Skip to main content

Course Management System/Blackboard to be Retired on August 31, 2015

Posted Date: 13 Jan 2015

Modified Date: 16 Mar 2015

Effective Date: 31 Aug 2015

As part of the University’s decision to select Canvas as Northwestern’s new educational platform, the Course Management System (CMS)/Blackboard , including CourseLife, the archiving tool within Blackboard, will be retired on August 31, 2015. Blackboard has been the University’s web-based course environment for over 12 years.

The legacy course management system is being replaced by Canvas, a modern learning management system designed to better support Northwestern’s blended learning, “flipping the classroom,” and online education activities.

The University’s decision to replace Blackboard was based on a recommendation of the LMS Review Group in April 2014 and sponsored by the IT Governance Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC). 

End User Impact

Before spring quarter 2015: Blackboard instructors who have not yet moved their courses to Canvas should to do so no later than the end of spring quarter 2015 (6/12/15).NUIT provides user-friendly instructions to help instructors save their Blackboard course materials into a new course in Canvas. Instructions to save Blackboard materials.

Effective summer quarter 2015: No new courses will be permitted in CMS/Blackboard and spring 2015 courses will not be archived. The system will remain available on a limited basis for accessing and downloading old information and saving course files and grade books.

After August 31, 2015: Remaining course materials on the CMS/Blackboard and archived courses within CourseLife will no longer be accessible to the Northwestern user community.


NUIT began offering daily instructor-led introductory Canvas workshops last fall and will continue these sessions through the spring quarter. Advanced workshop topics are also available regularly. Explore the various learning opportunities, from face-to-face consultations to online tutorials, available to you.

Faculty and students are encouraged to visit the Canvas Transition at Northwestern website to learn specific details about the overall transition, including school transition plans and training opportunities is available.

Additional Information:
Back to top