Canvas is being used by some of the world’s leading universities to deliver high quality, digital learning experiences. It is intuitive, easy to use, scalable and capable of growing with Oxford’s needs. It is compatible with some of the most commonly used applications at the University, including Turnitin, ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online), Cabinet and Office 365.
The University works closely with Instructure, the suppliers of Canvas, to ensure that it can deliver some Oxford-specific requirements.
Mobile apps are also available for teachers and students; these can be downloaded from the relevant app store.
Watch Martin Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), discuss how Canvas can meet students’ expectations of a VLE at Oxford.
If you would like to discuss how Canvas can help you to deliver on your teaching and learning objectives, contact us and we’ll get back to you to arrange a consultation meeting.
Canvas training and guides
Regular training sessions are offered through the IT Learning Centre. One to one training with academics can also be arranged for those who might find it difficult to attend a training course.
Extensive documentation called Guides to Using Canvas at Oxford explaining Canvas functionality in detail can be accessed in the 'Help' section of the Global Navigation menu once you have logged in. Canvas also has guidance and video materials but please note that not all of these will be applicable to Oxford.
Support is provided by Instructure and is available 24/7, 365 days-a-year. It can be accessed from the ‘Help’ button of the Global Navigation menu once in Canvas.
A network of Local Canvas Coordinators (LCCs) is also available at the University. These are locally based staff within departments and faculties using Canvas, and will periodically offer support, and carry out roles similar to that of WebLearn Coordinators. They will also represent their departments, etc. at User Group and similar meetings. Who is my Local Canvas Coordinator (LCC)? [SSO required]
The future of WebLearn
WebLearn will continue to be supported for now, including for purposes other than teaching and learning, until alternative solutions are identified, support is in place and prior notice has been given. For more information please see what will happen to WebLearn?
Frequently Asked Questions
You will find some basic questions below. More detailed FAQs can be found in the Guides to Using Canvas at Oxford, which you can access once logged into Canvas. The Guides also includes a glossary to help with understanding the terminology most commonly used in Canvas.
Canvas is a virtual learning environment (VLE) delivered by Instructure, an educational technology company founded in 2008. Instructure is based in the United States, with UK support in London. Canvas, which was launched in 2011, is used in more than 50 countries by over 20 million students. The software is intuitive and easy to use, scalable and secure.
Canvas was the unanimous choice of the VLE review project board as the preferred supplier to deliver the new virtual learning environment. It was felt it would provide the best quality of user experience to support teaching and learning at Oxford, and in doing so provide opportunities to advance education.
The decision is the result of a process that began with the 2016 Digital Education Strategy implementation consultation. This identified the need for a more intuitive and user-friendly VLE. More information about this process is available on the VLE Review web pages.
Canvas is used in the UK by institutions including the University of Birmingham, London Business School, University of Wolverhampton, St Georges University of London, Henley Business School and Manchester University. It is it the leading VLE used by a number of Ivy League universities including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell and MIT.
Canvas has recently launched their so-called Plagiarism Framework, which enables ‘deep integration’ with Turnitin.
This means that when creating an essay-type assignment in Canvas, the user can invoke the Turnitin integration. The student submissions will then automatically go through Turnitin ‘behind the scenes’, and return the Originality Report into the Canvas assignment interface.
Canvas works well with Panopto. There is seamless integration with Panopto ‘behind the scenes’, that is, lectures can be recorded via the applicable Canvas course, from where students can access the recordings.
A range of training opportunities and materials are provided. The Projects Training and Technology Enhanced Learning teams offer the following types of training and support:
Canvas Fundamentals, covering the basics of Canvas, and Canvas for Local Canvas Coordinators & Unit Admins. The sessions will be hands-on & observational and will be delivered using Microsoft Teams during academic year 20/21. They can be booked through the IT Learning Centre
Yes, there is a Quiz tool in Canvas that is viewed as an ‘assignment’. It has features such as being able to provide one stimulus (e.g. a video or image) and posing multiple short questions about that stimulus.
Canvas offers detailed analytics displays and reports, as well as a Gradebook into which markers can insert marks. Marks from graded activities such as assignments, quizzes and graded discussions will automatically appear in the Gradebook. This provides a full record of all assessments in the course and marks earned. You may wish to refer to the guidance: How do I enter and edit grades in the Gradebook?