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The Study Hall

The Power of the Platform

You might have noticed some naming changes around your favorite education technology solutions, so we want to fill you in on what’s going on over here. Introducing the Canvas Learning Management Platform!

The Canvas Learning Management Platform delivers an open, extensible learning ecosystem that allows schools to build the digital learning environment that meets their unique challenges. Don't worry, the LMS isn't going anywhere. Rather, we’re building on and better connecting the tools you know and love to simplify teaching, elevate learning, and eliminate the hassle of supporting mediocre learning technologies.

The change to a platform approach helps us organize our products in a way that’s scalable and consistent as we continue to add solutions that make teaching and learning easier. In addition to LTI integrations and our open APIs, we’ll continue to explore and develop ways to deliver our solutions in a seamless platform experience.   

The learning management platform is all about choice. Ever since Canvas was launched a decade ago, Instructure has continued to fine tune, add functionality, and expand the scope of what the LMS can accomplish. Canvas has grown along with the needs of our customers, and as our community grows and diversifies, some of that functionality becomes specific to certain institutions. In order to best serve higher ed and K–12, districts and individual schools, R1s and community colleges, we’ve introduced more choice so institutions aren’t being charged for functionality they don’t use. 

We introduced this approach with the launch of the interactive video tool, Arc, in 2016. Canvas already offered robust support for multimedia within the course tools, but for schools who wanted to expand their multimedia offerings, including unique functionality like video quizzing, they could now add Arc (which is now called Canvas Studio!). The next year we launched Gauge, to expand assessment functionality for K–12 institutions, and acquired the video-based learning tool Practice to offer better professional development and peer feedback for specific courses. These are both great examples of powerful tools that are only applicable to a segment of our customer base. 

In 2019 we’ve continued the approach we started with Practice: identifying solutions we already integrate closely with through our partner ecosystem. The acquisition of Portfolium was driven by their vision of a lifelong ePortfolio solution that would amplify student success and span the gap between school and work, as well as their pathways and program assessment functionality. Next, MasteryConnect greatly expanded the innovative assessment functionality for K–12.   

The unifying factor of all of these solutions, whether developed internally or acquired, is a focus on the best teaching and learning experience available. We remain true to our mission of “helping people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work.” Every new development and acquisition rings true to that mission, and we’re confident that you’ll find our platform approach to be a powerful, flexible solution for the ever-evolving and awesomely diverse education world.

Keep learning,

Ryan Lufkin
Senior Product Marketing Director, Canvas