Better Together: Canvas + Microsoft 365 Transform Teaching and Learning


Over the last year and a half, educators and schools around the world have found innovative ways to transform teaching and learning. Even so, remote and hybrid learning remains a challenge for many. I know just how challenging remote learning can be – I lived it. 

I graduated from Seattle University in 2020 with my degree in Computer Science, in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I experienced firsthand how frustrating it can be to juggle a million different technologies that are not well integrated. As a student, I used Canvas and Microsoft products like Microsoft Teams. I loved both products independently, but they weren’t integrated, so I had multiple places to go to get my work done. This added unnecessary stress on top of the demands of finishing my senior year remotely. 

Post-graduation, I started my job on the Microsoft Education team. Early on, I was given a choice of what I wanted to work on, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with the Instructure team to build new integrations between Microsoft products and Canvas. 

Teachers and students deserve a better experience

The feedback my colleagues at Microsoft and I heard from educators and students mirrored my own experiences: They needed better, more seamless integrations of the Microsoft products they use daily with Canvas, the hub of their classroom experience.

I was – and still am – a huge Canvas fan. In college, I used Canvas to manage everything related to my classes, projects, and clubs – and I loved it. I also used Microsoft Teams for project-based learning and collaboration in classes and throughout my year-long computer science senior project. I was eager to work on building these new integrations because I knew just how impactful they would be for educators and students. I believe that Canvas + Microsoft are truly better together, and I’m excited to share with you what we’ve been working on. Below is a picture of me and my awesome senior project teammates.

My senior project team

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Will Lathrop, Lina Chung, Samantha Fisher, and Jon Kimray working on their senior project at Seattle University

Canvas + Microsoft are better together

Canvas is a hub for classroom management, providing educators with rich assignment and grading features, curriculum creation, content development, and more. Microsoft excels in providing collaboration products like Teams and Teams Meetings; productivity tools like OneDrive, Office 365, and OneNote; social learning apps like Flipgrid; and accessibility tools like Immersive Reader. And now, both are even better thanks to new integrations that bring the best of Microsoft right into Canvas. 

We’re proud to announce a new Microsoft Teams classes Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), a new Microsoft Teams meetings LTI, and a new Microsoft OneDrive LTI with Canvas. We’ve also worked to integrate the Immersive Reader into Canvas, bringing accessibility to all. Keep reading to learn more.

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Connect your Canvas course to a Microsoft Class Team

With the new Microsoft Teams classes LTI, educators can create a Microsoft Class Team for their Canvas course with the click of a button. All the students in your Canvas course are automatically added to the Team, and changes to the course roster are periodically updated. Microsoft Teams allows educators and students to collaborate and connect with one another in a remote or hybrid learning environment. Users can work closely with each other using Teams chat, classes can hold lively discussions in channels and through chat, and users can meet remotely with the click of a button. Features like Praise and Reflect allow educators to recognize student achievement and monitor wellbeing while apps like Whiteboard and OneNote allow for rich in-class collaboration. And with Insights, educators can better understand student engagement. 

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Create, join, and manage meetings with the new Teams Meetings integration

The new Microsoft Teams meetings LTI brings a new and improved experience into Canvas courses. Users can see an agenda with all of their meetings in Canvas and join those meetings right within Canvas. When scheduling a new meeting, users can add the entire class at the click of a button and access important settings. Teams meetings support a collaborative and engaging classroom experience. Educators can easily create breakout rooms, present engaging content using dynamic view, bring the whole class together using together mode, and more.

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Create assignments and course resources with the new OneDrive LTI

The new and improved OneDrive LTI brings the best of OneDrive and Office365 right into Canvas workflows. Educators can embed or link OneDrive files from the Canvas rich content editor, create cloud assignments using Office 365 files, and embed Office 365 files in course content. They can also initiate Canvas collaborations, easily switch between OneDrive accounts, and grade OneDrive files in the Canvas SpeedGrader. You don’t need to leave your Canvas experience to take advantage of everything OneDrive and Office 365 offer.

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Engage students with OneNote Class Notebook 

The OneNote Class Notebook LTI lets educators create a Class Notebook for their Canvas course and collaborate with students on course content. Each Class Notebook has a content library for educators to share content with their students, a collaboration space for the whole class to work together, and a private notebook for each student.

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Accessibility for all with the Immersive Reader

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a tool that makes classrooms inclusive and accessible for all, using proven techniques to improve reading and writing for every student, regardless of age or ability. The Immersive Reader is integrated into Canvas Pages and is coming soon to even more locations and Canvas.

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Want to learn more about these powerful new integrations or get help with deploying LTIs? Contact us, and our customer success team will reach out to answer your questions or provide 1:1 assistance.

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