Canvas: Changes You May Encounter After Converting from CTools

Read more about similarities and differences between CTools and Canvas.

Assignments → Canvas Assignments

All assignments will be in a single assignment group

You may choose to add additional Assignment Groups in Canvas to organize your assignments.

Model answers, private notes or all-purpose items will not convert Canvas 

Review Canvas assignments to add necessary information.

Review the possible points for any assignments that had a setting of pass, letter grade, or checkmark in CTools

In CTools, instructors can set different points possible for a given assignment in the assignment and the gradebook.  In converting to Canvas, the assignment will have the points possible that was set in CTools assignments.

In Canvas, students can re-submit assignments after the due date

Unlike in CTools, instructors cannot allow only a single submission from each student.  To stop students from resubmitting assignments, you may want to set the Available Until Date.


Forums → Canvas Discussions

CTools Forums will appear in Canvas as Pages that provide links to Graded Discussion Assignments

Canvas does not distinguish between Forums and Discussions, so when the site is converted, if the Forum has instructions or other content, a Page will be created. Links to the Discussion topics for the Forum are included on that Page.

As with Resources and Files, Forum topic close dates and locking will not convert into Canvas

These will need to be reset if you want your topics to be closed and/or locked when your course begins.

LessonBuilder → Canvas Modules

Reordered elements will revert to their original order

If you have reordered elements in Lesson Builder, they will appear in their original order in Canvas Modules but can be reorganized there.

Single questions will not convert

Single questions included in Lesson Builder will not convert to Canvas and will need to be recreated in Canvas Quizzes. Test Center tests will convert to Canvas.

Hidden modules will convert without visibility restrictions

If you have hidden a Lesson Builder module it will convert to Canvas modules without any visibility restrictions. In Canvas you can set an access date or choose to publish it when you want students to begin accessing it. Note: items included in an unpublished Module cannot be accessed outside the module, even if the individual item is published. If you do not expect to use the Module itself, you may want to delete it.

Module items may be reordered and should be reviewed.  

Note: This only applies to CTools Modules, not CTools Lesson Builder.

Media Gallery → Canvas Media Gallery

If you were using Media Gallery in CTools, the media you uploaded will also be available in the Canvas version of the Media Gallery. Your existing content can be added to your Canvas course by selecting the "Add Media" button.

Image of Video Link from Rich Text Editor

Image of Link in Rich Text Editor

If you had included links to videos in CTools materials that have now been converted to Canvas, you will need to relink the videos.

Modules → Canvas Modules

Module items may be reordered and should be reviewed.  

Items can be reorganized in Canvas Modules as needed.

Resources → Canvas Files

URLs transfer to Canvas as html files

Resources that are web links (URLs) in CTools will be transferred to Canvas as html files. Clicking on an html file will open a preview page with the web link.

Learn about more options for URL/weblinks.

Canvas files are alphabetical order

If you want to custom order files, you can precede filenames with 01, 02, etc. 

All converted files are available to everyone in the course with one exception

By default, files can be accessed by students. However files that in CTools were linked to Assignments or other tools are locked to students in the Files tool. They can only be accessed by students via the links instructors have embedded in the course content. You can choose to hide certain items or restrict the dates on which they can be accessed in the new term.

No copyright information

Copyright information will not be imported into Canvas, but you can reset it in Canvas.

No file descriptions, keywords or other resource metadata will import

This information will not import into Canvas. This feature of CTools Resources has no analogue in Canvas.

The items below only apply to Canvas courses where you asked us to convert content from multiple CTools tools (e.g., Resources plus Test Center).

Extra folders

You will see some extra folders in Canvas, such as folders named Assignments or Test Center if they previously linked to resources.  

Multiple copies of files

If in CTools you linked to a particular resource from more than one tool (e.g., linked to it both from Test Center and in an Announcement) you may find there are two copies in Canvas. You can opt to retain both copies or else delete one (in which case you may need to relink the second file to any feature or tool that linked to the one you deleted). 

Files previously linked to CTools tools cannot be accessed by students from the Files tool.

By default, files can be accessed by students. However, files that in CTools were linked to Assignments or other tools are locked to students in the Files tool. They can only be accessed by students via the links instructors have embedded in the course content.  

Test Center → Canvas Quizzes

Essay questions will become online text

Essay questions that allowed students either to attach a file or enter text into an online box will convert in Canvas to online text entry only. You can manually change the question to allow a file upload instead.

Canvas will not include model answer or hints

You may choose to add them manually to comments (which will display to the student after completion).

Canvas does not allow instructors to use wildcards in the answers

For fill-in-the-blank questions, Canvas does not allow instructors to use wildcards in the answers. If you have set up your answers with wildcards, you will want to edit them.

Survey points and answers may not convert correctly

(Ungraded) questions in graded quizzes should be reviewed in Canvas to ensure points and answers have converted correctly.

If a question had shuffled answers in CTools, all questions will be shuffled in Canvas

CTools Tests that had answers shuffled for at least one question will appear in Canvas with answers shuffled for all questions on the quiz. You may want either to turn off the shuffle answers option for the quiz or else rewrite some questions (e.g., ones that include “All of the above” as an option).

Matching type questions will not support HTML

Matching type questions that used images or other HTML formatting will need review since Canvas does not support HTML formatting for this question type.

Question Pools created in CTools but not used will not convert to Canvas

If even one question is included in a CTools test, the entire pool will appear in Canvas.

HTML formatting in feedback will not appear in Canvas

HTML formatting included in question feedback will not appear in Canvas.

Test questions that use manual release of grades in CTools will be muted in Canvas

If a test in CTools has the option to Release Submissions & Grades set to "Manual release" then the converted quiz will be muted in Canvas.  Muted assignments, including quizzes, will not send out grade change notifications or instructor comments or allow students to view grades until the assignment is un-muted.  Open Grades in the Canvas course to manage muted quizzes and assignments.

Miscellaneous changes

Everything in your Canvas course will automatically be published

In Canvas, in addition to publishing your course site so students can see it, you must publish items within your course site, such as pages, modules, files, assignments and more.  When a CTools site is converted to Canvas, items within your course default to "published."  

If you are not ready for items to be published, you can unpublish them by clicking the little green check icon to the right of an item's name and select to unpublish.

Image of gray unpublished circle with arrow pointing to a green circle with a check mark

Hand-coded Javascript does not convert

Hand-coded Javascript (including methods of embedding frames), in any element in CTools, will not convert to Canvas.

Custom grading schemes

Custom grading schemes need to be recreated in Canvas.

Possible grade duplicates

If you were using multiple CTools items for a single Gradebook item, review Canvas Grades for duplicates.


Last Updated: 
Thursday, January 25, 2018