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Blackboard to Canvas Equivalencies Chart for Students

This chart is intended to help students locate tools from Blackboard in Canvas. It will tell you the equivalent of those tools and options in Canvas, where to find them, and offers links to both text and video guides on how to use them.

Blackboard Equivalent in Canvas How is Canvas Different? How To
Has my instructor made my course available? Has the instructor published my course?
  • Canvas courses are unpublished as a default. Instructors must "publish" their course for students to access it.

If you login to Canvas and do not see your course, it is likely that the instructor has not yet published it. First, contact your instructor to see if and when they plan to open the course to students.

Announcements Announcements
  • 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

What are Announcements?



Course Assignments




  • 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.
  • Interactive rubrics can be used for grading.
  • Students can submit multimedia assignments or submit document from external services like Google Drive.
  • Instructors can limit the type of file allowed to be uploaded.
  • Instructors can leave multimedia comments.
  • Peer Review assignments can be created.
What are Assignments?


Assignments Overview (Video)



Course Calendar Calendar
  • 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.
  • 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 (i.e. Sign-up for an office hours slots)
What is the Calendar?


Calendar Overview (Video)


Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard IM



  • This tool uses Big Blue Button technology. Allows for webcam, voice, chat, white board and desktop sharing.
  • Big Blue Button Conferences are recordable and accessible for up to 14 days.
  • Alternatively, you could use Chat or use the third-party Zoom conferencing tool.
  • Students and faculty can both start a chat.
  • Chats cannot be deleted from a course.

What is Chat? 

What are Conferences?

Chat Overview (Video)




Attendance Tool

  • Instructors can easily take attendance based off a class list or seating chart.

If enabled, a assignment called Roll Call is created in your course/grade book.

Canvas 3rd Party Tools Canvas 3rd Party Tools
  • Both Canvas and Blackboard have the ability for instructors to integrate 3rd Party Tools 

If your instructor has incorporated any of these tools in your course they should have communicated that to you. If you have any issue with one of these tools, your first point of contact is your instructor and/or the vendor.

Module Page

Content Page

Learning Units

  • Modules are similar to folders/Learning Modules/lesson plans in Blackboard..
  • Instructors can set Module prerequisites and Module completion requirements.
  • Instructors can require students to go through Module requirements sequentially.
  • Modules can be "locked" until a given date.
  • Modules appear on the Modules page 

What are Modules?


Discussion Board/Forums/Threads Discussions
  • Instructors 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.
What are Discussions?


Discussions Overview (Video)

My Grades Grades
  • Clearly indicates Late or Missing assignments.
  • Can alternate between showing calculations based on graded assignments or not.
  • Grades can be weighted.
  • Instructors can curve grades.
  • Instructors can Mute assignments.
  • Students can message instructor within the grade column.
  • Students can enter “what---if” scenarios to calculate hypothetical grades.

What are Grades and the Gradebook?


Gradebook Overview (Video)

Rubrics Rubrics
  • Integrates with gradable items.
  • Instructors may make a rubric viewable so that they know the criteria is for completing the assignment.

What are Rubrics?


Groups Groups
  • Groups have access to many similar course tools including Announcements, Pages, Files, Discussion, Conferences and Collaboration. 
What are Student Groups?


Groups Overview (Video)

No Equivalent Collaborations
  • Allows faculty and students to easily integrate Google Docs directly into their course.

What are Collaborations?


Collaborations Overview (Video) 

Send Mail Conversations



  • Private messages appear in your 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.
  • By default, students will receive an email for every announcement and message.
How do I use Inbox/Conversations?
No Equivalent Communication Preferences
  • You can add additional contact methods besides email which is the default. (Text, Twitter, Facebook, Personal Email).
  • Define the objects that trigger the notification.
  • Message is sent back to student/faculty member’s preferred communication method.


Edit Profile

Edit User Account Settings

Change Default Email Address

Add Additional Contact Methods (Email Method & Text (SMS) Method)

User Settings and Profile Overview (Video)

ePortfolio Folio
  • Built into Canvas profile.
  • 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.

Can be found by going to the Global Navigation and clicking on Account. The Folio option in on the menu.

No Equivalent Syllabus
  • Connected to course calendar.
  • Provides organizational view of course based on assignment and quiz due dates.
  • Syllabus document can be uploaded and linked for students to read.
  • As you create/edit objects in the course, the Syllabus reflects the new or adjusted content.
  • Objects on the Syllabus are hyperlinked to content.

If enabled by your instructor, Syllabus can be found on the course navigation list.

Rich Content Editor Rich Content Editor
  • Enhances the content creation experience in Canvas.
  • Can type text and you can copy and paste text from other sources into the Rich Content Editor. 
  • Includes several formatting tools that allow you to modify your text.

Rich Content Editor (Video)


Rich Content Editor

Content – Files

Content Collection

  • Share documents with your group or other students in a course
  • Store personal documents or assignment submissions


What are Files?

Files Overview (Video)



  • View all the users participating in the course.
  • Use the search bar to find a specific person.
  • Use the drop-down menu to filter users by role. The filter will also display the number of users in each type of role [e.g. student, TA].
  • Use the Options drop-down menu to view user groups or registered services in the course.
Notifications To Do List
  • To easily see what needs to be completed you will find a To Do list located on the right-hand side of your Canvas Course Homepage.
Tests/Quizzes and Surveys Quizzes
  • Test your knowledge of course material
  • View all available quizzes in your course
  • Submit quizzes in your course
  • View quiz questions one at a time or all at once (depending on instructor preference)
  • Review quiz results

What are Quizzes?

What are New Quizzes?

Quizzes Overview (Video)


Wiki Pages
  • Pages are essentially a Wiki (you can edit and track their history).
  • Instructors can grant the ability to edit the Page to students.
  • Pages can include text, video, links to your files, YouTube, Kaltura video files and links to other course content such as assignments, discussion boards etc.
  • Pages can be linked to other Pages.

What are Pages?


Journal Workaround: Text Assignment Submission
  • Canvas does not have a separate Journal tool.

Instructors may instead create a Text Entry Assignment instead.

Blog Workaround: Discussion Board or 3rd Party Tool
  • Instructors may have students use a 3rd party application such as Blogger.com and share the URL with the class or create them their own Discussion Board in the course or a Group.


Blackboard App Mobile App
  • There is a free mobile apps available to download; the Canvas App for iOS and Android.
  • The Canvas app allows students more functionality than Blackboard app did. 
IOS Guide


Android Guide

Canvas Student App

No Equivalent Help
  • Canvas provides 24/7 Chat, Phone, Email and Online Guides support. Students/Faculty contact Canvas directly.
This can be located on Global Navigation (far left black and gold menu) and clicking on the Help button.