University of Wisconsin–Madison


Canvas is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that features intuitive instructional workflows, improved collaboration, and the ability to integrate with many external tools.

UW-Madison is transitioning to Canvas. The plan is to adopt Canvas as the single, centrally supported LMS on campus, and to discontinue campus licensing and support of D2L and Moodle on June 1, 2018.

Students and faculty can access Canvas by logging into the Learn@UW Course Dashboard.


  • Easy-to-use, learner-centered, content-focused design
  • Intuitive assignment and grading options
  • Group collaboration workspaces
  • Integrated peer review functionality
  • Integrated with Kaltura MediaSpace, Blackboard Collaborate and Collaborate Ultra, Piazza, Top Hat, Google Apps and many other external tools
  • A holistic integration of learning outcomes, rubrics and grading
  • The ability to map student participation to learning outcomes
  • Simple grading with timely feedback options (SpeedGrader)
  • Specific, targeted feedback options within student work
  • 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
  • Auto-saved grading


  • Must be UW-Madison faculty member, researcher, staff member or student.

Getting started

  • Canvas is now available for credit-based courses. Non-credit courses have been divided into two categories for the migration process: compliance and lifelong learning. Both categories began moving to Canvas in fall 2017.
  • Faculty and instructional staff should contact the designated instructional technology point-person for their school or college to help plan for their transition to Canvas.
  • All credit-based courses are automatically created in Canvas and available to instructors upon login. To access Canvas, log into the Learn@UW Course Dashboard. Instructors will see links to all their available courses in Canvas, D2L and Moodle.
  • The DoIT Help Desk provides centralized user support.