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Migrate or Re-create

Should I migrate my course from D2L to Canvas or should I re-create it fresh in Canvas?

The decision as to whether one should migrate their course from D2L to Canvas or re-create it freshly in Canvas is not easy. Some items - such as .pdfs - transfer easily. Others, such as a rubrics, do not transfer at all. While others, such as quizzes, are a mixed bag. The resources on this page will help instructors spend their time efficiently.


Paper Scorecard

Download a scorecard to help you assess whether it is more efficient to migrate your course from D2L to Canvas or if it is more worth your time to create your course directly in Canvas. (Credit: Luke Konkol)

Online tool for deciding whether or not to migrate

If you would prefer a digital tool to a paper-based scorecard to help you decide whether or not to move your course or re-create it. (Credit: Aaron Axelson, UW-Whitewater and Stacy Leno, UW-Superior)


Tips and Tricks

Here are some hard-won wisdom from the trenches.


If you have a quiz library in D2L and you want to maintain the structure - folders within folders - import it along with at least one other content item. There is a quirk with the import where if you just import the quiz library by itself, it will put all the questions in one big pool, rather than separated into the well-curated folders you maintained in D2L. If you import your whole course you should be fine, but importing just the question library is hard for Canvas.

Course Navigation

The Canvas template tries to put student assignments in context. As a result, students will access dropboxes, quizzes, and discussions through the homepage - which is where the modules are - the "syllabus" tab - where graded and ungraded items are - and the assignments tab - where the instructor places assignments into groups. As a result, students will not have direct access to discussions, etc. 


Canvas divides the duties of the gradebook between the "grades" area and the "assignments" area. If instructors have a "weighted" gradebook in D2L, they assign the weights in the "assignments" area of Canvas. If courses use a "points" gradebook in Canvas, everything is the same.