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Canvas - Reviewing Migrated Content


This page will help you review your migrated Desire2Learn (D2L) content in Canvas. Below you will find instructions detailing the review process.

It might be helpful to consult our Tool Comparison Chart for D2L and Canvas before you begin.

Once you review the migrated content, you can copy the content from your migrated course into a course you will be teaching in an upcoming semester.


News Items in D2L will be migrated to the “Announcements” tool in Canvas. You can find Announcements in the Course Navigation on the left-hand side. With a scroll and a few clicks, you can show announcements on your course home page, similar to how they were displayed in D2L. If you’ve attached files to news items in D2L, those attachments are imported but not attached to their original location anymore. You will need to reattach the files.

Assignment Tool

In Canvas, an Assignment is defined as any item to which a grade is assigned. This can include paper submissions from students, quizzes, and discussion posts. Items that you would like to appear in the Gradebook must be added as an Assignment in Canvas.

Assignment Groups in Canvas are the equivalent of Grade Categories in D2L. Grade items that were not in Categories in D2L and Grade Items that were unpublished or inactive have been automatically placed in the Imported Assignment Group in Canvas. Please review these items. If you will need them for your course, publish them and move them to the appropriate category. If they are unnecessary, delete them.

There may be duplicate items listed in Assignments for Dropbox folders that had no grade associated with them in D2L. Delete these duplicates and ensure that remaining assignments are set to the “Online” submission type with the “File Upload” box checked. Additional Assignment Groups may have been created to accommodate these folders. Remove these assignment groups.

Note: Canvas may display Dropbox folder names instead of the grade item names with which they were associated in D2L.


Update all start, end, and due dates migrated over from D2L with the new semester’s schedule. Canvas will let you adjust due dates to match the new semester automatically.


In Canvas, D2L “Content” can be found in the “Modules” area, listed in the left-hand Course Navigation Menu.

When comparing the D2L Course Content Tool to Canvas Modules, we recommend that you view the D2L Course Content from the Table of Contents.

Note: Canvas does not currently support nested Modules (Modules within Modules). If your D2L course had nested modules, those modules will not migrate; the files in those modules will be in your modules page, but will appear as part of the main module with a “text header” indicating where that content begins. These text headers are unpublished by default. Make sure to publish those and any other modules that need to be visible to students.


A Discussion in Canvas is the equivalent of a Discussion Topic in D2L. There is no concept of a “Forum” (used to organize Topics that students post to in D2L) in Canvas.

Discussions are ordered based on most recent activity, so they will not display in the same order as in D2L. If the order is important to you, use the “Pinned Discussions” area at the top of the page to pin them in the order you would like. Please review the How to Pin a Discussion Tutorial for more information.

When discussions are migrated, Canvas creates a Page called “Discussion Forums.” This Page contains the descriptive text made for the discussions in D2L and may be used as another entry point to the Discussions by students. You can also delete this page all together.


If you integrated eTexts (e.g., Cengage, McGraw Hill, Wiley Plus, or Pearson) into your course, those links will not work in Canvas, so you will have to re-create the links in your course.


Although weighted grades were carried over from the D2L Gradebook to Canvas Assignments, you have to enable them. Please review the Weighting Final Course Grade by Assignment Groups Tutorial.

Unlike in D2L, in Canvas you cannot create a column in the Gradebook without creating an Assignment. Review the list of assignments in the Assignments Tool. If you had assignments in D2L that weren’t graded, these assignments were placed in the Imported Assignment Group in Canvas.

Note: Canvas does not currently support custom weights within weighted Assignment Groups. Canvas distributes weights within categories based on the number of points an assignment is worth.


If your course used custom widgets, those will not migrate over to Canvas. You can design a custom home page from the “Pages” area of your course to reproduce the functionality of those widgets. Please review the Layout Options for Course Home Pages Tutorial for additional options.


If you utilized Kaltura media in your D2L course, you will need to re-insert that media in Canvas. Although the Page that held your media will have migrated over, the embedded media will not. We suggest creating a new Page and re-inserting your Kaltura media by searching for it in the Kaltura Shared Repository. You can also update the existing page instead. Please review our Adding Kaltura Media to a Canvas Course Tutorial. To make these Pages visible to the students, add them to Modules in your course - please see the How Do I Add Pages as Module Items Tutorial.


Your quizzes and quiz banks can be accessed by clicking on Quizzes in your course navigation bar in Canvas. Review your quizzes, especially if you use partial credit questions. Canvas does not support partial credit answers. Review this table for additional information for a D2L to Canvas Quiz Question Comparison.

Check that the quiz questions were imported successfully. Take special consideration to whether questions with images were migrated; Canvas does not currently support the use of image-based answers in all question types.

You may be interested in using Canvas' beta quiz tool called New Quizzes, which you can choose to create when creating a standard quiz. This chart compares the quiz tool to New Quizzes, and will be useful in helping you understand the differences. More information can be found in Canvas documentation: What is New Quizzes?


If you used rubrics in D2L, make sure those migrated successfully. To view your course’s rubrics, please refer to the Managing Course Rubrics Tutorial. You may need to re-associate the rubrics with the grade items. Please review the Adding a Rubric to an Assignment Tutorial.


To use Turnitin, please select Turnitin from the plagiarism review dropdown menu when creating a file upload assignment on Canvas. Please review our Using Turnitin with Canvas Tutorial.