UW-Madison transitioning to Canvas learning management system

A message from Steven Cramer and Bruce Maas:

UW-Madison faculty and staff:

Based on positive results from pilot studies and campus feedback, UW-Madison is transitioning to the Canvas learning management system (LMS) over the next two years. The plan is to adopt Canvas as the single, centrally supported LMS, and to discontinue campus licensing of D2L and Moodle by 2018.

By adopting Canvas, the university will be able to provide faculty, staff and students with an LMS that meets their collective teaching- and learning-related needs, now and into the future. The move will also satisfy the strong, student desire for a single, fully integrated and centrally supported LMS.

Canvas is a cloud-based, open-source LMS used by more than 600 colleges and universities. UW-Madison evaluated Canvas during a year-long, campus-wide pilot that involved faculty, staff and students. Overall feedback was positive.

We recommend that faculty and instructional staff contact their school/college instructional technology point-person to help plan for their transition to Canvas. These designated point-people will be able to provide more specific information about school- or college-specific needs and timing, additional support options and advice on pedagogy.

Faculty and instructional staff who wish to be early adopters of Canvas may request Canvas course spaces and begin developing credit-based courses for fall 2016. DoIT Academic Technology (AT), in partnership with school and college instructional technology staff, will provide extensive training and individual user support. On-campus, in-person support from DoIT AT will be available starting in mid-July, and user support options will continue to expand into the fall semester.

For more details about Canvas, adoption milestones, user support options, training opportunities and other resources, visit To receive a regular news digest about Canvas at UW-Madison, send an email to


Steven Cramer
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Bruce Maas
CIO and Vice Provost for Information Technology