In 2013, the University of Wisconsin System conducted an Instructure Canvas pilot project, as recommended by the 2011 Learning Management System (LMS) Task Force, sponsored by the Learn@UW Executive Committee. The pilot was intended to enhance our understanding of the changing LMS landscape. The 2011 pilot provided us with an opportunity to experiment with and explore the features and functionalities of an alternative learning management system. The pilot also focused on ways to use the LMS to improve student engagement, as well as gauge the adoption effort of instructors and students when using a new LMS. The pilot was not intended to seek an LMS to replace Desire2Learn (D2L).

By initiating this RFP for “Instructure Canvas Pilot II,” UWS intends to further explore the Canvas platform and leverage the Canvas Pilot being carried out as part of the Unizin project by UW-Madison. While the objectives of the UW-Madison Canvas pilot are integral to vetting use as part of the Unizin initiative, the objective of the UWS Canvas II pilot is to provide all UW System campuses with the opportunity to further explore the Canvas product. Carrying out Canvas Pilot II also falls squarely in line with other initiatives, as it was one of the recommendations of the LMS Task Force 2011, and will also provide information (along with the LEARN@UW Roadmap) to support the LMS RFP which will be also initiated in the near future.

Canvas Pilot II is not being conducted to seek an LMS to replace Desire2Learn (D2L). The objective of Canvas Pilot II is to explore and learn more about the technical “back end” of the product with particular focus on the integration, interoperability, and ease of content export/import with UWS supported third-party systems (e.g., ePortfolio, Kaltura, Turnitin, Respondus Suite, and others), as well as Canvas’s ability to meet discipline/course specific needs for teaching and learning.

We invite interested campuses to select faculty and teaching staff to participate in the Canvas Pilot II project. Each instructor will design a course using Canvas to be delivered during one of the following semesters: Spring, Summer, or Fall 2015 (deadlines are shown in the “Application section below). For those interested in delivering Spring 2015 courses, please note that the timeline is quite aggressive.


  • Spring 2015 Semester – October 31, 2014  (closed)
  • Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 Semesters – December 1, 2014 Date extended to January 16, 2015

For more information, please refer to the Instructure Canvas Pilot II RFP:
InstructureCanvasPilotII-RFP2 docx November 25, 2014 47.5 KiB