Canvas Learning Management System to Begin Rollout to Campus

After careful review of the pilot results, the UW Board of Deans and the Teaching and Learning Technology Oversight Committee are endorsing the roll out of Canvas to all three campuses. Read on for details about the rollout timeline and background on the Canvas pilot.

Rollout Timeline

Programs and departments that have expressed interest in using Canvas will be the first to transition, as early as Autumn Quarter 2012.

Projected time frame:

Late August: the UW Canvas support team will begin providing in-person training and online training for instructors. More information about training resources will be posted on the UW Canvas support site ( as it becomes available.

Early September: UW-IT will begin setting up courses in Canvas. 


The Canvas pilot -- part of the Provost's Two Years to Two Decades Initiative, Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century -- was conducted by UW-IT and the UW Office of Educational Assessment during Autumn and Winter quarters of the 2011-2012 academic year. The evaluation focused on the faculty and student experiences using Canvas, a new learning management system (LMS), by Instructure. The primary goal of the pilot was to understand how well Canvas met the needs of instructors and students across a variety of programs and provide recommendations regarding the adoption of Canvas at the UW. 

Pilot Data
Key points from the pilot study indicated:

  • Both students and faculty were satisfied with Canvas, especially faculty repeat-users. 79% of this group said that they would recommend Canvas to other instructors and colleagues.
  • A majority - 73% - of faculty agreed that using Canvas made teaching more efficient, especially with regards to assignment submission and grading.
  • Canvas facilitated faculty experimentation, leading to innovation in their teaching.
  • Both students and faculty favored Canvas over other LMS's they had used before, such as Blackboard and Moodle.
  • Canvas increased collaboration among students, facilitating their use of student groups, wiki pages, peer review, and chat and video features for study groups.
  • Instructors took advantage of Canvas's audio and video feedback features, which were received positively by students.
  • Some instructors used Canvas to hold virtual office hours, increasing participation and engagement of students.


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