top of page
  • Writer's pictureSharaf Goussous

Top 6 Practices to Consider When Migrating to Canvas LMS

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Data migration from one learning management system to another can be challenging for many organisations because of the technical complexities involved. There are many components to consider, which is why it is important to understand how the LMS data migration process works.

The most important thing to remember when migrating to a new LMS is to choose a reliable platform, and Canvas is considered one of the best in the eLearning market. Canvas LMS makes it easy to teach, learn, and ensure student success. It easily integrates with so many tools and has a simple and intuitive interface. It is stable and flexible, which offers many features that are customisable in many ways.

LMS data migration starts with planning, and without a clear plan, you might experience significant implementation delays. This article aims to recommend six best practices that you need to consider when migrating your data to Canvas LMS.


1. Determine what to migrate and clean up your content.

This is one of the most important, but often neglected steps in migrating data to the Canvas LMS. Cleaning up your content – that is determining what content to migrate and removing old content that is no longer used in the course, will help simplify the LMS migration process and save you time.

2. Choose the best migration method for you.

There are two migration methods in Canvas – automated and manual methods. The manual migration method is suitable for courses with complex structures (having two or more folders) because it allows instructors to focus on a specific content area at a time. This will also allow you to work on your content at your own pace. This method will only move one course at a time. You also need to recreate some details which will not be moved including contacts, accounts, phone details, etc. manually, which is a disadvantage if you have many students. On the other hand, the automated method is a paid option, which will help you save time and streamline the entire migration process. If you have tons of content to migrate, we recommend the automated option.

3. Develop the course User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)

There are two approaches to designing your course in Canvas:

Basic UX/UIThis approach doesn’t require coding skills. To design the course home page, you just need to have basic Canvas skills such as uploading images, adding links and using the table. However, this approach doesn’t provide the complete student experience and the modern course features.

Canvas Basic Home Page

Advanced UX/UIThis approach requires coding skills to design modern and streamlined student experiences such as a responsive and animated home page, course features and user interface.

4. Clean up the migrated material.

Once you have completed the data migration, it is essential to check the success of the entire process. Examine the migrated content for readability or any duplicates. Check that all links, audio or video items are working. You can use Canvas’s course link validator to make sure that all external links are working. Finally, do not forget to view the course in student mode to ensure that your learners are seeing the course the way you want them to see it. Once you are satisfied with the content, you can now publish the course.

5. Customise your Dashboard.

Click on the Options menu and choose your preferred viewing option. Choose what course you want to be visible on your dashboard. Set up a colour scheme and quickly click and drag your course cards to move them to a different position on your dashboard.

6. Publish the course

Finally, you will need to publish the course so the students can access it. Make sure you double-check the visibility options and every single page in the course is published as well as the whole course.


Most issues related to LMS data migration are generally easy to fix and can be avoided by following the best practices listed above. Make sure your students are well-equipped to use Canvas to ensure a seamless experience for you and your learners.


Need help with LMS content migration? Contact Skills Leap Australia to provide you with quality and fuss-free eLearning solutions.


bottom of page