Virginia Tech has selected the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) by Instructure to replace Scholar as the university’s primary platform for course management. The highly-rated Canvas LMS is more intuitive, more portable, more efficient, and more deeply connected to the learning experience than Scholar.

“It is the right time for a new LMS at Virginia Tech to provide faculty and students with a more modern teaching and learning experience,” said Scott Midkiff, vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer. “We are confident that Canvas offers the university community the best path forward to a new era of innovation and engagement.”

The decision comes after a yearlong evaluation of learning management options led by Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies, a unit of the Division of Information Technology. The exploration included input from faculty, staff, senior leadership, and students. A series of open meetings with various segments of the university community helped to inform stakeholders and ascertain considerations critical to the decision. The process also included a review of peer institutions and available learning management technologies, and several faculty and students participated in a proof of concept conducted during the spring 2015 semester, where Canvas was used to teach a number of courses across the university.

“At every stage of the evaluation process, we have been impressed with Canvas’ performance and ease of use," said Dale Pike, executive director of Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies. "Faculty and students who have used Canvas at Virginia Tech and other institutions give rave reviews as well.” Canvas offers easy media integration, full mobile compatibility, flexibility for large and small courses, and robust learning analytics to support instructors and students.

The initial conversion phase will begin over the summer, and continue into fall 2015. The system goes live today, June 2. During the first semester of the transition, faculty should be aware that migration tools and certain features will be in development, and may not be available. Initially, only course sites will be able to begin the migration process. Scholar will remain active and fully supported until spring 2017. Instructors with questions regarding possible early migration of their fall course into Canvas should contact training and technical support at

For complete details on Canvas implementation, visit the project website. A range of educational opportunities, tutorials, and support services will be made available over the coming months.

"We admire Virginia Tech's hands-on, engaging approach to education, and welcome them to the Canvas community," said Jared Stein, vice president of Research and Education at Instructure.

Pike added, “We are excited to bring this new learning management system to the university, and are confident that it will have a significant positive impact on teaching and learning at Virginia Tech. We invite all our instructors to start exploring what is possible with Canvas right away.”

Hear more from Pike:

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.


Angela I. Correa