ARCHIVED: Review and revise migrated courses in Canvas

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.
Oncourse is retired. For details, see ARCHIVED: About the Oncourse retirement.

It is no longer possible to migrate courses from Oncourse to Canvas. If you migrated courses before Oncourse was decommissioned, but never completed the process of reviewing and revising your migrated content, you can complete this process at any time; see the following tips. Keep in mind, however, that you no longer have the option to re-run the Canvas Migration tool if you discover problems with the migrated course. Also, you will no longer be able to compare the content in the migrated site to the original Oncourse site.

On this page:

Get started

To review a migrated site:

  1. Log into Canvas.
  2. In the Canvas banner on the left, click Account and then Settings.
  3. In your personal navigation menu, click Content Migrations.
  4. Under the heading "Latest Sakai Migration Requests", locate the course you want to work with, and check the "Status" column to see whether the migration process has completed.
  5. If the status icon of your course is yellow rather than green, this means that some items in your course did not migrate properly. To get more information about the problem items, click the yellow status icon. From the drop-down menu, select # Warnings, and then scroll to the bottom of the page:
    Sample image of list of latest Sakai migration requests showing request status and indicating whether warnings are present

    You cannot print the warnings from within Canvas. Instead, select the full warnings report. Press Ctrl-c (command-c on a Mac) to copy the text, and then Ctrl-v (command-v on a Mac) to paste the text into a Microsoft Word document. Save the document so you can print it.

  6. In the Content Migrations tool in Canvas, click the link in the "Canvas ID" column. This link will take you to the "Import Content" page in your new Canvas site.
  7. Under "Current Jobs", check the status of the import. If the status is "Completed", you may begin reviewing your content. If instead you see a blue progress bar, the content import is still in progress. Wait until the status has changed to "Completed" before you proceed to the next step.
    screenshot of current jobs page
  8. Review your content. Work with one tool at a time, verifying that the content and settings of each item are correct. General guidelines for the content review process and tool-specific information are provided below.

Tool content review: General guidelines

  1. If you received warning messages when reviewing the migration status of your content, review each message. Each warning message corresponds to an item (e.g., a file, an assignment, a gradebook item) that could not be migrated. You'll need to recreate these items manually in Canvas. For assistance interpreting the warnings document, seek help.
  2. Verify that all items appear in the Canvas tool.
  3. Verify that the title of each item is correct. If not, make corrections as needed.
  4. If the item includes WYSIWYG editor content, scan the content to make sure the text and formatting are correct.
  5. If the original text included embedded images or links to materials stored in Oncourse, verify that images are visible and the links work. All links to files stored in Oncourse Resources should have been updated to point to their new location in the Canvas Files tool.
  6. If the item includes attachments, confirm the attachments are present in some form.
  7. If the item is graded, verify that the corresponding gradebook item information is correct. For more, see Gradebook migration.
  8. If the item has configuration settings, verify that comparable settings have been enabled in Canvas.
  9. If the item has available, due, and retract/accept until/end dates, verify that the dates have been preserved.
    Students are permitted to submit after the due date in Canvas. If your items have due dates and no retract/accept until dates, the original due date will be used for both the due date and the "until" date in Canvas. This will prevent students from submitting after the due date.

WYSIWYG editor content issues

These notes apply to all Oncourse content created in the Oncourse WYSIWYG (rich-text) editor. Review the relevant content in Canvas.

  • Links to websites stored in Resources: If the WYSIWYG editor in Oncourse contained a link to the index file of a website or a multifile multimedia presentation stored in Resources, only the index file was migrated automatically.
  • Base64 encoded images: If the WYSIWYG editor in Oncourse included inline images encoded in Base64, those images were not migrated. Upload the images to Canvas from the original source, and add them to the item manually.
  • Loss of formatting: Some HTML tags used in Oncourse are not permitted in Canvas and have been stripped from migrated content. This can result in some loss of formatting; for instance, depending on how they were coded, font colors may not be preserved. Review your WYSIWYG content and make formatting changes if necessary.
  • Embedded videos: Embedded videos do not migrate properly. You must upload embedded videos to Canvas manually (if they were stored in Oncourse Resources) and add them to the Canvas editor by hand.

Notes on migrating content from specific Oncourse tools

Assignments migration

  • Supporting materials (attachments): The Canvas Assignments tool does not include an option to add attachments. Instead, attachments display as links beneath the assignment instructions under the heading "Supporting Materials".
  • Group and section restrictions: Group and section restrictions are not preserved in assignments migrated to Canvas. All imported assignments will be visible to all students when they are published. However, you can restrict access to specific assignments by section by using the differentiated assignments feature; for more, see How do I assign an assignment to a course section? from the Canvas Community site.
  • Number of submissions: In Canvas, the number of submissions is always unlimited. To prevent students from submitting after a specific date, include an "until" date.
  • Ungraded assignments requiring submissions: In Canvas, a gradebook item is created for any assignment requiring an online or non-electronic submission. The gradebook items for ungraded assignments requiring submissions are worth 0 points with a grading scale of complete/incomplete. You can modify the point value or grading scale as needed.

