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The VLE – Canvas

What is it?

Canvas, from Instructure, is the University's modern, new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE); an online learning platform designed to give our entire academic community access to the their learning materials and a comprehensive suite of tools and technologies to support learning, wherever you are, and whenever you need them. Canvas has been designed to work across all modern devices with mobile apps available offering parity with the desktop browser based experience, and Canvas Support are available 24/7/365 by telephone, live chat, and email to answer all of your questions. Canvas is a cloud-based platform hosted by Instructure and they update it on a continuous release model, which means that bug fixes and new features are rolled out every three weeks. All modules and programmes taught at our Sunderland, London, and Hong Kong campuses have a space created in Canvas automatically based on what is set up on SITS, with the Module Leader and students enrolled automatically. Canvas also integrates with other University hosted and external learning tools, including Turnitin for electronic assignment submission, marking and feedback.

How can it help me?

Canvas provides a secure, authoritative repository for students' learning materials with easy access to supporting resources such as reading lists (My Module Resources) and Study Skills Support from the Library. Also within Canvas is a wide variety of tools and services to support learning, particularly blended and distance learning, with both synchronous and asynchronous discussion tools available including discussion boards, a chat tool, and Big Blue Button for web conferencing. Turnitin is also fully integrated within Canvas for managing student assessment.

How can I find out more?

The learning technologists within CELT can help with any and all aspects of Canvas, referring or signposting to the correct areas if required; we can provide bespoke training and support, and have a range of skills in content production and learning materials development. If you would like to know more about we can help you to get the most out of Canvas, get in touch!

Day to day technical support for Canvas is available from Canvas Support directly, and they are available 24/7/365. Just click on the 'Help' button in the blue global navigation menu in Canvas to contact Canvas Support. This is also where you can report problems with the system, access the self-help guides and community support forums, and contribute your ideas to improve Canvas.


Canvas FAQ / Wiki 

Canvas Community 

Canvas Mobile Apps 

More information

Email: celt@sunderland.ac.uk