About Canvas

Canvas logo

UW System recently completed an RFP to consider Learning Management System (LMS) options. The results of the RFP selected the Instructure product Canvas to replace the D2L product Brightspace as the hub of the digital learning environment (DLE). The contract was signed on October 16, 2017. Canvas will provide a friendly and easy to use environment for UWSP's DLE.

The move to Instructure's Canvas platform advances our 2020FWD Strategic Framework (https://www.wisconsin.edu/2020FWD/). Canvas will become the technology base to support teaching and learning, central to the educational experience of our students. It will provide a consolidated, shared cloud service that leverages the collective power of UW institutions.

A formally structured and coordinated approach to implementing the DLE will ensure a smooth transition from the use of D2L to Canvas at your institution. Please review the UWS DLE Implementation Project website for additional background information and updates.

Information about the project will be communicated via MOD and SMOD. This UWSP project website will be kept current with project information as we move forward. Please feel free to contact the UWSP project manager, Sean Ruppert by email at sruppert@uwsp.edu with questions and concerns.


The project timeline projects all courses that are currently hosted in D2L will be in Canvas by Fall of 2019, and a D2L shutdown will occur on June 30, 2020.

Instructors can expect to begin training and migrating courses this spring. Students can expect to start seeing courses offered in Canvas in Fall of 2018.

Preliminary project work and planning is happening now. UW System is configuring the environment, course templates are being developed, system integration is being tested, and DLE administrators are training on Canvas.

There are a few things instructors should keep in mind about the transition:

  • Please do not ask colleagues, helpdesk, or other staff at UW-Madison for access to the UW-Madison Canvas environment.
  • Please be aware that while UWSP instructors and students can investigate Canvas on their own, the UWSP implementation of Canvas may look different than any free sites or "sandboxes" provided by Canvas. Any courses setup using a Canvas test "sandbox" can not be migrated to the new system.
  • Please do not migrate any courses from the D2L system to a Canvas system until authorized to do so by the UWSP Project Manager.

What Does This Announcement Mean for UWSP?

UW System Administration is coordinating this project which includes implementation of the following key components of the DLE:

  • Instructure's Canvas platform
  • Canvas integration with institution student information systems, media management platform (currently Kaltura), and web conferencing (currently Blackboard Collaborate)
  • Establishment of a UW System Canvas data warehouse
  • Shared Canvas orientation resources for students and faculty
  • Shared training resources for Canvas, media management, and web conferencing services

Through structured collaboration, institutions will efficiently and effectively work with UW System to support the transition process. Implementing Canvas as the hub of our new DLE, along with integrating media management and web conferencing technologies will ultimately support student success by providing us with many benefits including:

  • Technology that is easy-to-use, stable, secure, and standardized — yet flexible. Such an environment supports improved collaboration and sharing, thereby moving forward innovation in teaching and learning, as well as fostering student engagement. The DLE allows for the transformation of teaching and learning to a more data-informed process, and support of instruction through a platform that enables engaging, accessible, intuitive, interactive, and pedagogically-sound learning experiences for students.
  • Administrative benefits. Access to data also provides an ability to support reporting required in higher education for accreditation, compliance, and other administrative purposes.
  • The ability for systems to be adaptive replaces the need to predict and plan within a structure of closed, tightly-knitted systems selected based on what we "think" will happen. The DLE enables us to provide our stakeholders – students, instructors, and administration – the environment needed to thrive in any future that may evolve.

All inquiries from the media regarding the Instructure contract or UW Systems implementation project should be directed to the project website: https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/.

Project Timeline

Course Migration - Starts April 2018

Instructor Training - Starts April 2018

Student Training - Starts August 2018

First Courses Live in Canvas - Fall 2018

All Courses Live in Canvas - Summer 2019

D2L Shutdown - June 30, 2020

​Project Status

Project Charter - Completed

Communications Plan -

UWSP Migration Plan - Completed
UWSP Training Plan - 20%