Converting Canvas Courses to Blackboard

Document created by jacob.webb on Jan 31, 2019Last modified by jacob.webb on Jan 31, 2019
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I've received a lot of emails about converting courses from Canvas to Blackboard after I made a post on this thread. I thought it might be helpful if I just created a guide that others could use.



Blackboard noticed that more and more institutions desired the ability to import courses from other learning management systems and created a course conversion tool. The course conversion tool is able to convert courses from the following learning management systems:

  • Pearson eCollege
  • Desire2Learn Brightspace
  • Moodle 2.x/3.x
  • Instructure Canvas 1.1/1.3


The course conversion tool can be downloaded by Blackboard Administrators that have access to Behind The Blackboard. The course converter can be found here. The tool can be used to convert individual courses or multiple courses in bulk.



Setting up the tool is not that difficult. However, It does require experience with Windows Command Prompt or macOS Terminal. For this guide, I'll be providing directions using macOS and Terminal as I don't have access to a Windows machine.


Step 1. Download the Blackboard Course Converter. You'll need to agree to the terms and conditions on the page to download. Once the file is downloaded, it should automatically unzip in your Downloads folder. The unzipped folder should be labeled Blackboard_Course_Conversion_Tool-X.X (X.X will be replaced with the current version of the conversion tool). Unzip the file if it was not done automatically. Rename the unzipped folder to bbcc and move it to your desktop.


Step 2. Open the recently renamed bbcc folder on your desktop and create two folders. Name one folder input and the other output.



Figure 1. The contents of the bbcc folder after adding the input and output folders.


Step 3. Open the config folder inside the recently renamed bbcc folder and open the file. You might need to download a text editor to do this. TextWrangler can be downloaded for free here. Change line 1 in the file from the default path of sourceDir=D:\\ to the path below. It should look like this:




You'll need to switch out YOURHOMEFODLERNAME in the path above with the name of your home folder on your computer. For example, my home folder is labeled jwebb. The updated path would look like this:




You can find the name of your home folder by opening your finder or double clicking on your Macintosh HD.



Figure 2. The name of the home folder for your user account on your computer.


Save the file and you can ignore the content on line 2.


Step 3. Export a course from Canvas and put the exported .imscc file in the input folder within the bbcc folder on your desktop. If you need directions on how to export a Canvas course, you can find them here.


Step 4. Open Terminal on your computer. You can do this by clicking on the magnifying glass in the top right corner and typing in terminal. When Terminal opens, you'll need to type in the following command:


Desktop/bbcc/bin/bbcc --sourceArchive=InsertCourseFilename


Switch out InsertCourseFilename with the name of the .imscc file that was exported from Canvas. For example, my Canvas course had the following export filename: i-dea-sp-2019-5-export.imscc.


I updated the above command to the following:


Desktop/bbcc/bin/bbcc --sourceArchive=i-dea-sp-2019-5-export.imscc


Run the command and you should see the Blackboard Course Converter running.



Figure 3. The Blackboard Course Converter tool running with some sweet ASCII Art.


Step 5. After the conversion has completed (you'll see a confirmation message), grab the converted export file from the output folder inside the bbcc folder on your desktop and upload that into Blackboard as a normal course package.


Congratulations! You've just converted a Canvas course to Blackboard using the Blackboard Course Converter.

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