Canvas programme closure

After three years, 26 early adopters, nearly 600 programmes of study, thousands of courses and one global pandemic, the Canvas programme, responsible for the rollout of the Canvas virtual learning environment across Oxford, will close at the end of July 2021. All operational responsibility has been transferred to the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and IT Services.

Canvas Programme Manager, Gemini Kahl, told us about the team's journey:

As a team, we have a lot to be proud of. The Canvas programme is one of the largest ever to take place at Oxford. As a non-mandated programme, it had a big task on its hands to drive adoption, even before Covid-19. The pandemic saw a huge rise in use by both staff and students, with an increase of around 140 per cent from the end of 2019 to 2021. We played an important part in supporting CTL with the move to remote teaching, at the same time as continuing with rollout activity. We also supported the University with the online delivery of the Opportunity Oxford programme to over 100 new students from disadvantaged backgrounds, for which the team received a statement of thanks from the Vice Chancellor, Louise Richardson. 

The programme is one of the most diverse in terms of mix of expertise, drawing on learning technologists, educational advisers, project managers, business analysts, testers, developers and more, some of whom have been at the University for many years and others who joined for short periods from outside Oxford. We have been a very cohesive team, united by a strong sense of purpose and mutual respect, as well as a sense of fun; we’ve had sports days, charity push-ups and bake offs. Being online led us to find more creative ways to get together; we were early pioneers of remote comedy! 

As we move on to new projects and programmes in and outside the University, we would like to thank to all the staff, students and colleagues who have been with us on this journey. Here’s to the future of Canvas at Oxford. 

More details about how Canvas users will continue to be supported in the future are available on the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) website. 

Canvas facts (2019 - 2021)


  • 358% average daily increase in use  
  • 140% increase in students and academics using the service
  • 88% of programmes of study at Oxford now use Canvas
  • 95% of students at Oxford use Canvas
  • Over 250 courses have been provisioned to date