Last Updated: 11/26/2018

About Canvas

Canvas is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that can be used as an additional space for instruction, a communication hub for students, as well as a place to collect, grade and track assignments.

Why Canvas?

CU Boulder launched an initiative in late 2016 to identify the best LMS to meet CU’s teaching, learning and administrative needs. After months of evaluation, the university announced the selection of Canvas to replace Desire2Learn. Learn more about the selection and implementation process on the D2L to Canvas migration website.

Canvas Features

  • Simplified course creation and navigation
  • Mobile applications for both Instructors and Students
  • Easy collaboration and communication with Students 
  • Efficient assignment grading with SpeedGrader
  • Integration with other teaching and learning applications

Get Started

Faculty can now create their official CU Boulder courses in Canvas.

  1. Create your Canvas course(s) through MyCUInfo. View our Create a Course tutorial to learn how.
  2. Open a supported browser.
  3. Go to
  4. Login with your Identikey credentials.
  5. Your new courses will be listed on your Canvas Dashboard.
  6. If you previously taught any of these courses in D2L, you will receive an email within one business day with information about how to access the migrated copies of these courses in Canvas. View Migration from D2L to Canvas below for more info.

Faculty can also explore Canvas in their Sandbox, listed on their Canvas Dashboard after logging-in. If you do not have a Sandbox, complete the request course form. Community Courses that are not connected to an official CU Boulder course can also be requested at this time by filling out the Community Course Request form.

Please note: Faculty are not required to use Canvas at this time. Desire2Learn will be available through Spring 2019.

Migration from D2L to Canvas

OIT will migrate the most recent version of a course taught by an Instructor within the last four academic years prior to D2L’s retirement. Course content outside of this window will be archived.

Migrated Course Window: Fall 2015 - Spring 2019

  • OIT will migrate the most recent version of your courses from D2L so you can use that content in Canvas.
  • When you create your Canvas courses, you will be enrolled in a course in Canvas that contains your migrated D2L course materials within two business days.
  • Instructors will then be able to copy content from their migrated courses into their new Canvas courses.
  • Instructors can also request that courses outside of this window are migrated.

Archived Course Window: Fall 2011 - Summer 2015

  • Course content (e.g., files) will be archived, and made available to Instructor’s upon request.
  • Assistance will be available to help Instructors develop their courses in Canvas.

If you need assistance migrating or rebuilding your course in Canvas, contact the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP) or

How to get Support

Contact Canvas for direct support at (833) 237-4878 or email

For support, including workshops, one-on-one consultations or requests for departmental training with Learning Technology Consultants, contact the IT Service center 303-735-4357 (5-HELP) or For additional assistance, visit our Canvas Help or Canvas Student Support page.

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