Frequently Asked Questions

‌Why are we moving to Canvas?

The State University System’s 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education outlines the plans to enhance quality, access and affordability of online courses and programs in state universities.  As part of that plan, the SUS entered into an agreement with Canvas, an online learning platform.  The decision came from the Board of Governors after 65% of students in a survey said that they had used multiple platforms in the past three years.  Almost half of the students surveyed said the platforms had created obstacles to learning.  Hearing this discouraging news, the SUS tested and scored several options.  Canvas received the highest score from testers in every category, ranging from the ease of “customizing curriculum” to “managing student grades” and “tracking student progress.”

When are we moving to Canvas?

All UWF online courses (including supplemental and blended courses) will be offered only in Canvas fall 2018.  There will a small number of programs that will transition prior to fall 2018, however fall 2018 is the university-wide start date for Canvas.  The Canvas course migration will be completed at the end of the summer semester 2018.

Who will move my course content to Canvas?

All active courses in Summer 2017, Fall 2017, and Spring 2018 will be migrated from D2L into Canvas for faculty by ITS. ATC does not handle the migration process. Courses that are not active (ex: master course, development shells) or not in these time frames will not be migrated. Faculty will need to back up these courses on a work computer to have access to them and the files in them after the transition. ATC recommends that faculty back up all courses that contain content that is irreplaceable regardless if ITS is migrating them or not. Instructions on organizing and backing up your course.

What does "active" course mean?

An "active" course is a course that was offered for credit by UWF, in which students were enrolled and ran on a fall, spring, or summer term. 

What can I do to prepare?

Instructors could begin now by cleaning out their “manage files” area and removing any unneeded files.  You want your course to be “lean and mean” by the time we migrate.  Smaller files will transition easier.  You will want to prepare your fall rotation courses first. Once those are pruned, then you can begin working on spring and then summer.  So in other words, your workload can be managed if you think in terms of semesters. Instructions on organizing and backing up your course. 

How does Canvas compare to D2L?

Canvas has all of the core functionality found in D2L, but there are some differences in the way that each tool works.  Your content will display very much in the same way it does now.  In Canvas, there is a tool for discussions.  Students are able to see grades. There is a tool for uploading written assignments. Please see the Canvas-D2L Comparison table for more information.  

Where can I get help?

There are many ways to find help:





Features include a cleaner interface, easier building experience, and SpeedGrader. Students report increased satisfaction due to hypothetical grades, a superior mobile app, and simplified group work.


Get Ready

ATC offers training opportunities in multiple formats: text-based documentation, face-to-face sessions with an instructional designer, group training classes, Live@Lunch 1-hour webinars, and video-based training.

Training Resources


ATC has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you with the transition to Canvas. If you have questions please visit here before emailing

F.A.Q. List


The Academic Technology Center (ATC) provides faculty support and training programs in support of excellence in online curriculum and instruction.  

ATC Homepage