UofM Canvas LMS Transition 2022

Project Overview

Starting with the Spring 2022 semester, the University of Memphis will begin using Canvas by Instructure as our new Learning Management System (LMS). Our current LMS, eCourseware (D2L) will be retired on December 31, 2021.

LMS Decision-Making Process

Selecting a new UofM LMS began with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) LMS bid process in February 7, 2020. Our current license with D2L cannot be extended beyond December 31, 2021, without such a process. UofM was asked by TBR to evaluate Blackboard, Canvas, and D2L as the finalist vendors.

Vendor proposals, four-hour presentations, and sandbox courses were each scored by forty-one faculty and staff from across UofM during Spring and Summer 2020 semesters. Canvas received the UofM top composite score of 93% (D2L received 88% and Blackboard 82%). The scoring was submitted to the Provost and CIO, who then commissioned a Canvas feasibility study.

The Canvas Feasibility Group (17 faculty and staff) spent November 2020 analyzing the work of the LMS evaluators and the Canvas LMS features. They recommended it was feasible and beneficial to transition to Canvas in 2022.

After further evaluations, eventually, the University leadership from the Provost, CIO, and Faculty Senate approved a plan to go live with Canvas in Spring 2022. Canvas will become our official LMS on January 1, 2022.

Faculty Training


Why Canvas?

Why did the majority of our forty-one evaluators choose Canvas?
Some of the key reasons are outlined below:

  • Reliable Course Migration: Instructure and their partners can archive all of our current eCourseware (D2L) course content and make available via UofM administrators to faculty for future reference. They can also migrate all pertinent courses into their Canvas LMS, ready for faculty to update and reuse for future semesters.
  • Canvas has an intuitive interface that lessens user dependence for lengthy training sessions and extensive support material readings.
  • Users will find on every tool page embedded help summaries and links to video or textual guides.
  • All of UofM’s current learning technologies integrate with Canvas, such as Banner Student Information System, Microsoft Office 365 and Teams, Ensemble Video, Qualtrics, Turnitin, and Zoom.
  • Faculty and administrators will benefit from the Canvas embedded learning analytics to help all students maximize learning opportunities and the usage of the LMS. Canvas provides enhanced reporting of metrics at the student, course, program, degree, and institutional levels.
  • Canvas is competitively priced compared to other LMS providers yet maintaining excellent quality. Canvas has become the LMS market leader in North America, as indicated in the LMS Data - Spring 2021 Updates.

Getting Started Aids


To get a head start on how to teach with Canvas, view the Canvas Overview (Instructors) video.


Students can learn more about how to take courses in Canvas by viewing the Canvas Overview (Students) video.

All Users

Read more about Canvas in general on the Canvas by Instructure home page.

LinkedIn Learning Training

Screenshot of Canvas LMS course home page.

canvas page

Project Timeline

The following timeline indicates when D2L courses will be migrated into Canvas, users will have opportunities for training (which will include access to migrated courses).Faculty Training Phase

Stage of Implementation Event Phase Target Date
Stage 1: LMS Selection and Pilot LMS Vendors Analysis Phase February 7, 2020– February 23, 2021
  Licensing Phase April 15 – May 1, 2021
  Soft Pilot Phase April 19 – June 4, 2021
Stage 2: Infrastructure Setup Initiation Phase (Week 1) July 6 – July 7, 2021
  Planning Phase (Week 1) July 8 – 9, 2021
  Execution Phase (Weeks 2-4) July 12 – August 2, 2021
  Technical Completion Phase (Week 5) August 9 – 13, 2021
  Onboarding Phase (Weeks 6-11) August 16 – September 20, 2021
Stage 3: Campus Engagement Faculty Training Phase August 30, 2021 - Ongoing

Semester Courses Migration Phase

Term Tentative Delivery Status
Spring 2021 October 1 Available
Fall 2020 October 8 Available
Spring 2020 October 15 Available
Master Courses October 15 Available
Summer 2021 October 22 Available
Summer 2020 October 29 Available

Fall 2021

November 22 (D2L export date)*

*We are still planning the import date for these courses.

  Class Offerings Phase January 1, 2022 - Ongoing


Project Leadership

Executive Sponsors

The following are providing executive leadership for our transition to Canvas.

  • Thomas Nenon, Provost
  • Robert Jackson, CIO,  Information Technology Services (ITS)
  • Dr. Jill Dapremont, President, Faculty Senate and Professor, Loewenberg College of Nursing

Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee will provide general oversight to the Project Implementation Team. The membership is listed below.



Thomas Nenon Provost
Robert Jackson CIO, Information Technology Services (ITS)
Jill Dapremont Faculty Senate President
Karen Weddle-West VP for Student Academic Success
Scott Vann Assistant Director, Digital Learning
Robert Johnson Associate CIO, Information Technology Services (ITS)
Roy Bowery Director, Distance Learning
James Orr Vice Provost Academic Affairs 
Richard Irwin Executive Dean, UofM Global
Justin Lawhead VP Student Affairs
David Simmons SGA Designee
Ashley Rosen GSA President 
Maurice Goldstein GSA Vice President
Derek Hardaway ITS - Center for Teaching and Learning
Barrett Schwarz UM3D and UofM Global
Darla Keel Registrar 
Tara Buchannan Director, Disability Resource for Students (DRS)
Bridgette Decent Director, Office of Institutional Research (OIR) 
Melanie Drisdale Director, HR Employee Engagement 
Advisory Group Deans Designee

Project Implementation Leadership

Our transition to Canvas will be executed under the direction of the following staff.

You may want to view the slidedeck Canvas LMS Transition 2022 Overview. Please forward your questions and comments to Drs. Vann or Johnson.