Migrating Sakai Course Content to Canvas

Don't fret - the process is much easier than you think it is!

Ready to move from Sakai to Canvas?

Great! A few important things to note:

  • Because Sakai and Canvas are two completely different learning management systems, they do not have the same exact tools/features. As such, you absolutely need to review your content once it’s been imported into Canvas.
  • No student data will be migrated.
  • If you have a very complex Sakai site, we respectfully and highly recommend that you re-build your course from scratch to better leverage the tools within Canvas. Why? Cleaning up the imported content will be more work than copying and pasting from Sakai into Canvas “Pages”.
  • Each Canvas course site has a 2 GB storage limit. If your Sakai site storage is greater than 2 GB, please contact help@wlu.edu for assistance.

If you need help with this process, please contact Brandon Bucy or the ITS Information Desk at 540.458.4357/help@wlu.edu.

Let’s do this!

Option #1: How to copy an entire Sakai course (or project site)
Use this method to copy content from Assignments, Forums, Test & Quizzes, and Resources.

Option #2: How to copy just the Resources from a Sakai course (or project site)
Use this method if you only need to copy all files in Resources OR if you have web links saved to your Resources.

IMPORTANT! Things to Check after Importing Content into Canvas!

How to copy an entire Sakai course (or project site)

 

Step 1: Export from Sakai

  1. Log in to Sakai with your W&L credentials: sakai.wlu.edu.
  2. Click on the Lessons tool. (In order to export your content, the Lessons tools needs to be enabled. This must be done even if you didn’t actually use Lessons in your Sakai course.)
    • If you don’t use Lessons in your Sakai course, go to Site Info > Manage Tools. Add a checkmark next to Lessons and click the “Continue” button. Click the “Continue” button again. Click the “Finish” button. You will now see Lessons at the bottom of the list on the left side navigation.
  3. In Lessons, click on “More Tools” and select “Export CC“.
    screenshot of More Tools > Export CC in Lessons tool in Sakai
  4. In the Export IMS Common Cartridge file dialog box, add a checkmark next to “screenshot of More Tools > Export CC in Lessons tool in Sakai
  5. In the Downloads folder (or whatever location your web browser is set to save downloaded files), look for a file named (something like) sakai-export.imscc.

 

Step 2: Import into Canvas

  1. Log in to Canvas with your W&L credentials: canvas.wlu.edu.
  2. In your Canvas course, click on Settings in the left-hand course navigation.
  3. In the right-hand column, click the “Import Course Content” link.
  4. For Content Type, select “Common Cartridge 1.x Package”.
  5. Click on the “Choose File” button and select the sakai-export.imscc file that you exported from the Sakai Lessons tool.
  6. Leave the selection for Default Question bank as-is.
  7. In Content, select the “All Content” radio button.

    (If you choose the “Select specific content” radio button, you are required to select the content you want to import after you review the remaining page options. After you start importing the content, the import selection cannot be canceled.)
  8. In Options, leave the selection for “Overwrite assessment content with matching IDs” as-is. You may click the “Adjust events and due dates” checkbox if you want to adjust the due dates associated with course events and assignments. This attempts to automatically shift the starting and ending dates of the course, but it may not work correctly.
  9. Click the “Import” button and wait. This process may take a few minutes.
  10. The Current Jobs section displays the status of your import. Running reports display a menu bar with the time remaining to complete the import. Canvas will either indicate “Completed” if you chose to import all content or “Waiting for Select” if you chose specific content to import.
    • If you see “Waiting for Select”, click “Select Content”, then add checkmarks next to the items you wish to import.
    • If you see “Completed”, Canvas may also show an “Issues” link. Click to see any issues Canvas had during the import process.
  11. Once the Common Cartridge job is “Completed”, you can now check each individual areas of Canvas to make edits and adjustments.

How to Copy Just the Resources from a Sakai course (or project site)

 

Step 1: Export from Sakai

  1. Log in to Sakai with your W&L credentials: sakai.wlu.edu.
  2. Click on Resources.
  3. The first (top) item that is listed is the name of your site. Click on the “Actions” button to the right of the first item.
  4. Select “Compress to ZIP Archive” and wait! Surprise, surprise, it may take a few minutes. Why not explore the wealth of knowledge that is the Canvas Community?
  5. When it’s complete, the page will refresh and, at the bottom of the list, you will see a new item with the name of the term (if you’re exporting Resources from a Sakai course site) or a long name containing a seemingly random series of letters and numbers (if you’re exporting Resources from a Sakai project site).
  6. Click on the name of the new file.
  7. Look in the Downloads folder (or whatever location your browser is set to save downloaded files) on your computer to find the .zip file.

 

 

Step 2: Import into Canvas

  1. Log in to Canvas with your W&L credentials: canvas.wlu.edu.
  2. In your Canvas course, click on Files in the left-hand course navigation. Click the blue “Upload” button in the upper-right corner.
  3. Choose the .zip file that you exported from Sakai.
  4. In the Zip files options dialog box, click the “Expand it” button.
  5. Wait patiently! This may take a few minutes, depending on the number and size of the files.
  6. Tah-dah! When done, you’ll see your files/folders in Canvas EXCEPT for any web links. Unfortunately, Web links (URLs to web sites) cannot be saved to/stored in Files. Here are three workarounds for web links in Canvas.

IMPORTANT!

 

Things to check after importing your content to Canvas!

  • If you renamed any resources in Sakai, files will revert to the original names. You will need to rename the files again.
  • If you chose to copy your entire Sakai site (vs. only copying Resources), some files in Resources may not have been exported. You may need to upload individual files that weren’t copied over in the export from Sakai.
  • Files cannot be re-ordered; they will always be displayed in alphabetical order.
  • You cannot edit Files in Canvas. You must download and edit individual files, then upload them again.
  • Check individual items to make sure dates are correct. Do this even if you chose to adjust events and dates. Unfortunately, dates may not come through the transition.
  • The Syllabus tool in Sakai will not copy over to Syllabus in Canvas. Note: this only applies to the tool, i.e. if you had a syllabus as a file in Resources in Sakai, that file should have been copied just fine.
  • Sakai Lessons and Canvas Modules are not exactly comparable. Lessons will be converted into a series of links in Canvas Modules, and the content itself will end up in the Canvas Files (in a folder name “attachments”). To create an experience that is more similar to Sakai Lessons, you may want to copy your content into Canvas “Pages”.
  • Sakai discussion forums without topics will not be copied to Canvas.
  • If you copied question pools and your questions have images and/or attached files, you will need to re-attach those images and/or files again in Canvas.