Learning Systems Announcements

Put Some Tech in Your T&L

Greetings VCU Faculty,

We hope your Spring 2021 semester has gone smoothly. Learning Systems would like to thank you for your continued support as we move forward through the final stage of our Blackboard to Canvas LMS transition. Here are some reminders of events and procedures that we’d like you to be aware of as you are finishing out the Spring 2021 term.


Starting with the 2021 Summer sessions, VCU faculty and staff will begin exclusively hosting their courses and organizations in Canvas as the official university supported LMS. The deadline to retrieve any content from your Blackboard courses is May 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm. There is no deadline for importing this content into Canvas; this can be done at your own convenience.

Want a fresh start?

It is not mandatory that you  gather your Blackboard content, but this is your last opportunity to do so! If you would like to have a fresh start in Canvas and do not wish to take any of your content with you, that is totally fine. In fact, this is preferred! If nothing else, we only ask that you download the gradebook for each of your Blackboard courses and save them for your own records. Then that’s it; you are done!

Need to migrate content from Blackboard to Canvas?

If you wish to save some or all of your content, it is crucial that you gather the course content you feel necessary and export it from Blackboard as soon as possible. Everything you need to know can be found on the Pack your Bags; VCU is Moving to Canvas page.

  • Export Content From Blackboard (deadline is May 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm)
    • Note: There is a 2 GB storage limit in all Canvas courses and organizations. If your course exceeds this limit, it is important that you clean up your Blackboard courses before importing it into Canvas.
  • Import Content into Canvas (no deadline)

If you are currently teaching in Blackboard and have students with an incomplete who now need to finish the course in Canvas, please visit the Student Incompletes from Blackboard to Canvas page or this handy document on How to Handle Incompletes from Blackboard to Canvas.

The March 31, 2021 deadline for leaders to retrieve organization content has passed. If for any reason you missed this deadline, please see the Blackboard Organization Deadline has Passed – What Now? page.


2021 Faculty Canvas Boot Camp

In our ongoing commitment to help make your transition to Canvas as easy as possible, VCU Online and Academic Technologies have teamed up again to offer an incredible event with faculty training workshops and more! Please join us May 25-28, 2021 for the 2021 Faculty Canvas Boot Camp.

Other Canvas Training Opportunities

Canvas Plus (3rd Party Tools) Integration Requests

Faculty have the ability to obtain their own tool credentials (i.e. secret and key) and integrate them into their own individual course. Visit the Canvas Plus knowledge base pages for instructions. 

If you would like to request a tool be added for all courses in a department or all courses university-wide, you must follow the Canvas Plus (3rd Party Tool) Requests procedure.

For a list of tools that have already been integrated with Canvas, visit the Integrated Canvas Plus Tools Available for Use page.

Collaborate Ultra in Canvas

Currently, Collaborate Ultra is integrated with Canvas but it is part of the Blackboard suite of tools and will no longer be available once Blackboard has been decommissioned. For more information, see the Collaborate Ultra is Going Away with Blackboard blog post.

Canvas Media Storage – What you need to Know

Canvas is an LMS, not a video hosting platform. Most users with an eID already have an account in Kaltura in order to store all video and audio files. Videos, Zoom or otherwise, should be uploaded into Kaltura and then embedded into your Canvas course

With courses having to be moved primarily online due to COVID-19, instructors have increasingly started using Zoom for their recording needs. What you may not know is, if Cloud Recording is enabled for your Zoom account, your recordings will automatically be uploaded to your Kaltura – My Media account for storage and sharing. This makes it easier to embed your Zoom recordings to your Canvas course without using up all of your 2 GB storage space.

Note: Users on the “HIPAA” sub-account are locked out of the Cloud Recording feature to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations. For more information on how to get your videos embedded in Kaltura, see the HIPAA Compliance page.

Watch the Kaltura Videos to Canvas video for instructions.

Large Files and Images

Large documents, images, powerpoints with images and videos, etc. should be stored in your Google Drive where you can enjoy unlimited storage with your VCU apps account.

To add these files to your course use the Google Drive icon that now appears in the Rich Content Editor. The icon displays everything in a user’s Google Drive account and allows users to display documents as in-line links or embed them directly. Students and teachers can view the icon anywhere they can access the Rich Content Editor, such as assignments, tests, discussions and pages. (If the icon is not displayed, click the ? icon for the More External Tools drop-down menu to see it.)

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This is the final year VCU will be supporting SoftChalk Cloud & Create. On May 22, 2022, SoftChalk will no longer be available for use.

As an alternative, Technology Services has established an Articulate 360 Team Agreement to provide VCU departments/schools quick access to Team licenses and benefits. 

Articulate 360 provides a suite of e-Learning web authoring tools used to create a lesson or course, and enables you to add custom interaction and quizzing. Available templates allow you to create well designed courses with limited effort.

To purchase an Articulate 360 Team license, submit a service request identifying the number of licenses, name, eID, and email of each license recipient, as well as the billing budget code.

Thank you, 

VCU Learning Systems

Categories Announcements, Bb News, Blackboard Collaborate, Blackboard Notice, Canvas, End of Semester, Faculty, Kaltura, Online Teaching and Development, SoftChalk Cloud & Create, Students, Uncategorized, Workshops and Training

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