TED Tips – Issue 4: From D2L to Canvas

The Canvas Migration process is well underway.  We looked last week at some of the details and training opportunities to help understand the migration process.  This week’s TED Tip examines some options to get a course from D2L into Canvas.

While UW-Whitewater strongly encourages freshman-facing courses to be offered in Canvas (specific departments and colleges may have other requirements), from Fall 2018 through Spring 2019, you can choose either D2L or Canvas for your courses.

If you want to offer your course in D2L for students, you will need to complete the normal D2L “Course Request Process”.  You may have used this process before.  In D2L, by default, courses are not created until requested.

Canvas, however, automatically creates courses for you; there will no longer be a separate course request process.   Be advised, while these courses are automatically created (and WINS enrollments and course integrations will take place), these are blank placeholder courses.  You still need to import or create content and set up the course normally.  Additionally, while these blank courses help get you started – they will remain inaccessible until you actually “Publish” them.  You can find the publish command in the “Course Status” area in upper right corner from the Home screen inside each course.  Even though the course creation process and enrollments will happen automatically, you still will have to choose to “Publish” that course to make it available.

How do I get my content into Canvas?

You can create content directly inside of Canvas.  A transition like this a great opportunity to review learning objectives, update learning activities, and evaluate assessment effectiveness.  The move from one platform to another is a great opportunity to start fresh to create the best possible student experience we can. Striving for continuous improvement increases quality.

It is also possible to import existing content from D2L to canvas.  As with all moves, a good tip is to clean up existing files and content before the move.  It is recommended to go into the “Edit Course” section inside of D2L and then purge unneeded materials through the “Manage Files” command.

Once we are ready to migrate, the Course Complexity Application is a great resource.   WINS courses from Winter 2016 through Winter 2018 that are associated with your D2L account will show up with a complexity rating.  This complexity rating provides an estimate of time needed to fix your course inside Canvas.  Not everything transfers easily.  For example, grade categories or weighted grade items do not transfer into Canvas; you will have to spend time setting up new categories or configuring your gradebook in Canvas.  Quizzes and pools of randomized quiz questions are other common items that will require your attention in Canvas.  Every course is different, but the estimates provide a good gauge of time.

How Do I Export and Import Content?

The Course Complexity Application provides an “Export course from desire to learn” command that will start the process.  Alternatively, you could work from inside of D2L directly and from the edit course option, select the “import/export/copy components” command.  This is the same place command you may have used to copy from one section of a course to another.

After you have started to create an export from either place, select the course materials.  This ultimately creates a zip package export of your course.  Save or rename this zip file appropriately.

Next, go to Canvas.  Select your specific course and then choose the “Import Course Content” command from the “Settings” button.  Select the content type select “D2L export .zip format”.   Then choose the zipped file package you created in the last step.  Select all content.  When ready, you can then click import to move content into your course.   The processes of importing from one format to the next may take some time.  A video walkthrough is linked from the resources section if you are looking for a more visual step by step guide to this process.

After import, Canvas will provide an Issue List.  Canvas flags content that did not import easily as an issue.  You may need to rebuild some content.  You may need to reconfigure some tests.  You may need to double check the gradebook.  Another tool to review is the “Validate Links” command from setting option in canvas.  Like Issues, this will generate a list of broken links inside your Canvas course that you can use to update and review.

Whether you have created the content in Canvas for the first time or imported it from D2L – it is a good practice to review and proofread your new course before your publish it.

What other help is available?

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) continues to provide workshops.  Look for “Canvas Hands-On Introduction” for beginners, “Canvas Construction Zones” for hands on step by step migration, and “Canvas Deep Dives” for more in depth looks at specific tools and concepts.  Canvas also has a 24 / 7 toll free technical support service line including phone, chat, and email options Canvas 24/7/365 Support.

Next week I want to welcome you a bit more to the LTC and introduce you to some of the services and people that can help you explore ways to enhance student learning.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

Video:  Moving a Course from D2L to Canvas

Canvas Migration Website:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal

Course Complexity App: http://dl.uwsa.edu

Link Validator reference: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12770-4152476605

Detailed Course Content Migration documentation: UW System Course Content Migration Documentation

D2L course request site:   http://my.uww.edu/d2lrequest

TED Tips – Issue 3:  Canvas Migration Update at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater

Last week we started to explore the difference between an LMS (Learning Management System) and a DLE (Digital Learning Environment).  One of the key strategic observations is that the UW-System is in the process of migrating from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas Instructure as the main tool “hub”.  The emphasis is on creating a seamless, consistent, and accessible student experience.   Having said that…what does that mean for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater?  What should you expect this fall and what do you need to know?   How do you get help and support to meet your instructional needs throughout this migration?  This week’s “TED Tip” hopes to answer some of those questions.

Image:  “Migration” by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Do we have to migrate to Canvas?

Yes.  All UW-System schools (except for Madison) are in the process of moving to the Canvas platform.  Madison has already been using Canvas.  This migration project is managed by the UW-System, with input from individuals on each of the campuses.  This does not diminish your academic freedoms; it provides a common platform for delivering content throughout the UW-System.

When does the migration affect us?

The migration process is already well underway.  Fall 2018 is the first semester that Canvas is available to use for your courses.  Spring 2019 is the last semester that Desire2Learn will be available.   Starting in Summer 2019, all courses will be required to use Canvas. Existing content stored in D2L will be accessible to instructors through Spring 2020 for migration.

For Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, you can choose what platform you want to deliver your courses.  Having said that, the choice of platform makes a lasting impact on students. As we examined last week, one of the goals of the UW-System supports a consistent Digital Learning Environment.  Because we are moving towards building this long lasting and supported environment for students, The University of Wisconsin Whitewater strongly encourages you to develop freshman-facing courses in Canvas.  This should make things easier for new students, by limiting their need to learn both Canvas and Desire2Learn.  It is possible that you will have courses in D2L and Canvas; it is possible that students will be taking courses in both D2L and Canvas.

Some courses, departments, and/or colleges may have other specific transition requirements.  If you are unsure, it is always helpful to double check.

What other help is available?

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) has been offering a variety of services to help prepare you to teach in the fall in Canvas.  Look for a series of in person, hands-on workshops.  Some are offered remotely via webinars.

If you are just getting started in Canvas, a “Canvas Hands-On Introduction” workshop is the place to start.  These introduction workshops cover the basic functions and core tools in Canvas.  These are great if you have never used Canvas.   They are interactive and provide the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

“Canvas Construction Zones” are hands-on, workshops in computer labs specifically focused on transitioning content from D2L to Canvas.  The construction zones use a course complexity application tool to help estimate the time of work you will need to put into setting up your course in Canvas.

“Canvas Deep Dives” are more in depth explorations of how to leverage specific tools or topics, often exploring various options to best meet the needs of your teaching.  These are more advanced workshops but cover fundamentals like grading in Canvas, leveraging the syllabus and calendar tool, providing feedback, and creating new content in canvas.

Colleges may also offer additional Canvas training opportunities.  For example, the College of Business and Economics, has its own Canvas Training program.  Check the University of Whitewater Event Sign up tool for additional training opportunities.  Finally, there are also a series of asynchronous recorded workshops that can help acclimate you to the environment and get address specific needs you may have.

You are not alone!

In addition to the workshops and trainings, the LTC has college-specific faculty peer mentors available to help provide assistance with the Canvas Transition.

The peer mentors are available to:

  • Help answer transition questions.
  • Provide training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
  • Work to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.

Additional Services and Support

Canvas itself has a more robust technical support service line that includes 24 / 7 toll free hotline and live online chat interactions.  These can be reached from the Canvas 24/7/365 Support website for basic how-to questions.

This weeks TED tip covers a lot of territory regarding the status of the Canvas Migration project, the training and support opportunities available, and where to find assistance and support.  Next week we’ll focus more closely at one of these important tasks:  how exactly DO I convert my D2L course to Canvas.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

Canvas Migration Website:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal

Canvas Training Videos:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/training

Course Complexity App: http://dl.uwsa.edu

Want to learn more about Canvas? Join the LTC at one of our online or face-to-face workshops this summer! Signup at: http://go.uww.edu/ltc-workshop-signup

University of Wisconsin Whitewater Event Sign-up tool: https://my.uww.edu/signup/Home

Peer Mentors:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/peer-mentors

In Depth UW System support for the Course Content Migration: https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/implementation/teams/uwsa-workstreams/course-content-migration/

Saturday LTC Drop-In!

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) is offering an all day Saturday drop-in on April 28th, featuring two Canvas Hands-On Instructional Workshops! This event is a great opportunity for instructors and staff who are not able to attend workshops or reach out to the LTC during our standard operating hours, to stop by and have their questions answered.

Join us in our newly updated Active Learning Classroom, in McGraw 19A, for in person help and Canvas Hands-On training. Please be sure to bring your laptop or personal device. To sign-up for one of the Canvas Hands-On training times listed below, please click here.

Contact us to set up a one-on-one appointment either in person, or virtually from 8:00am to 10:00am or 3:00pm to 4:00pm. If you are not able to make it to campus, no problem! You can schedule a one-on-one WebEx or Spark meeting during the one-on-one appointment times listed below by contacting the LTC.

Please stop by to get your questions answered, stay until your problems are solved, and stop by to get to know Canvas!

Saturday Drop-In Schedule

8:00 – 10:00am    Staff available for one-on-one appointments with instructors

10:00 – Noon         Canvas Hands-On Instruction

1:00 – 3:00pm        Canvas Hands-On Instruction

3:00 – 4:00pm        Staff available for one-on-one appointments with instructors

For further questions about the Saturday LTC Drop-In please contact the LTC at ltc@uww.edu.

Canvas Course Design Feedback – November 28th

PrintAs part of the Canvas migration project, there has been a UW-System team working on developing different course template options.  This team will be visiting UW-Whitewater on Tuesday, November 28th between 1pm and 5pm.  During this time, the team will be giving you a chance to have some hands on interaction with the course templates and will be seeking your feedback.  This feedback will be used to guide the development of the final versions that will be implemented for courses inside of the Canvas platform.  Laptops will be provided in these sessions.  Please bring along any mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) that you would also like to use for testing.

We are seeking feedback from ALL audiences that plan to interface with Canvas on campus.  Please register for one of the appropriate sessions below!

Teacher (Instructor) Audience – sessions held in McGraw 19a:

Learner (Student) Audience – sessions held in McGraw 19c:

If you have any questions please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.