As you design your course based on your desired learning outcomes, it is important to think through what parts of your content are critical to support student achievement of those outcomes and what parts are less critical. By continuing the process of backward design, the foundational content should directly support students as they complete activities and assessments. Content that doesn’t directly support activities and assessments (which were developed to provide practice and show mastery of learning outcomes) is supplemental content and would be prioritized behind foundational content. Supplemental content can include additional in-depth materials for advanced students, related inter-disciplinary content, or review of basic knowledge and skills for students without the prerequisite abilities for the course.

When migrating course content, many faculty have opted to start from scratch and only use the course components from their migrated course that support the learning outcomes and course design.  To start from scratch, use one of your DEV shells to build the course.  Once the DEV course is finished, you will import it into the official Banner created course.


Migrated courses, DEV shells, and Official Courses, oh my!

When you log into Canvas, you may be confused or overwhelmed with the different ‘course shells’ appearing on your Dashboard.  Here is an explanation about each type of shell, and a process to follow when working with your migrated content.

On your Canvas Dashboard, under Unpublished Courses, you may see these different types of shells.  BB-migrated, DEV, and Course ID.unpublished courses on the Canvas DashboardCourses on the Canvas Dashboard

The shell with BB-xxxxx (Migrated) contains the migrated content from your Blackboard course. Your first step is to organize your course components in this shell.

The shell with DEV-yourname is an empty shell. You will import your BB-xxxx (Migrated) course into this DEV shell.

The shell with the Publish button and the course ID and name is the official banner created course for the indicated semester. You will import from your DEV shell into this course each semester.

Steps for courses on the Canvas Dashboard

For step-by-step instructions on how to import content from one course to another, see How to use the Course Import Tool Canvas Guide


A New Place for Finding Content

Canvas Commons in the global menu

One of the great resources that Canvas provides is the Canvas Commons.

What is Canvas Commons?  How can you use it? 


The Canvas Commons is a learning object repository that allows you to find and import shared content from other Canvas users and institutions. You can also share publish your content to the Commons.

Commons also allows an institution to share content just with users at the institution. For example, the Academic Toolbox that was automatically added to each course in Blackboard can be found in the WCU Commons repository for instructors to import into their course.

You can also create a personal repository for your content that you want to reuse in other courses or subsequent terms.

To get started, click on the Commons icon in the left navigation bar in Canvas.

How does this align to Canvas training materials?

Canvas logoPriming the Canvas: Module 5 “Content” 

Additional Resources: 

Our next article will highlight the Syllabus tool in Canvasvisit Canvas Blog to see all our Canvas articles.