Canvas by Instructure 

Duke University

A Canvas Customer Spotlight

Duke University

About the Institution

Created in 1924, Duke University consistently ranks among the very best. The university serves more than 17,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students combined and its graduate and professional schools are leaders in their fields. Duke is active internationally through the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, Duke Kunshan University in China, and numerous research and education programs across the globe. With a tradition of a strong ecosystem approach, the university wanted a learning management system that would yield a turning point in its operations. Sakai had served Duke for more than a decade but the university sought a more robust learning platform to achieve its goals over the coming decade. After careful consideration, Duke University and Duke Kunshan University chose Canvas LMS.

We look at Canvas as a way for anyone, regardless of their affiliation, to have access to learning and have the ability to complete learning experiences with Duke throughout their lifetime.

Michael Greene

Associate Director, Learning Technology Services and Strategy, Duke University

Key Insights

After more than a decade with Sakai, Duke University became concerned about the effort needed for Sakai to keep up with current leading LMSs, build new features, and evolve with Duke’s educational needs.

University leadership determined that Duke needed a more robust learning platform to achieve its goals over the coming decade.

The evaluation process included independent research, consultations with peers at other universities who have switched from Sakai to Canvas, meetings with Instructure, and input from various campus stakeholders, including faculty, staff, and students.

Canvas, the largest LMS provider in higher education, was chosen because it had already been successfully adopted by programs at Duke’s School of Business and School of Medicine, as well as many of Duke’s peer institutions.

Canvas features that stand out include the SpeedGrader, which offers improved grading workflows, robust data analytics, and the mobile experience across Android and iOS.

Duke University plans to conduct a phased transition from Sakai to Canvas LMS during the 2023-2024 academic year, with all courses migrated to Canvas by Fall 2024.

Seeking an all-in partnership, Duke invested in the Instructure Learning Platform, adopting Canvas LMS and its service desk, as well as Canvas Studio, Canvas Credentials, and Impact by Instructure.

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