Transition FAQ - Canvas
Skip to main content

Rutgers has selected Canvas as the university’s official learning management system. Below are a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will help you find answers about the Canvas transition process. We are still in the early stages of planning the transition.

We will be adding additional FAQs and Resources as the project progresses. If you don’t see an answer to your question, please visit the feedback form to submit specific questions, comments, and/or concerns.


By choosing Canvas, Rutgers will be taking a significant step to enhance the educational experience for the university community. Recognized for its ease of use, flexibility, and mobile capabilities, Canvas is the leading choice among Rutgers’ peer institutions.

A university-wide committee was formed in the Fall of 2017 to examine the various learning management systems (LMS) and determine the feasibility of moving to a single system. The selection of Canvas was made after consideration by the LMS committee, which had representation from all current learning management system teams as well as various faculty, staff, and students from across the university. The committee also conducted a thorough review of best practices and evaluated the systems in use at peer institutions. Based on all the findings, the recommendation was made to select Canvas as the single solution for Rutgers University.

Over the last ten years, there have been many changes in educational technology; specifically, within the realm of learning management systems (LMS). Faculty are growing more dependent upon features that create engaging and meaningful learning experiences for their students. The move from multiple systems to a single, university-wide LMS will foster collaboration, reduce complexity, and simplify the learning and teaching experience for Rutgers students and faculty. The overall experience will be improved by consolidating to one LMS, and while the aforementioned systems provide basic capabilities, many find Canvas’ features suit the needs of both faculty and students today.

Canvas is used by more than 3,000 universities, school districts, and institutions around the world. Many major universities are using Canvas, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California at Berkeley, and twelve out of the fourteen Big Ten universities. Additionally, all of the original founding Sakai schools have moved to Canvas, with Stanford being the last to move in 2016.

Yes, these three legacy learning management systems will be phased out over the coming years. Anyone currently using these systems for courses, projects, and other purposes will be given ample time to transition content to alternative solutions. The project team will work with stakeholders to determine timelines, support resources, and identify alternative solutions.

While no official timeline has been developed, schools and departments will work with the project team to determine a sufficient roadmap for the transition to Canvas based on the legacy learning management system in use, needs of the instructors, and the resources available. All information regarding the system roadmap and transition deadlines will be provided here as they become available.

A transition plan is being developed to address courses in the legacy learning management systems. Official timelines will be announced as they become available. If you are interested in transitioning your course prior to when your timeline is announced, please contact your local instructional support group.

For any questions and concerns related to the transition to Canvas, please contact:

Rutgers University–Newark:

Rutgers University–Camden:

Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences: or your local instructional support group

To get started with using Canvas, please request a Sandbox course site and visit the Instructor Getting Started. Here you will find information about how to create your course site, sign up for training, and migrate course content should you wish to do so.

Every effort will be made to assist faculty with the migration of course content in legacy learning management systems.  While some content can move easily between systems, it may be necessary for faculty to re-create components in the new environment. The goal is to minimize the impact on faculty and students, and additional support will be provided when necessary.  Once migrated, course content will be archived according to university policy regarding data retention. A migration timeline is forthcoming; until then you may continue to teach on your current system.

Yes. Instructors retain control and ownership over their content in Canvas unless otherwise specified by their school, department, or program.

Please consult with your local instructional support unit for information regarding new course development.

Rutgers University–Newark:

Rutgers University–Camden:

Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences: or your local instructional support group

You may continue to develop in and use your legacy learning management system until a migration plan has been developed for your campus/school/department.

As an enterprise software solution for the university, Canvas will be administered by the Office of Information Technology.

No. Those that are already on Canvas do not have to do anything differently.

Faculty and staff will continue to have access to previous versions of courses and non-course sites (i.e., for projects). Blackboard users will continue to have access for at least the next three years. For Moodle and Sakai, while a system sunsetting plan has yet to be determined, users will be given ample time to migrate content before access is turned off.

Moving to a singular learning management system will initially focus on course sites. While we eventually plan to move all content from Blackboard/Moodle/Sakai to Canvas, non-course related content will be addressed once appropriate alternatives are identified. Project site owners are free to continue using their existing project sites in their respective systems until further notice but are encouraged to begin seeking out other options.

If you are not familiar with using Canvas and are looking for a specific tool that you use in another learning system, please view the Canvas Tool Equivalent Chart for each LMS. It will tell you the equivalent of several tools and options in Canvas, where to find them, as well as offer links to both text and video guides on how to use them. Please note that this chart will be updated as we identify other equivalent tools.

Most third-party tools are integrated with the learning management systems (LMS) through the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. Canvas is fully LTI compatible, which allows users to continue utilizing tools like Kaltura and others, regardless of the LMS in use. View the External Apps for Canvas to see what is already integrated. With that said, third-party tools will also be evaluated for effectiveness, usability, and user preference to reduce redundancy and provide our faculty, staff, and students with the best tools possible.