Northern Arizona University selects Canvas LMS

Canvas by Instructure will replace Blackboard Learn as Northern Arizona University’s primary learning management system.
Northern Arizona University's campus in Flagstaff, AZ. at the base of the San Francisco Peaks. (Joshbiggs, Wikimedia Commons)

Northern Arizona University has selected Canvas by Instructure for its new learning management system, the school announced Tuesday. 

The university, based in Flagstaff, Arizona, with an enrollment of about 30,000 students, currently uses the Blackboard Learn LMS. 

The Canvas LMS was selected after a 10-month review process which compared Canvas with multiple competitors, including Brightspace by D2L and Blackboard Learn Ultra. In addition to town hall meetings with students, faculty and staff, IT leaders at the university solicited feedback through campuswide surveys.  

“Our faculty and students were unanimous in their recommendations to the Provost that Canvas be implemented,” Steven Burrell, Northern Arizona’s chief information officer, said in a news release. “With hundreds of responses from stakeholders, Canvas clearly emerged as the overall highest-rated platform as well as the leading LMS across all selection criteria.”


Northern Arizona’s technical staff will begin integrating Canvas into university systems over the next few months. Teaching for credit courses in Canvas is slated to begin in the summer of 2023.

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