Canvas is UBC's primary cloud-based learning platform for delivering online course content. In Canvas, instructors can share materials (text, multimedia), enable student collaboration, manage assignments and quizzes, and handle grades, in addition to integrating with many other learning technologies. Canvas will gradually be replacing Connect.

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UBC is pleased to announce that following extensive consultation and evaluation, the Canvas platform (by Instructure) has been selected as the replacement for Blackboard Learn [Connect].

Canvas is a system designed for mobile and will provide expanded capabilities as well as a more user-friendly interface for faculty, students and staff (see the project page for further details). Over the past two months, the project team has been working with Faculty leadership and local instructional support units to determine their preferred timeline for transition of courses and programs. The first courses will be offered in Canvas this September, with all courses migrated to the new system by September 2018.

Getting started How do I get started?

Your courses' move to Canvas is dependent on your faculty’s migration timeline. For UBC Vancouver, please check in with your faculty's Instructional Support Unit for more details. If you're based at UBCO, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning ( for assistance in planning your transition to Canvas. If you aren’t sure who to contact, please reach out to the Learning Technology Hub, and we can point you in the right direction. A link to the Canvas login page will be published here within the next few weeks, so check back frequently.

What tools can I use with this?

Canvas comes with numerous internal tools to expand your teaching options for courses. Among the most widely used are:

  • Speedgrader: Once you use SpeedGrader, you won’t know how you ever survived without it. Within one frame, you can view, score and provide audio, video or written feedback on submissions. Not only does it cut down on unnecessary steps and make grading faster, it provides built-in rubrics and learning outcomes, so you can focus on what really counts. And because grades are transferred automatically from SpeedGrader to the gradebook, you can use the time you save on data entry to provide even more student feedback.
  • Notification Preferences: For each type of course notification—announcements, due date changes, discussion replies, and more—you decide how and when you’re alerted. You can choose from email and text message or stay connected via Twitter, LinkedIn, and other Web services. You can also control how often you receive notifications, so important messages never fall through the cracks.
  • Syllabus: The syllabus area in Canvas allows instructors not only to post the content of their syllabus, but also displays an Assignments summary section displaying all assignments (Quizzes, Discussions, Assignments).
  • Conferences: Conferences are primarily used for virtual lectures, virtual office hours, and student groups. They can also be used to demonstrate technologies or troubleshoot technology issues online. Conferences can accommodate up to 50 people.
  • Conversations: Conversations is the messaging tool used instead of email to communicate with a course, a group, an individual student, or a group of students. You can communicate with other people in your course at any time.
  • Chat: The Chat tool in Canvas allows students and teachers to interact in real time. Note: The Chat tool must be enabled at UBC before it can be used in Canvas courses.
  • Pages: All Canvas Pages are actually “wiki” pages! So the Pages feature serves the same function as a dedicated wiki tool. Benefits include revisions history and shared authoring between student and instructors.
  • Modules: Modules are used to organize course content by weeks, units, sections, or a different organizational structure. Modules essentially create a one-directional linear flow of what students should do in a course.
  • ePortfolios: Users can build an unlimited number of ePortfolios in which they can collect and document their educational projects, submissions, experiences, and other work products. Users can keep ePortfolios private or share with other students, instructors, and/or future employers. All ePortfolios are connected to user profiles and not to a specific course.

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Available support What support is available?

Canvas workshops, online training and tutorials, and one-on-one support are available to help you navigate the transition from Connect and get the most out of Canvas.

Training and resources

  • In-person workshops, online training, and open studio time (UBC Vancouver): Canvas training on a variety of topics is being offered throughout the year through the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Sign up for a session. The Faculty of Arts is also offering in-person Canvas training sessions throughout the year.
  • Workshops and open studio time (UBC Okanagan): Training aimed at helping instructors prepare their Canvas courses for September 2017 is being offered through the Centre for Teaching and Learning in July and August. Sign up.
  • Online guides and tutorials: Instructure, the company that designed Canvas, has developed guides and video tutorials tailored to the needs of instructors and students.
  • Canvas sandboxes: You can request a blank sandbox to start building your course in Canvas. Please contact your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit or the Learning Technology Hub if you would like a sandbox.
  • Transitioning courses from Connect to Canvas: We’ve compiled a Connect to Canvas guide to explain which Connect content can be imported to Canvas and how Connect content will appear in the new system.
  • Canvas FAQ: Still have questions? Check out our FAQ.

Helpful contacts

  • Instructional Support Units: If you’re based at UBC Vancouver, we recommend making your faculty’s Instructional Support Unit your first point of contact.
  • UBC Okanagan: If you’re teaching at UBC Okanagan, please contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning ( for assistance with Canvas.
  • Learning Technology Hub: All faculty and staff are invited to call, email, or visit the Learning Technology Hub for assistance. A staff member will be happy to answer any questions you may have about moving to or using Canvas.
  • Support outside regular office hours: Creating an account in Canvas will give you access to 24/7/365 telephone, chat, and email support provided by Canvas representatives.
  • Canvas Tech Rovers: UBC is currently hiring Canvas Tech Rovers to support faculty with the transition to Canvas. Stay tuned for more information.

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