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Simon Fraser University Chooses Canvas

Canvas will support Simon Fraser’s vision to become Canada’s most community-engaged research university

SALT LAKE CITY, January 30, 2013 – Simon Fraser, a world-renowned and top-ranked university in Canada, chose Canvas by Instructure to replace Blackboard’s Vista as its new learning management system. Canvas will be integral to SFU’s strategic vision for the Engaged University.

SFU’s Engaged University vision outlines a dynamic integration of teaching, learning and research, which will enable the university to expand its engagement with students and learning communities – both local and international. To help implement this vision, SFU identified its need for a new LMS that could support and sustain innovative approaches in teaching and learning.

“I’m very pleased with the selection of Canvas,” said Dr. Jonathan Driver, vice-president, academic and provost of SFU. “The choice of Canvas clearly responds to the community’s desire for a flexible and practical, yet dynamic and forward-thinking approach to our learning technologies. This choice gives substance, direction and dedication to the university’s commitment to boldness, openness and engagement in all of its endeavors.”

The yearlong LMS evaluation process involved faculty, staff and students across SFU’s three campuses. The process included in-person interviews, open forums, focus groups and a student survey that resulted in 6,800 responses. The selection committee evaluated the functional capabilities of seven prospective systems, but placed greater emphasis on each system’s alignment with the university’s vision and values. Flexibility emerged as the key selection criteria.

“The inherent flexibility of Canvas allows an institution to implement a variety of pedagogical approaches and create a learning experience that corresponds with its own needs and strategic vision,” said Devlin Daley, Instructure’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “We’re excited to welcome Simon Fraser University to the Canvas Community of more than 300 educational institutions.”

SFU will complete its transition of 14,000 courses to the open source version of Canvas in 2014. Instructure’s Professional Services is assisting with course migration and is on track to migrate the first 8,000 courses in one month.

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About Simon Fraser University:

Opened in 1965, Simon Fraser University is known for its highly innovative teaching and learning, cutting-edge research that is global in scope and influence and its ongoing and compelling commitment to community engagement. For almost 20 years, SFU has been ranked as one of Canada’s top three comprehensive universities. Its campuses in the lower mainland of British Columbia (Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey) offer more than 100 undergraduate major and joint major programs and more than 45 graduate offerings. SFU’s newest facility is the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver.

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 Canvas Network, an index of open, online courses from Ivy Leagues to community colleges. To keep learning, visit

Copyright © 2013, 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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