for details on the circumstances you need to be aware of.

Resolving Incompletes

With under 10% of our spring 2018 classes running in Blackboard or Moodle, and given the infrequency of this occurrence, this should be a very minor issue. But if it comes up, there are several possibilities for handling this, depending on the work that needs to be completed and how dependent on the course management system it may be:

  • For courses which the instructor has already rebuilt in Canvas and which will work for the student to complete work there, the faculty member can work with Karen Turpin to create a special copy/section of the Canvas course and enroll the student who needs to finish the incomplete.
  • For a Blackboard course that has elements that the student really needs to complete in Blackboard for consistency/coherency, the faculty member can work with Karen Turpin to restore the Blackboard course archive into the free online CourseSites version of Blackboard.
  • In some cases, it may be possible to resolve the incomplete without using a course management system at all. If the instructor has made copies of the content/assignments and grade records, the student work could potentially be done on paper or through digital copies of the course materials.

For advice and assistance with this should it become necessary, please contact Karen Turpin.

One Other Possibility: Audits

There is a fourth consideration that is more for the institution than for faculty: the possibility of outside agencies in the future conducting audits of past classes run in legacy systems.

This is a low-likelihood issue, yet one we do need to account for. There have been a handful of audits of online classes at California community colleges within the last few years; these are typically related to accessibility investigations – either prompted by an Office of Civil Rights complaint or through a random selection of the state auditor. There have also been audits during federal Department of Education investigations of compliance with financial aid regulations and distance education. In such cases, auditors likely would want to be able to view each class in its original form, in the legacy system in which it was offered.

Should such a situation arise, it is likely that MiraCosta would negotiate short-term access to Blackboard and/or Moodle systems as needed in order to meet the needs of the auditors, restoring archives that we have retained institutionally into those systems.

Copying into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas

MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes.

Canvas to Canvas

If you are teaching with Canvas, and/or you have created content within a Canvas course you can copy the entire course or parts of the course into one Canvas course from another.

Blackboard to Canvas

When moving your course from Blackboard to Canvas, it is recommended to only export parts, not all, of your Blackboard course.

These documents will help explain the process.

Content from Blackboard that is most likely to import well into Canvas

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussion Boards – Only discussion prompts will transfer over.
  • Tests, Surveys and Pools – These will transfer and be located in the Quizzes section of Canvas. Only multiple choice, fill in the blanks, essay, matching, numerical and formal will transfer. If not supported by Canvas, the question becomes a text only question.

For most other content and activities, it’s best to re-create/re-upload within Canvas. If you try to import entire courses or content areas into Canvas from Blackboard the work to re-organize and clean up the results generally exceeds the work to rebuild. Keep in mind that you can copy-paste text from Blackboard into Canvas – you don’t need to literally retype everything. It’s recommended that you use the “Paste and Match Style” command in your browser’s Edit menu, or first paste into an intermediate program where you can convert to unstyled text, to ensure that you don’t paste in unwanted code.

We have training classes and videos with ideas for Canvas. Check out the Canvas Information & Resources page.

Validate your course links in Canvas

It is important to verify that all links are working throughout a course. The course link validator tool can help make this task easy for faculty designing and teaching courses.

The course link validator tool searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive external links in both published and unpublished content.

The link validator also includes deleted links. Deleted links are links that are still in the course, but their linked content has been deleted (such as a course files or pages).

Note: Some links flagged as unresponsive are inaccessible by Canvas servers and will still work for students.

From within a Canvas Course

Open Settings

Canvas Settings

Select Validate Links in Content

Validate Links in Content

For additional directions refer to the Canvas guide: How do I validate links in a course?

Accessible Narrated Streaming PowerPoint Presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint is a common teaching tool that many instructors use to present course materials. In order to use these presentations within an online course, instructors must make them accessible for students with disabilities. Narrating your PowerPoints and streaming them online with captions is an optimal way to make your presentations more engaging for your online students as well as compliant with Section 508 / WAI standards.

The following three videos will walk you through the process from start to finish.

Step 1:  Narrate your PowerPoint presentation and Save as a .mpeg4 movie file

This video will walk you through  narrating your PowerPoint presentation with your voice and saving the file as a .mpeg4 movie file.

Step 2:  Upload the PowerPoint .mpeg4 video file to 3C Media Solutions

This video will walk you through uploading your .mpeg 4 movie file to 3C Media Solutions.

3C Media Solutions is a free streaming video server funded by a grant from the California Chancellor’s office.

Step 3: Request Captioning and add the Presentation to your Canvas course

This video will walk you through requesting captioning for your video free of charge. This service is made possible by the DECT Grant funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office. This video will also walk you through how to add your streaming video presentation to your Canvas LMS course.