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What is Canvas?

Canvas is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) by Instructure that supports current and evolving teaching and learning needs. While Canvas is a commercial product, it is supported by a team of technical support specialists, developers, and instructional and user experience designers within Learning Technologies & Spaces.

Canvas Course Creation

Canvas courses are automatically created each quarter. For more information about the Canvas Course Creation Schedule please see our Stanford Canvas Help Center article. You can access Canvas at

Note: Instructors need to click the “Publish” button in Canvas for students to be able to see their Canvas courses. A Canvas course will not be available to students until published.

Once your course contains a graded submission, you can no longer unpublish your course. [more]

If you’d like help getting started with Canvas, please contact us or check out the Canvas documentation in our resources section.


When did we move to Canvas?

The transition to Canvas is now complete. In September 2015, Stanford began transitioning to Canvas as our primary LMS. As a part of this phased implementation, we supported courses in both CourseWork and Canvas. CourseWork was retired on December 21, 2016.

Project Team

The Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs (VPSA) Learning Technologies & Spaces Canvas Team.

How can I learn more about Canvas?

Check out our instructor and student resources or contact us to arrange an appointment to discuss your course and get one-on-one help.