Compass: Partners
in Learning Amplifying Impact with Canvas & Catalog

Compass-Case Study Logo

Rapid City, SD

1,000+ Users

Canvas LMS + Studio (2021)
Canvas Catalog (2023)


Decades ago, educators in South Dakota were introduced to Compass: Partners in Learning (formerly Technology and Innovation in Education) as an organization that instructed them on integrating computers into their teaching practices. Today, teachers perceive Compass (formerly TIE) as an established institution across the state, providing diverse professional development opportunities that support educators in engaging learners with innovative and relevant methods.

The Challenge

In a fast-paced environment with several teams and differing priorities, the absence of a comprehensive Learning Management Solution (LMS) resulted in the adoption of several disparate tools, leading to what Compass (formerly TIE) described as "hodgepodge" solutions. While these tools facilitated content sharing and updates, they lacked seamless cross-functional collaboration, efficient onboarding processes, and the ability to deliver hybrid training services. Adopting Canvas and Studio in late 2021 marked a pivotal shift in their approach, providing a unified platform to better serve staff needs and enhance client engagement.

As pioneers in innovative learning, Compass leverages Canvas to revolutionize training for educators, nonprofits, and government entities, fostering innovation and adaptability. Founded by a consortium of schools advancing technology in education, Compass cultivates innovation and adaptability, with Canvas as a key tool for delivering high-quality training initiatives.

Key Insights

Adopting a comprehensive LMS enabled Compass (formerly TIE) to save time and resources, consolidating tools for greater efficiency and automation in training delivery.

With Canvas, Compass delivers high-quality training regionally in virtual and hybrid formats, allowing them to overcome geographical barriers and ensure consistent learning experiences.

The integration of Catalog streamlined bulk enrollment and provided Compass’ clients with easier ways to track progress and view analytics.

The Solution

Compass (formerly TIE)’s Canvas implementation strategy followed a “train the trainer” model, as they started the process by introducing Canvas LMS to a small cohort of staff members through two self-service training sessions. This group of early adopters paved the way for a phased rollout as they expanded the use of the solution more broadly across teams and focus areas.

A highlight of the Canvas experience for Compass has been its innate ability to amplify one of their core values: accessibility. By facilitating ease of access and utilization for both instructors and learners, Canvas ensures that accessibility remains a forefront consideration in all learning experiences facilitated through the platform.

Enhancing Accessibility And Engagement

With Canvas, Compass (formerly TIE) can provide more accessibility to instructors and students, specifically in how content is shared, consumed, and administered. For instructors, Canvas has made sharing resources that simplify the content creation process easier, allowing educators to share best practices and spend less time on administrative tasks. For instructors and students, the Immersive Reader in Canvas makes it easier to consume course content audibly as it can be read aloud to them on the go. These capabilities also continue in Studio, where all video content includes closed captions and can be downloaded and revisited as many times as needed. As part of Compass’ dedication to self-paced and accessible learning experiences, they also appreciate that Canvas allows them to download courses and make them available offline. This allows Compass to reach and support districts in more rural areas that may not have access to a reliable internet connection.

Additionally, Compass is passionate about helping educators bring learning experiences to life with interactive content that simulates real-world scenarios. To facilitate more immersive discussions and assessments, they promote using Canvas’ Rich Content Editor and New Quizzes to the instructors and educators they work with to make content more engaging and relevant with high-quality images, videos, and audio clips.

Snow Days - The Hybrid Training Way

Although Canvas was initially used primarily for teacher certifications, after seeing great success with their adoption, Compass (formerly TIE) integrated Canvas with Catalog in late 2023 to expand its use. This integration allowed Compass to offer hybrid training solutions (which are vital in a region prone to snow days) and expand their services beyond South Dakota. The combination of Canvas LMS and Catalog helped Compass successfully extend in-person training services, ensuring continuity in learning amidst disruptions. The versatility of Catalog also enabled bulk enrollment, facilitating training for various stakeholders, including substitute teachers and new staff, at their own pace.

The Results

Integrating Canvas and Catalog enabled significant automation, time savings, and expansion opportunities. Internal training, especially for new hires, was notably sped up. Virtual half-day sessions extended Compass (formerly TIE)’s reach and impact while optimizing resources. These changes also enhanced their in-person training by facilitating resource sharing beforehand and scaling operations regionally. Canvas has streamlined learning management, empowering the organization to adapt and thrive in a changing landscape and ultimately enhancing Compass’ ability to serve its clients and communities more effectively than ever before.

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