UK adopts the VLE

The University of Birmingham and Henley Business School are among first to adopt the Canvas virtual learning environment

Instructure has announced it is bringing its Canvas virtual learning environment (VLE) to the UK with the opening of a London office and the appointment of a dedicated sales and customer success team.

The team is already working with the University of Birmingham, Henley Business School, Condè Nast College of Fashion & Design and Wolsey Hall Oxford and will be responsible for helping UK institutions to improve the overall educational experience.

Canvas runs on a multi-tenant, native cloud architecture, hosted in Ireland on Amazon Web Services.

The entrance into the UK builds upon Canvas’ success in the US. More than 11 million teachers and students are already using the software in North America, where Instructure has signed contracts with over 600 HE and K-12 institutions.

“Canvas is a modern VLE that helps lecturers and students by making teaching and learning easier,” explains Kenny Nichol, Instructure’s director of sales, EMEA.

“We achieve record adoption rates as we offer a flexible platform that is actually embraced and used by instructors and students.”

The speed of the University of Birmingham’s implementation and adoption of Canvas is testament to its reliability and ease of use. The VLE was up and running in just five days, and within two months of deployment, instructors had already put more than 4,600 courses online.

“Academics who wouldn’t touch the old system are now using Canvas with ease, and because there are no barriers to adoption, our staff are significantly pushing the boundaries,” adds Joe Berry, e-Learning manager for the University of Birmingham’s College of Social Sciences.

The cloud-based Canvas platform allows teachers to build creative multimedia “mashups” using tools like Vimeo and YouTube. It also gives students the choice to receive personally tailored course alerts through text, Twitter or Facebook and facilitates “learning-on-the-move” through smartphone apps.