D2L Migration and Retirement

Last Updated: 02/22/2019


CU Boulder’s time on the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system is quickly coming to an end. This page aims to answer the questions you have regarding how the Office of Information Technology will help manage course and student data once D2L is no longer available.

Important Dates

  • May 31st, 2019: D2L will be changed to view-only access for all users. You will still be able to see and download your course content and data, but you will no longer be able to make any changes within D2L.
  • August 1st, 2019: Users will lose access to D2L completely. You will no longer be able to login to D2L after this date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What D2L courses have already been migrated to Canvas?

The last taught version of every D2L course from Fall 2015 and on is being migrated to Canvas by OIT. In fact, the last taught version of every D2L course from Fall 2015 through Summer 2018 has already been migrated. You will see your migrated course copy within two business days after you create your new course in Canvas. Community and sandbox courses will be migrated by request.

How do I access the content that already has been migrated?

When you create your new Canvas course, you will be enrolled in a course in Canvas that contains your migrated D2L course materials within two business days. You will be able to copy content from the migrated course into your new Canvas course. The course import tool tutorial will show you how.

What if my course wasn’t migrated?

If your course is an academic course from Summer 2012 or later, OIT can still migrate it for you even after D2L is retired. Contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or (303) 735-4357 and provide us with the course name and term, and we will migrate it into Canvas. If you wish to reuse content from a sandbox or community course, or an academic course older than Summer 2012, please contact the IT Service Center before May 31st, 2019 to have it migrated.

What student data can instructors get from D2L after it’s retired?

While we encourage instructors to export and securely store any data they wish to keep after D2L is retired, OIT will also be keeping archives of course activity data (such as course grades, feedback comments, quiz responses, etc.). Contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or (303) 735-4357 and let us know what data you would like to see and for which courses or users. The data will be provided as a plain-text spreadsheet (i.e. a CSV file).

Some kinds of data cannot be archived. Files that cannot be migrated into Canvas, such as documents students submitted to Dropbox folders or attached to messages or discussion posts, will not be kept unless they were submitted to Turnitin-enabled Dropbox folders (Turnitin is the originality-checking service within D2L).

What if a student needs to access data after D2L is retired?

While we encourage students to export and securely store any documents or data they wish to keep, OIT can share archived course content or student activity data on a case-by-case basis with students after D2L is retired. In most cases, the instructor of the course will need to authorize this access. Student should contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or (303) 735-4357 and let us know what archived information they are looking for.

Why doesn't OIT just migrate all courses into Canvas?

Usage data indicates that the great majority of instructors only reuse content from courses they taught one semester prior. By only migrating the last-taught version of courses from Fall 2015 and on, we are able to save storage space in Canvas and avoid cluttering up instructors’ course lists with multiple copies of each course. However, any course can still be migrated into Canvas by request.

Why are only academic courses from Summer 2012 and later being archived?

D2L was fully launched in Summer 2012. Some instructors may have courses prior to this on D2L which were either migrated from the previous LMS or were part of the D2L pre-launch. These courses can’t be migrated automatically due to lack of standardization in how they are organized. However, if content is needed from these courses, please contact the IT Service Center prior to May 31st, 2019, and we will be happy to migrate it into Canvas for you. Likewise, sandboxes and community courses can be migrated by request, but will not be archived due to a large number of these courses being out of use.

If you need assistance migrating or rebuilding your course in Canvas, contact the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP) or help@colorado.edu.

Can I migrate old course content myself?

 Yes. The D2L to Canvas Manual Course Migration tutorial illustrates how to migrate course content. 

How do I save my students' Dropbox submissions before I lose access to D2L?

Unlike most other kinds of data, files that students submitted to Dropbox folders cannot be archived by OIT unless Turnitin (originality checking) was enabled for the folder. In those cases, Turnitin will keep archived copies of your students' documents. For Dropbox folders that didn't use Turnitin, Visit the D2L - Download All Dropbox Folder Submissions tutorial to learn how to download student assignment submissions yourself before D2L is retired on August 1st, 2019.