Canvas @ Oxford programme

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Welcome to Canvas at the University of Oxford

Canvas is the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE) for teaching and learning.

After a successful early adopter phase which started in June 2018, Canvas is now being rolled out to academic, award bearing programmes of study across the collegiate University.

The rollout is being managed by the Canvas @ Oxford programme and will run until the end of March 2021.

If you are a student, please visit the Canvas for students page.  

Oxford University is adopting a flexible and inclusive approach to teaching in academic year 20/21.

Find out how Canvas can help with your teaching and learning requirements.

Why Canvas

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.

Our vision for Canvas at Oxford

Canvas is much more than a technology replacement programme. Explore the thinking and the 'why' behind the vision.

Logging in to Canvas

Go to and log in using your Single Sign-On.

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 Terms of Use policy

Please note that Canvas is only supported for use at Oxford as a teaching and learning platform. We encourage you to read the Terms of Use to understand what constitutes appropriate use or contact us if you have any questions.

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.

Canvas support

Canvas is provided by a company called Instructure, who offer 24/7, 365 days-a-year support which you can access on the ‘Help’ button of the Global Navigation menu once in Canvas.

We also have a network of Local Canvas Coordinators (LCCs) within the University. These are locally based 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?

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 Frequently Asked Questions

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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 is scheduled to be rolled out across the University by the end of Michaelmas term 2020 (December 2020) when it will be used by around 95% of students. A small number of courses will continue using other virtual learning environments (e.g Moodle) however, Canvas is the University's official virtual learning environment for the delivery of teaching and learning. 

The implementation approach will support academics, departments and divisions by providing a wide range of events, workshops and individual support including:

  • Opportunities for academic staff to reflect on how they will teach and how students will learn using digital tools and spaces. This will be underpinned by the Learning Technologists who will facilitate learning design workshops, with support from the larger Centre for Teaching and Learning team.

  • Individual support for academics and staff to design their Canvas course and migrate their content.

  • Training to familiarise staff with Canvas and orientation sessions for students.

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 
  • Learning Design workshops: please contact  for more details 
  • Guides to using Canvas at Oxford, which can be accessed once logged into Canvas 

Online guides and videos are also available from Instructure (parent company of Canvas). Please note that they may not always reflect Oxford University's own use of Canvas. 

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.


Yes, these can be embedded into Canvas pages and modules (like the Lessons tool in WebLearn).

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? 


 Yes, it is possible to integrate the Oxford term dates calendar in Canvas. Please refer to the guidance page: Importing the Oxford calendar into a Canvas course.

Very customisable: you can create your own marking scales. Your grading scheme will not take effect until you have enabled it for the course via Settings > Course Details.