SFU's Canvas implementation plan

As the timeline above illustrates, SFU's Canvas implementation plan is based on stages that involve increasing numbers of courses. Thanks to a strong response by faculty members and instructors, the implementation plan is ahead of schedule. In fact, as of September 2013, Canvas courses outnumbered WebCT courses by a margin of three to one, and almost all SFU students were enrolled in at least one course using Canvas.

The final step will occur in January 2014 when WebCT is officially retired. If you are a faculty member or instructor with course content in WebCT that you would like to migrate to Canvas, you should create a Canvas course shell and import your WebCT content as soon as possible. Check the Support for Instructors page on this website for step-by-step migration instructions, or contact the Teaching and Learning Centre's Learning Technology team (learntech@sfu.ca or 778.782.9607) for advice and hands-on assistance with migration tasks.

Frequently asked questions about the implementation process

Why is SFU using open-source Canvas and not the cloud-based version?

SFU is using the open-source version of Canvas, hosted on SFU servers, rather than Canvas Cloud (which is a web-based platform hosted outside Canada) because the university's learning management system must comply with British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which protects personal privacy and does not allow personal data of SFU students and employees to be stored outside of Canada.

For more information on SFU's privacy policies and the collection of personal information, visit SFU's Privacy page.

What SFU courses have already started using Canvas?

As of September 2013, almost 850 courses with 600 unique instructors were using Canvas (compared to approximately 250 courses using WebCT). Almost all SFU students (close to 23,000) were enrolled in at least one course that employed Canvas.

When will my courses be switched over to Canvas?

If you have existing course content in WebCT, it has already been converted to a format that can be imported into Canvas. (A new "snapshot" of current WebCT content will be available at the end of October, and a final snapshot will be available at the end of January 2014.)

You may set up your course in Canvas at any time. Importing converted WebCT content into Canvas requires action by you. Temporary staff members are available to help you with the hands-on work of moving files, etc. For more information and to request support, please contact the Teaching and Learning Centre's Learn Tech team at learntech@sfu.ca or 778.782.9607.

When will Canvas be fully implemented at SFU?

As of January 2014, Canvas will be SFU's only institutionally supported learning management system. After December 2013, WebCT will no longer be available for course delivery at SFU. (WebCT will remain accessible to instructors on a read-only basis until the end of April 2014.)

Canvas@SFU Action Plan

(May 23, 2013: Implementation plan approved by Executive Steering Committee)

Canvas Implementation Team Org Chart

(July 2013)

LMS Needs Assessment Report

(March 2012: Results of community consultation process and recommendations)