Canvas coming to Shoreline Community College


Shoreline Community College will transition to the Canvas learning management system.

The decision to change was made by President Lee Lambert on Dec. 5 after a significant review period by faculty, students and staff. The transition from the current Blackboard learning management system will take place over the next several quarters with full implementation by summer quarter, 2013.

“We had one faculty member pilot a class in Canvas this fall quarter and we will have a handful of faculty piloting Canvas for winter 2013,” said Ann Garnsey-Harter, the Director of the Virtual College and eLearning Support Services. “We will spend winter quarter focused on training the rest of the faculty so that they can teach at least one class on Canvas for spring quarter. Faculty who are scheduled to teach for summer quarter can choose to wait to teach on Canvas until summer.”

The decision followed weeks and months of extensive inquiry, discussion, and consideration, said Garnsey-Harter. The entire process leading up to the decision is documented at

The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges negotiated a statewide license with Instructure, the company that created Canvas. Shoreline will take advantage of the statewide contract and expects significant savings.

Canvas is open-source software, meaning that users are encouraged to create additions and improvements and share those with other users. Washington will have a large group of users with almost all colleges and universities, including the University of Washington, deciding to move to Canvas.

“We are very excited about Canvas and look forward to serving students with what they have called a ‘modern’ and ‘user-friendly tool,” Garnsey-Harter said.

Shoreline uses other software products from Blackboard, including the emergency messaging system and the app for mobile devices. Those contracts are tied to the decision to move to Canvas.