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UK Transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas

colorful paintbrushes and palate knives over paint on a canvas

Goodbye Blackboard, Hello Canvas!

One June 25th, 2015, it was officially announced that UK was switching from our current Learning Management System (LMS) system, Blackboard, to Canvas. During the 2015-2016 academic year, both systems will be available for faculty to use, with 2016-2017 marking the official transition. Below is the full text of the press release, but we at CELT are excited for the opportunity to work with faculty during this transition on re-thinking how they use the LMS in their pedagogical practice.

Cover Image: fineluart, "Painter Brushes." Public Domain.

UKAT Rolling Out New Learning Management System Canvas Canvas Sign

By Ashley Tabb, Whitney Harder

Jun 24, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 25, 2015) — University of Kentucky Analytics and Technologies (UKAT) has reached an agreement to roll out Canvas by Instructure over the next year as the university’s new learning management system (LMS) for faculty and students.

Over the last four years, UK faculty, students and staff have provided feedback and usability preferences for a “next generation” learning management system. They worked in depth with UKAT’s e-Learning Team to review the existing and future state of the current UK LMS, Blackboard Learn, while exploring other systems through small working groups, pilots and a faculty-led LMS review committee.

During a request for proposal process earlier this year, several vendors proposed systems to meet those expressed campus needs. Each of the systems considered had unique strengths, but Canvas by Instructure emerged as a proven software-as-a-service, or SaaS, system. As such, it provides seamless, continuous small upgrades over time that do not require downtime for customers and will allow UKAT to shift its focus from LMS server support, troubleshooting, and upgrade planning and implementation to faculty and student support, instructional design, and emerging teaching and learning technology needs.

What does this mean for teaching and learning at UK?

Beginning this summer, all courses have a presence available in Canvas that faculty may choose to activate for the fall semester. Faculty can choose to teach in Canvas or Blackboard for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters. Blackboard will no longer be available after June 1, 2016.

Faculty opting to teach in the first cohort of Canvas users this fall are urged to contact UKAT’s eLearning team as soon as possible. Workshops, drop-in hours and individual appointments are available and may be found on the LMS transition page at

UK students can review an orientation course to become familiar with Canvas’ features at and may contact the eLearning Team at regarding additional questions.