Office of Information Technology

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Canvas - SJU's Learning Management System

In order to support academic rigor, enhance teaching and learning both in the traditional classroom and online, it is strategically imperative to enhance and expand upon the University’s digital learning platform.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) by Instructure. Canvas is a modern, easy-to-use, reliable and adaptable LMS that supports current and evolving teaching and learning needs. You can use Canvas to:

  • organize your course using an integrated calendaring and syllabus system, content modules, and communication stream
  • stimulate active learning, critical thinking, and reflection with discussion forums
  • leverage built-in faculty and student audio and video recording functionality (in assignments, quizzes, discussions, web conferencing) to maximize interaction outside the classroom
  • save time grading using SpeedGrader
  • access your course using a mobile app (iPhone, iPad and Android devices)
  • easily set up assessment tools that track, grade, and communicate student outcomes

Why Canvas?

Although SJU has used Blackboard since the late 1990's, over the years there have been many changes in LMS technology. Modern learning management systems offer exciting features and functionalities to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences.

The signing of the Canvas agreement in August, 2017, marked the culmination of a nine-month selection process which began last fall with the gathering of requirements from our faculty, followed by a thorough review of leading vendors and their products, and concluded with the unanimous choice of Canvas by the Learning Management System Steering Committee. The recommendation to move forward with Canvas was fully endorsed by the Provost.

Canvas is clearly a leader in delivering state-of-the-art learning management systems, having won over 70% of new higher education implementations last year. Our reference calls to Canvas clients such as Creighton and Rider were overwhelmingly positive and nine of our AJCU peers including Boston College, Santa Clara, Seattle, San Francisco and Xavier are using Canvas as their LMS. If you’re interested in learning more about Canvas and its user community, visit