Resources migration

Files and other items stored in Oncourse Resources are placed in the Canvas Files tool. However, the organization of items in the Files tool will be different than in Oncourse. For more about what happens to assets stored in Resources, see ARCHIVED: Organization of your migrated files in the Canvas Files tool.

  • Filenames vs. display names: In Oncourse, items in Resources could have two different names: the original filename, which was not editable in Oncourse, and an editable display name. In cases where the filename and display name were different, Canvas uses the display name for imported items.
  • File extensions: The Migration tool adds an appropriate file extension to any item in Resources that lacked a file extension, unless the file already had a period in its name. For example, if one of your MP3 files was named Video.July14, the Migration tool does not add the proper video format extension. However, if the same file were named July14, the file would be renamed July14.mp3.
  • Empty folders: Empty folders, including empty folders that only contain other empty folders, are not migrated to Canvas.
  • Identically named files: If two files in an Oncourse folder had the same name (including file extension), only one of the two is migrated to Canvas.
  • File types: Some migrated files may not open properly because Canvas did not recognize their file types during migration. To correct this problem, upload the file manually.
  • Group and section restrictions: Oncourse Resources with group and section restrictions are available to all students in Canvas. If you want to restore your group restrictions, you'll need to create groups in your course site and move the restricted files and folders to the Files tool in the appropriate groups. See the Canvas Guide How do I upload a file to a group?
  • Lock and unlock dates: File and folder lock and unlock dates do not transfer to Canvas. However, you can manually add them back in the Files tool.
  • Resources metadata: Canvas does not support the following metadata fields: "Description", "Copyright Status", "Copyright Alert", and all metadata under "Optional Properties". The metadata in those fields is not retained in migration.
  • Copyright Alert: If the Copyright Alert was enabled on an item in Resources, the item migrates, but the copyright is removed from the item in Canvas.
  • Forms and citation lists: Portfolio form instances and citation lists transfer to Canvas as HTML files. The original tool used to create and edit these files is not available in Canvas, but you can edit the HTML if necessary.
  • Web links (URLs): A separate HTML file containing the specified hyperlink is created for each web link (URL). Students must open the file and click the link to navigate to the URL.

Forums migration

  • Forums: In Oncourse, a forum was a container for related discussion topics. When an Oncourse forum is migrated to Canvas, the forum itself is treated as just another topic, not a container of topics. If you don't want or need the additional topics created by migrated forums, you can delete them. If the description for the forum is vital to understanding the purpose and context of its child topics, you can either copy and paste the description into each discussion topic or you can group the topics in a Canvas module and add the forum description to the beginning of the module. For more about the Canvas Modules tool, see the Canvas Guide What are Modules?
  • Open and close dates: Forum and topic open and close dates do not transfer to Canvas. However, you can manually add them back in Canvas.
  • Locked topics: Locked topics are open when they are migrated to Canvas.
  • Group and section restrictions: Group and/or section restrictions are not preserved when forums and topics are migrated to Canvas. In Oncourse, separate copies of the same topic were often created for each group. Once these duplicate topics are migrated to Canvas, you'll need to select one from each set of group topics and configure it as a group discussion. You can then delete the copies of the same topic. You can also restrict access to specific topics by section by using the differentiated assignments feature; for more, see How do I assign an assignment to a course section? from the Canvas Community site.
  • Attachments: Attachments in the original forum or topic description display as links beneath the topic instructions under the heading "Supporting Materials".
  • Foreign language characters in filenames: Attachments with foreign language characters in the filename are not transferred to Canvas.
  • Gradebook item bug: Forums and/or topics linked to gradebook items with an apostrophe ( ' ), slash ( / ), or pound sign ( # ) in the gradebook item title result in a warning, and corresponding gradebook items are not created in Canvas. This may occur with other special characters as well. You will need to update the point value for the item in Canvas.

