Translating Moodle to Canvas

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A Guide to Similarities and Differences between Canvas and Moodle

Differences between Moodle and Canvas

Using Canvas Student Groups for Collaborative Work


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Canvas Groups versus Moodle Groups

  • Groups in Canvas function as collaborative workspaces:
    • Groups are like a smaller version of your course and are used as a collaborative tool where students can work together on group projects and assignments.
  • Sections in Canvas are used for administrative and grading purposes:
    • For example, all offerings will have Sections designated for organizing students into seminar groups, and for manually enrolled students

Similarities between Moodle and Canvas

Making the switch to Modules, Discussions, Conversations, Pages, and more


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Weekly/Topic sections in Moodle = Canvas Modules

The concept of Canvas Modules is similar to Moodle's Weekly/Topic sections, though Modules also work a little differently (see Summary portion below).

  • Canvas Modules can be used to organize course content and may contain a variety of material in different formats - such as files, assignments, pages, embedded media, and more.
  • Items such as Pages, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes may be added to a Module via a Module.
  • However, unlike a Moodle section's summary space, a Canvas Module has a limited content field - it may only contain text by typing directly into the field or using copy-and-paste. No files - image, audio, video or text - can be added to a Module's content field at this time.

Summary portion in Moodle's Weekly/Topic sections = Canvas Pages

In Canvas, Pages may be used along with Modules or on their own for containing and organizing course content.

  • Like the upper half, or summary portion, of a Moodle section, Pages may contain text, images, embedded media, external links, etc.

Forums in Moodle = Discussions in Canvas

  • What are Discussions?
    • Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions, allowing both faculty and students to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. Discussions can also be created within student groups.

Quickmail in Moodle = Conversations Inbox in Canvas

Meta Enrollment in Moodle = Cross-listing in Canvas

Have content in Moodle you would like to use in Canvas?

  1. Make a "Backup" (mbz) file of the Moodle site.
  2. Download and save the mbz file to your computer.
  3. Import the mbz file into your Canvas site.

If you would like help with migrating content, please contact Academic Technologies for assistance.