Canvas

The University of Toronto Learning Management System (LMS) search has concluded!  We thank all the companies who submitted bids.

UTSC will be adopting Canvas by Instructure over the next 12 to 16 months.  The Provostial Announcement is here.

About Canvas

Instructure was founded in 2008 and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Canvas was designed with six considerations in mind:

  1. Is it easy to use?
  2. Does it do what teachers/students need it to do?
  3. Does it provide easy mobile access?
  4. Is it dependable?
  5. Does it make teachers/IT/administrators' jobs easier?
  6. Does it save time?

Additionally:

  • Canvas is "the open LMS" and is committed to staying open source, the Community Edition source code is available on github.
  • OCAD University and 2,000 other universities use Canvas, it is the fastest growing LMS product
  • Canvas is easily customizeable - there's a full range of web services and LTI (Learning Technology Integration), making third party add ons and integrations for Canvas, such as Turnitin, easy to do
  • Engineered in Ruby and PostGres, with Redis acceleration, so it is very fast (no Java ;) )
  • Runs equally well on Amazon EC3 cloud, or the university's servers
  • Scales to large installations - like U of T's 80,000 courses!
  • Rich community of inquiry around extending functionality to new areas of pedagogy
  • Annual user conferences: this year's Instructurecon is July 24-26, 2018.  Have an idea?

 

Piloting Canvas

It will take some time for an institution as large as the University of Toronto to switch from Blackboard to Canvas, so there will be a time overlap where both products are available to instructors for their teaching, while we ensure Canvas does what we want, with an eventual adoption Fall 2018.

A limited number of courses will be invited to pilot the new Canvas LMS in the Winter term, in preparation for moving the Learning Portal from Blackboard to Canvas.  If you are interested in participating (and your teaching can tolerate a few technology bumps), please contact Adon Irani and Brian Sutherland portal@utsc.utoronto.ca.

Exciting times are ahead for everybody in e-learning!