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Marian University Moves to Canvas

Canvas used by undergraduates and those entering the Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership programs

SALT LAKE CITY, December 18, 2012 – Marian University Indianapolis has completed its migration to Canvas by Instructure and is using the platform in its courses today. Among its many academic offerings, Marian University provides a comprehensive program to prepare Teach For America corps members and The New Teacher Project fellows for their teaching assignments in high-need communities. In 2013, the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine will open its doors, becoming the second medical school in the state of Indiana and the only Catholic osteopathic medical school in the nation.

“Our faculty members are experts in their areas of study, and we believe faculty shouldn’t need to become technology experts in order to interact with digital curriculum,” said Pete Williams, assistant vice president and CIO at Marian University. “Canvas is very easy to use, and that was a very important factor in our selection process.”

Marian University, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, began searching last year for a learning management system that would meet the needs of students as well as faculty. It decided to look at Canvas because of how much the service had progressed in a short amount of time. After narrowing the selection to a few finalists, the university invited bidding vendors to present to an open session of administrators, faculty and students.

Following the presentations on campus, Marian spoke with a number of Canvas customers, including Wharton School of Business and Brown University, to learn about their experience using the system. The feedback Marian received reflected the same enthusiasm its own faculty expressed, highlighting how intuitive Canvas is to use.

“If you show faculty the various products on the market, they’ll tell you they want Canvas because of the look and feel,” said Dawn Knapp, Marian University’s director of Academic Technology Services. “Getting positive feedback from faculty and hearing them talk about how easy Canvas is to use was exciting.”

According to Robert Kitchens, program director for Indianapolis Teaching Fellows at Marian University, “Canvas has streamlined our communication with our over 200 teachers and students as well as with our staff. We have used it as an information hub where both students and staff can go to retrieve documents and get program information. Also, integrating our courses onto Canvas has eliminated the need for printing papers because assignments and grading can be done electronically.”

“We don’t want people to have to fight with the technology they use every day,” said Brian Whitmer, co-founder and chief product officer at Instructure. “We built Canvas with the goal of making it the most easy to use learning platform available.”

As part of the Marian University contract, Catholic K-12 schools in the state of Indiana have the option of using Canvas at a significantly discounted rate.

About Marian University Indianapolis

Marian University, founded in Indianapolis in 1937, is the only Catholic liberal arts university in central Indiana. It serves a student body of more than 2,500 from 31 states and eight countries through dedication to excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts traditions. Marian University is one of Indiana’s 31 independent colleges and one of 244 Catholic colleges and universities nationwide.

Since 2001, Marian University has been led by President Daniel J. Elsener, whose vision and leadership are transforming the university. In 2010, the university announced it would develop the first college of osteopathic medicine in Indiana; in 2011, it broke ground on the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences. Marian University is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout 2012.

Marian University is ideal for students who are looking for personalized instruction from an outstanding faculty of 97 full-time professors. Classes average 17 students, and the student-faculty ratio is 15 to one.

About Instructure:

Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. We provide instructors and students modern tools and resources to empower the learning experience. Instructure offers Canvas – the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning management system. We also provide the Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses from Ivy Leagues to community colleges. To keep learning, visit

Copyright © 2012, 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.


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

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