Gradebook migration

The Canvas Migration tool does not migrate your entire gradebook. It does, however, create Canvas gradebook items for each graded assignment, forum, and test or quiz that you migrate to Canvas. It also tries to recreate most of your gradebook categories and settings. Review all gradebook items and settings carefully and update as necessary, as they will have a direct impact on students' final grades. Following are details as to how specific items transfer:

  • Linking two or more activities to the same gradebook item: In Canvas, it is not possible for two or more graded activities to use the same gradebook item. A separate gradebook item is created for each graded activity with the same name as the activity.
  • Points items: Points items in Oncourse have the same point value in Canvas and are displayed as points.
  • Percentage items: Percentage items in Oncourse use the gradebook item relative weight as their point value in Canvas and are displayed as a percentage. Since gradebook item relative weights tend to be in the range of 1-10, be sure to review all point values migrated from percentage gradebooks and revise as necessary.
  • Adjustment items: Adjustment items in Oncourse have a point value of 0 in Canvas and are displayed as points. Points earned on these items will be treated as extra credit because points earned are always greater than the total possible points of the item.
  • Non-calculating items: Non-calculating items in Oncourse have a point value of 0 in Canvas and are displayed as a letter grade.
  • Ungraded assignments requiring submissions: Ungraded assignments requiring submissions have a point value of 0 in Canvas and are displayed as complete/incomplete.
  • Gradebook categories with and without weighting: If your Oncourse gradebook had categories, the Canvas Migration tool creates Assignment Groups (the Canvas equivalent of gradebook categories) for the categories associated with migrated items. Gradebook categories containing items that aren't associated with items in the Oncourse Assignments, Forums, and Tests & Surveys tools are not created. If your gradebook categories were weighted in Oncourse, the corresponding Assignment Group in Canvas has the same weight. The rules for dropping the highest and lowest score for each category are also preserved.
  • Items not included in course grade calculations: Oncourse gradebook items that were not included in course grade calculations are placed in an Assignment Group named "Not Included in Course Grade".
  • Release this item to students: If this option was unchecked for an Oncourse gradebook item, the item is muted in Canvas. For more about muting an assignment in Canvas, see the Canvas Guide How do I mute or unmute an assignment in the Gradebook?
  • Display released items to students (gradebook-wide setting): If this option was unchecked in Oncourse, all gradebook items in Canvas are muted.
  • Tests & Surveys feedback settings: If a score was not released in the Oncourse feedback settings, the corresponding gradebook item is muted in Canvas.

Tests & Surveys migration

  • Practice (ungraded) assessments: If the grades for an Oncourse assessment were not sent to the Oncourse Gradebook, the migrated assessment is configured as a practice quiz in Canvas, but an assignment and gradebook item are erroneously created for the assessment. To correct this problem, go to the Quizzes tool and edit the name of the quiz. Once the name has been changed, the assignment and gradebook item will be removed automatically.
  • Grade visibility: In Oncourse, if feedback settings prevented a student from seeing the grade for an assessment, that assessment is muted in Canvas. However, assessments that were not configured to send grades to the Gradebook in Oncourse are treated as practice quizzes in Canvas. Practice quizzes cannot be muted.
  • Attachments: Attachments in the assessment introduction, part information, and questions display as links under the heading "Supporting Materials" in Canvas.
  • Question pools: Oncourse question pools are migrated to Canvas only if they are used in a Random Draw part.
  • Multiple correct, single-selection questions: This question type does not exist in Canvas. These questions are converted to multiple-answer questions with a note to choose all correct answers. Review these questions to make sure you are satisfied with the result.
  • Matching questions: Canvas does not support rich text and/or images in the matches (left side) and choices (right side) of matching questions. The Migration tool preserves rich text in matches (left side), but the rich-text content is not editable in Canvas. If your Oncourse matching questions included rich text or images in the choices (right side), they are converted to plain text. Review all matching questions that used rich text for matches or choices, and recreate these questions if necessary.
  • Fill-in-the-blank questions: Canvas does not support wildcards in fill-in-the-blank answers. If you used wildcards in your questions, you will need to correct the answers. Fill-in-the-blank questions in Canvas are not case sensitive and the mutually exclusive option is not supported.
  • Numeric response questions: Canvas does not allow multiple blanks in numeric response questions. Multiple-blank numeric questions are brought into Canvas as fill-in-the-blank questions unless there is a range specified for the answers. Numeric questions with multiple blanks and answer ranges are left out of the migrated assessment, and a warning appears on your "Content Migrations" page in Canvas.
  • File upload questions: Question feedback is not migrated in Canvas. You'll need to re-add question feedback manually.
  • Survey questions: In Canvas, survey questions can only be added to surveys, not to quizzes or practice quizzes. If a survey question was included in a graded quiz in Oncourse, it is treated as a multiple-choice question worth 0 points in Canvas and with all answers selected as correct. If you edit the question, only one answer can be marked as correct. To keep all answers as correct, change the question type to multiple answers.
  • Quizzes with embedded Flash videos: In Canvas, students cannot submit quizzes that have Flash videos embedded in parts or questions. All Flash content must be removed from the quiz after migration to Canvas.

