University of Maryland Moves to Instructure Canvas Course Management

The University of Maryland will adopt Instructure® Canvas® as its new enterprise learning management system (ELMS), an online learning platform that facilitates teaching, learning, and collaboration among faculty and students.

A pilot will begin in fall 2012, and Canvas will be fully deployed by January 2013.

A faculty-led procurement committee recommended Canvas, and Maryland’s Division of Information Technology is working with the university community and Instructure to orchestrate the transition to the new platform.

“As Maryland’s academic quality continues its upward trajectory, the central IT organization will do its part to build upon Maryland’s academic strengths. The selection of a new, next-generation ELMS increases the university’s capacity to educate students for work and life in the 21st century,” said Brian D. Voss, Maryland’s Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.

“When ELMS powered by Canvas is launched in 2012, faculty and students will encounter a university-wide learning environment that uses modern Web technologies; is easy to use, intuitive, and accessible; contains features for teaching, learning, collaborating, and evaluating academic performance; and integrates multimedia, e-portfolios, social media tools, and Web conferencing,” said Chris Higgins, the Division of IT Director of Learning Technologies and Environments.

University officials issued a Request for Information in 2010 for enterprise learning management systems, and a faculty-led committee began exploring systems on the market. In an extensive evaluation process that spanned the 2010-2011 academic year and included representation from every college, the Graduate Student Government, and the Student Government Association, faculty and students pilot tested five systems.

Armed with a better understanding of today’s ELMS market and faculty and student system requirements, the university joined a procurement process under the Maryland Educational Enterprise Cooperative (MEEC) with other educational institutions also seeking to acquire learning management systems. Once the state-wide MEEC contract was complete and the university’s procurement process progressed, a small faculty committee with assistance from technical and support staff conducted a thorough examination of the available tools, and the committee recommended that Canvas by Instructure become the University of Maryland’s next-generation ELMS.

“The committee considered Canvas to be a cutting-edge platform that integrates all existing e-learning tools into a modern, yet interactive, virtual learning environment,” said Dr. Marcio A. Oliveira, Assistant Chair of the Department of Kinesiology in Maryland’s School of Public Health and member of the faculty procurement team.

“We built Canvas to be intuitive to faculty and students, so they can focus on learning instead of configuring technology,” said Brian Whitmer, co-founder and Vice President of Product Management at Instructure.

About Instructure Inc.

Instructure is a technology company committed to improving education. We provide instructors and students with modern tools and resources to empower the learning experience. Founded by graduate students in collaboration with educational institutions, Instructure provides Canvas – the open, easy-to-use, cloud-native learning platform. For more information about Instructure, visit

About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation, Maryland is ranked No. 18 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, has 32 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10 and 73 in the Top 25. The Institute of Higher Education (Jiao Tong University, Shanghai), which ranks the world’s top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 36 in the world and No. 12 among U.S. public universities. The university has produced six Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, more than 40 members of the national academies, and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population. For more information about the University of Maryland, visit

Media Contacts: 

Phyllis Dickerson Johnson, Director of Communications and Marketing, Division of Information Technology, University of Maryland, 301.405.4491, [email protected]

Devin Knighton,Director of Public Relations, Instructure Canvas, 801.722.8187, [email protected]