Hurry up with your Canvas migration. It is easy!

Oncourse becomes retired on August 30, 2016. If you haven’t moved your Oncourse data by then, you may be making much more work for yourself than you need to. The Canvas Migration Tool should be used by February 2017. Best feature about the migration tool is that it puts a copy of your migrated data in Canvas, leaving the Oncourse version still available.

I’m an adjunct instructor for SPEA, and wanted to move my own course data from Oncourse into Canvas. Allow me share my own experiences, and the resources that were most valuable to me, as I migrated my own course data. Overall, I found the process to be very well documented, and easy to perform.

Actually, I did it two ways, just to see what might be different: A straight course data migration from a single existing Oncourse course, and also a migration from an Oncourse practice course I created, so I could do more curation of my content, and blend data from several of my Oncourse courses. Creating a practice Oncourse site was simple, and the practice site was ready faster than it took me to go grab a fresh cup of coffee.

With my practice site, I used the Import from Oncourse site feature to grab data from a few of my older sites. That allowed me to grab copies of my most recent Resources files from the Spring semester, but also include the Tests and Surveys from last Fall, for instance. That import feature in Oncourse is very simple to use, if aren’t already familiar with it. Once I had imported the data I wanted into that practice site, I used the Canvas Migration Tool to make a copy in Canvas, using an updated version of Firefox (The most recent versions of Chrome or Internet Explorer will also work; Safari users will have to use one of those other browsers for this migration tool, but you can review and revise the migrated data in Canvas afterward.). I was able to give my New Canvas Site a more meaningful name with the tool, too. Then I clicked the Submit button to begin the migration, and went to grab another cuppa. And you what happened? It. Just. Worked.

The Canvas Migration Tool let’s you copy and move data from the following Oncourse tools:

  • Resources
  • Forums
  • Lessons
  • Assignments 2 — this is the Assignments tool in Oncourse
  • Tests and Surveys (Samigo) – this is the Tests & Surveys tool in Oncourse
  • Modules (Melete) – this is the Modules tool in Oncouse

Migrating a single existing Oncourse site was likewise very straight forward. If using the tool from within Oncourse, you can only migrate one course at a time, but if you are in Canvas and run it from there, you can migrate multiple course sites at once.

Once the Oncourse data is copied over in the migration, you can begin the process of reviewing and revising your migrated courses in Canvas. That particular KB document is fabulous, and will help you understand the details of what and how things get copied (a Canvas gradebook gets roughed in for you automatically, with items for each graded assignment, forum, and test or quiz that you migrate!), and begin to wrap your brain around the new Canvas glossary words you will need to understand.

The IU Knowledge Base also has migration-related entries about migrating your Oncourse question pools, any YouTube videos from Oncourse Lessons to Canvas Modules, and many more relevant to this process.

HOWEVER… (You were waiting for that, weren’t you?) Permit me to warn you about some common issues recent Canvas immigrants may face.

The first one is finding your data in Canvas, which is understandable since it may not be as familiar to you yet. Many people may be looking in their SIS-provisioned site (or another site with the same name) for their content, not the manually-created site that the Canvas Migration Tool actually moved the content into – so give your New Canvas Course a meaningful to you name. You can also review your courses listed in – you may find the information in another site listed there.

The second common issue is that you can’t use the tool to migrate your data from all of the tools, only the one’s which are in that bullet list above. So what about the data in your other tools? Well, again, the KB team has crafted useful advice and instructions for preserving the other Oncourse data the Canvas Migration Tool doesn’t handle. Some of your data may be easily exported or downloaded from Oncourse, but not all of it can be (e.g., messages, forum posts, or submissions). For that data, you may have to work a little harder to get copies of it, following the advice the nice folks in the Support Center helped make available, for just such an occasion. I often made draft messages to myself in Oncourse, with links to websites of particular interest, or something that I wanted to mention in class. I’ll have to just copy and paste those into a Word document, but then I’ll plop that into my new Canvas Files tool.

I hope this helps convince anyone who hasn’t moved their Oncourse data yet that it’s pretty simple and well-documented. So hurry up and get your stuff into Canvas!

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