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Instructure Introduces Canvas Commons to Enable Shared Content and Collaboration Across the Canvas Cloud

Learning object repository developed by popular demand and with guidance from the Unizin Consortium

SALT LAKE CITY — September 25, 2014 — Learning technology company Instructure, the creator of the Canvas learning management system (LMS) for K-12 and higher education, today announced a new platform that will enable educators to tap into the power of crowdsourcing and the social Web. Called Canvas Commons, it’s a learning object repository (LOR) where the best ideas, courses and curriculum can be freely shared — all seamlessly integrated into the Canvas LMS environment.

As paper textbooks give way to digital resources, teachers are looking for ways to efficiently exchange content with their contemporaries. But without the right sharing platform, teachers can spend a great deal of time retrofitting shared resources into their lesson plans and figuring out how to distribute them to their students. Canvas Commons streamlines the process for teachers to discover lesson plans, assignments, quizzes and even full courses that are free and easy to incorporate into the Canvas LMS.

“Teachers and designers often create custom learning resources — or simply accept materials handed down to them — because it’s hard to find and incorporate vetted, relevant, open content, activities and assessments,” said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. “Canvas Commons makes it so much easier to not only find and reuse the world's best and brightest teaching ideas, but also to revise, remix, and, of course, redistribute those activities back into the community.”

With Canvas Commons, Instructure aims to enable a “for the people, by the people” content ecosystem, Stein said. For many educators, sourcing quality content is a necessity. From K-12 administrators and teachers who need lesson plans that align with Common Core, to tenured professors who want to build courses that can be used by adjunct faculty and lecturers, Canvas users will finally have a creative, collaborative space that meets their needs.

The platform was built in response to customer demand and with guidance from newly founded Unizin — a consortium of universities, led by Indiana University, Colorado State University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan, that is building a Canvas-powered platform of shared digital education resources. Unizin will be the first major organization to pilot the tool.

“Unizin is committed to providing its members with leading tools, based on open standards, and with the usability and depth required to host a sustainable ecosystem,” said Amin Qazi, CEO of Unizin. “Having an open forum like Canvas Commons that educators can call their own supports Unizin’s primary mission.”

Canvas Commons will be free and allow Canvas LMS users to do the following:

Canvas Commons is in a limited pilot and will be made available to Canvas users in the coming months. For more information, please visit

About Instructure
Instructure, Inc. developed the Canvas learning management system to make teaching and learning easier for everyone, everywhere. Canvas empowers learning in every context with open, usable SaaS technologies. And through Canvas Network, Instructure provides a cloud platform where teachers, learners, and institutions worldwide can connect and chart their own course for personal growth, professional development, and academic inquiry. Learn more at

Devin Knighton, Director of Public Relations at Instructure
(801) 722-8187 |
Twitter: @devinknighton |

Matt Reichman, Method Communications
(801) 461-9778 |

Copyright © 2014, Instructure, Inc. All rights reserved. Instructure, Canvas and their respective logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Instructure, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names may be claimed as the property of others.

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