Modules migration

  • Due and until dates: The Canvas Modules tool does not support due and until dates. If they were used in Oncourse, these dates are added to the module description in Canvas, but they will not be enforced.
  • Module content: Individual items (e.g., Description/Overview, Content Sections, Next Steps) in the Oncourse Modules tool are migrated to wiki pages in the Canvas Pages tool. The wiki pages are grouped into modules in the Canvas Modules tool, preserving both the order and the hierarchy (up to three levels of indentation) of the content sections.
  • Indentation: The Canvas Modules tool only supports three levels of indentation. Level four and higher indentation are reduced to level three.
  • Licensing (default and section-specific): Licensing is handled at the course level in Canvas. Licensing selections in the Oncourse Modules tool are appended to the bottom of each content page in the rich-content editor.

Lessons migration

When Oncourse Lessons are migrated to Canvas, each top-level Lessons page is treated as a module in Canvas. All content and subpages within the lesson appear in their original order as a series of links to content in other Canvas tools or resources on the web. Check links to all migrated content carefully to make sure they work as expected. Following are additional details:

  • Student content pages:
    • If an Oncourse lesson included a student content section, the section is represented in Canvas as a discussion topic in which students must post before viewing other posts.
    • If a graded student content section in Oncourse included graded comments, the corresponding discussion topic in Canvas is graded and the total possible points for the topic is the sum of maximum points for the content and the comments.
  • Comments sections: If an Oncourse lesson included a comments section, a discussion topic named "Lesson name - Comments" is created in Canvas.
  • Resource descriptions: Resource descriptions do not migrate to Canvas. Information added in Lessons descriptions for the students will need to be recreated in Canvas.
  • Item titles: If a migrated item shows up with number instead of a title, the Migration tool was unable to find a title for the item. Replace the number with a meaningful title.
  • Duplicate page names: If your lessons included two or more pages or subpages with the same name (e.g., Week 1 > Review, Week 2 > Review, etc.), a number was added to the page during the migration (e.g., Week 2 > Review - 2), because page titles must be unique in Canvas.
  • Multimedia content:
    • If a YouTube video added as multimedia content in Lessons does not display or play properly in Canvas, first verify the video is still available on YouTube. If it is, you may need to reformat the URL, as non-secure URLs will not display within the Canvas wrapper. For more, see ARCHIVED: Migrate YouTube videos from Oncourse Lessons to Canvas Modules.
    • If an image stored in Oncourse Resources was added to multiple pages, only the first placement is preserved in the migrated course. To add the image to additional locations in Canvas Modules, click the + (plus sign) in the desired module, select File from the drop-down menu, and select the image file from your course files. You can then drag the item into the proper location within the module.
  • External tools: Links to external (LTI) tools in Lessons, including links to Engage (i.e., IU eTexts), do not migrate properly. You'll need to recreate them in Canvas.
  • Linked assignments, forum topics, and/or assessments: The Migration tool does its best to preserve links to assignments, forum topics, and assessments. Sometimes, however, the Migration tool cannot find the linked item in Oncourse. If the links are not preserved, you can recreate them in Canvas. More details are provided below:
    • If the migrated course includes the warning message "unable to find matching assignment for assignment id /dummy", the Migration tool was unable to find the linked assignment in Oncourse. Verify that all linked assignments in your lessons are present in the Modules tool and test each link. Recreate links as necessary.
    • If the migrated course includes the warning message "unable to retrieve lesson item ######## - name of exam/quiz", the Migration tool was unable to find an "unpublished" assessment by that name in Oncourse. You will need to locate the correct assessment in Canvas and recreate the link.
    • All linked assessments need to be published in Canvas after the migration in order for students to access them.
  • Lesson completion grade: If the option Create gradebook entry when page is completed was enabled for a top-level page in Lessons, an extra graded assignment called "Module name Completion" is added to the corresponding module in Canvas. If you don't want or need the assignment, delete it.
  • Prerequisites (conditional release):
    • In Canvas, prerequisites are set at the module level only, whereas Oncourse Lessons supported prerequisites at both lesson and item levels. If select items within an Oncourse lesson had prerequisites, they will not be enforced in Canvas unless you enable the module option Students must move through requirements in this module in sequential order.
    • If the release of every item in a given lesson was dependent on successful completion of the previous item, the option Students must move through requirements in this module in sequential order will be enabled by default in the corresponding module in Canvas.

Get help with course migration

For more information or for assistance making the transition from Oncourse to Canvas, contact your campus teaching and learning center or the UITS Support Center.

Related documents

This is document bfqm in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-08-16 11:33:09.