Canvas Learning Management System to take teaching, learning experience to a new level

Mississippi State is moving to a new Learning Management System -- Canvas by Instructure -- to improve the teaching and learning experience for students and faculty. Sixty-nine faculty representing all eight academic colleges have been teaching courses this semester with Canvas as part of a pilot program, and the university’s chief information officer said feedback from those participants has been positive.

“Our faculty were integral in the selection process for a new learning management system that would be intuitive and easy to use. We are pleased to provide faculty their choice of Canvas,” said Steve Parrott. “Many MSU students already have exposure to Canvas either from high school or through our Mississippi community college system, so for these students the transition will be very easy. Students who have not been exposed to Canvas should be able to make the transition quickly.”

All academic courses will be taught in Canvas for the spring 2019 semester and are now available in Canvas for instructors of record for spring 2019.

Prior to June 30, 2019, all needed course content, including external course content, must be moved from MSU’s current LMS, Blackboard -- commonly known as myCourses -- to the new platform, Canvas. After June 30, 2019, myCourses will no longer be accessible.

ITS is hosting free, hands-on Getting Started With Canvas workshops through Dec. 12. All instructors, regardless of previous Canvas experience, are encouraged to register at

Prior to participating in the training sessions, faculty can become more familiar with the Canvas layout and features by accessing self-paced training courses, instructor guides and videos online at

Students also have access to an introductory video and information guides at the aforementioned link.

Developed by Utah-based educational technology company Instructure, Canvas is designed to help teachers more effectively engage students with personalized notifications, real-time feedback and multimedia content, among other features. Along with a dashboard summarizing all relevant course events and items, Canvas features an enhanced, easy-to-manage syllabus, course calendar and course schedule that automatically updates due dates for course activities. Canvas promotes simplified collaboration and group options for students, helps faculty improve workflow for more streamlined grading, and provides an enhanced mobile app experience.

“MSU’s Canvas environment will offer a suite of technology products -- including Arc, a video repository; Webex, a collaborative web conferencing/lecture capture tool; and Turnitin, a plagiarism software detection system -- that will set us apart from many universities,” Parrott said. “We are very excited to introduce this technology suite to our students and faculty that will take MSU class instruction to another level—both in the classroom and virtually.”

MSU’s ITS Service Desk can be contacted at 662-325-0631 or

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs

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Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: November 26, 2018Facebook Twitter