Last updated on March 28, 2024

Canvas is a cloud-based, vendor-hosted learning management system (LMS). Canvas has been the single, centrally supported UW–‍Madison LMS since 2016.

Canvas is part of the Learn@UW suite of learning technologies. More information about Canvas, updates, events and how to work with the Learn@UW–‍Madison is the DoIT Academic Technology website.

Getting started

To log in to Canvas, visit

Synchronous remote Canvas training is typically offered within two weeks of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Check for a current schedule. Recordings for many of those sessions can be found at the Learn@UW–‍Madison Training videos channel.

Go to the Canvas Overview page in the UW–‍Madison KnowledgeBase for resources on how to get started with Canvas at UW–‍Madison.


Canvas is available at no cost to faculty, staff and students.

Key features

  • Easy-to-use, learner-centered, content-focused design
  • Core LMS functionality, such as grading, quizzing, calendaring, discussions and more
  • Speedgrader feature allows simple grading with timely feedback options and rubrics
  • Browser-based interface works on multiple devices
  • iOS and Android apps for students and instructors
  • Frequent feature and tool updates
  • Graphic analytics reporting engine
  • Robust notifications
  • Integrated with Kaltura MediaSpace, Zoom, Piazza, Top Hat, Google Apps and many other external tools
  • Rich, multimedia feedback options (including text, audio and video commenting in messages, assignments, course discussions, graded work and grade submissions) — without downloading and re-uploading files
  • Integration with the university’s Student Information System (SIS) to provide auto-creation of courses and rosters
  • Easy access to the Canvas Commons learning object repository to share and collaborate on course content
  • High-quality end-user documentation in the Instructure Community

Is there a feature you’d like to see developed? Let us know by completing this request form. Once submitted, campus instructional technologists will review your request and then get in touch to discuss options.


The DoIT Help Desk provides instructors, staff and students with free tech support and troubleshooting help by phone at (608) 264-4357, email and chat. In-person support is also available at the DoIT Help Desk help desk in the Computer Sciences building. Visit for hours and more information.

The Learn@UW–‍Madison team is also available to consult with instructors and instructional staff on selecting and using learning technology to improve student success. You can request a consultation by contacting the DoIT Help Desk. In addition, the Learn@UW KnowledgeBase offers helpful documents for instructors, course owners and students.

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