The Move to Canvas

Canvas is a cloud-based Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) developed by a company called Instructure. Canvas is used by some 3,000 institutions globally, and was selected as UCC’s VLE in September 2018. Canvas went live for all staff and students in Semester 1 2019/20. We believe Canvas gives academic staff the potential to develop innovative, flexible, sustainable learning content and engage with students in an accessible and user-friendly environment.


The Transition to Canvas

The move to Canvas was an inclusive Change Management process overseen by the Head of Digital Education, Tom O’Mara.

Consultation with key stakeholder groups began in 2016 to understand the usage, expectations and requirements for our future VLE landscape. In December 2017, a cross-functional selection panel representing academia, students, and administration, and chaired by the then Deputy President and Registrar, Prof. John O'Halloran was assembled to oversee a thorough procurement process. This panel determined Canvas to be the system best suited to UCC’s teaching and learning requirements.

The Canvas project team included representatives from several areas such as the Centre for Digital Education, Learning Technologies Unit, IT Services, and the Connected University Programme

During implementation, a Canvas Steering Group was established and met eight times. This group included representations from all four UCC colleges and central services.

 An Early Adopters group started using Canvas in January 2019. Lessons learned from this group informed training which was rolled out for all staff from March 2019 and included a Teaching with Canvas online course. This training continues today in the form of bespoke Canvas training sessions for small groups. While training was ongoing, a communications plan ensured all staff were informed of and engaged in the appropriate level of training.

For more information training, please go to

Centre for Digital Education

Ionad um Oideachas Digiteach

Q Floor floor, T12 ND89