Pros and Cons of WebCT Import Options


Many of you want a quick and easy way to recreate your WebCT course in Canvas.

Since Canvas is built differently than WebCT, there is no way to make everything translate perfectly!

However, there are options for bringing your content over. Understanding what it is that you want to bring over and how Canvas translates that content can help you determine which import method makes most sense.

When should I use the WebCT Migration Tool in Canvas?


  • You have Assessments and Question Banks that you’ve created in WebCT and don’t want to have to re-create them.
  • You have Discussion topics that you have created in WebCT and don’t want to re-create them.
  • You have Assignments that you have created in WebCT and don’t want to re-create them. (However, if you are simply posting your Assignments as Word documents or pdf’s, it may be easier to upload those manually to Canvas.)


When does it make sense to download your WebCT content and upload it manually?


  • You just want to bring over documents (PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, pdf’s, html files, etc.) Although it is possible to bring these over through the WebCT import tool, you will have more control over how these files appear and are located if you upload them from your computer.
  • Your WebCT page has a lot of customization that you feel is essential to your content. If this is the case, please contact ITG for a consultation so that we can help. Canvas has a lot of options for customization but they are different from WebCT. The more customization you have on your WebCT site, the more opportunities for things not translating over well.


Can I use both methods?

Yes! We encourage you to be as selective as possible about what content you bring over and how. For example, if you have a lot of tests built in WebCT, you may want to use the Import Tool in Canvas and only import Assessments, and then upload a .zip file of your other documents.

Can I use the WebCT Migration Tool for everything?

You can use the WebCT Migration Tool to import your content but be aware that it may not save you time in the long run. If you do decide to only use the WebCT MIgration Tool, we recommend that you pick and choose what to bring over instead importing everything. To facilitate that process, you will want to do some cleaning in WebCT. Furthermore, you may also want to be aware of some issues that you will encounter:

  • The Migration Tool simply brings the content over and translates it in the best way it knows how. It will NOT look like it does in WebCT. In fact, it may not look nice and might require some clean up.
  • Folders do not exist in Canvas. That structure is translated into Pages. Depending on how many folders you have, you may find that a lot of extraneous pages are created.
  • Files imported through the WebCT Migration Tool will not render automatically in Scribd. What does that mean? Well, Scribd is a cool feature in Canvas that renders documents (Word files, pdf’s, PowerPoints) so that they appear within the course screen. No need to download or install plugins to view files anymore! Scribd works automatically when you upload files the traditional way. With files brought over through the Migration Tool, you will need to take a few additional steps to get your files to render in Scribd.
  • There is no easy way to reset a course. If things don’t import nicely and you want to start over, you’ll have to go in and delete things manually.
  • There is not a bulk delete option in Canvas. So, if you bring over a lot of stuff that you don’t want, you’ll have to delete items one by one. Vote for better file management in Canvas!


Can I import more than once? Or will this choice define me forever?

You can import content as many times as you’d like, with either option! We encourage you to import sparingly, so that you don’t have to delete extra files.

Still confused?

We’re happy to discuss these options with you and help you decide what makes most sense for your courses.