Blackboard is out, Canvas takes over as campus learning management system


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Due to the coronavirus pandemic San Diego State has transitioned to primarily online instruction using Zoom, Canvas and Blackboard.

by Ashley Na, Staff Writer

San Diego State is abandoning its old learning management system, Blackboard, in exchange for Canvas, according to a May 11 campus-wide email.

Canvas is an online education and learning management system that students will use to organize their courses. The transition away from Blackboard will begin with the summer 2021 term.

There will be options for faculty who wish to transition to Canvas earlier, during the summer or fall 2020 semesters.

Journalism and Media Studies Associate Professor Rebecca Coates Nee said in an email that she has been using Canvas for two of her classes since fall 2019 and is very pleased with the platform.

Whereas Canvas only takes between one and two clicks to get set up, Nee said Blackboard normally requires as many as five to six.

Blackboard feels clunky and outdated,” Nee said. “Canvas is great for submitting multimedia projects and also integrates well with Google docs and Zoom. The Canvas mobile app is also far superior to Blackboard’s. Many students like the fact that they can receive announcements through text messages in addition to email.”

The university said Canvas benefits from its ease of use, familiar layout, a wide range of features, mobile readiness, external tool integrations and functions that promote student engagement, organization and self-efficacy. 

Nee said she will be moving her large-lecture course, Social Media in the Digital Age, to Canvas this summer and plans to use it through the fall.

Most high schools are using Canvas so this transition should not negatively impact students,” Nee said.

For additional questions about Canvas and the transition process, please contact Associate Director of Instructional Technology Services Sean Hauze by emailing or calling (619) 594-1348.

Faculty who wish to transition to Canvas earlier than spring 2021 should fill out the online form for assistance from ITS.