|Type||Privately held corporation|
Learning Management Systems
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Products||Canvas, Canvas K-12, Canvas Network|
Instructure is an educational technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is the developer of the Canvas learning management system, which is a comprehensive cloud-native software package that competes with such systems as Desire2Learn, the Blackboard Learning System, Moodle, and the Sakai Project. Instructure also developed Canvas Network, a massive open online course platform.
In December 2010, the Utah Education Network (UEN), which represents a number of Utah colleges and universities, announced that Instructure would be replacing Blackboard as their preferred LMS. By January, 2013, Instructure's LMS platform was in use by more than 300 colleges, universities and K-12 districts, and the company's customer base had increased to more than 425 halfway through 2013 and 9 million users by the end of 2013.
In February 2011, Instructure announced that they were making their flagship product, Canvas, freely available under an AGPL license as open source software. Instructure's announcement received coverage in the press. In February 2012, the company launched Canvas K-12.
In June 2013, Instructure secured $30 Million in Series D Funding, bringing their lifetime funding total to $50M. 
Instructure Inc. was created in order to support the continued development of a new learning management system (LMS) originally named Instructure. Once incorporated, the founders changed the name of the software to Canvas. The Utah-based company tested the LMS at several local schools including Utah State University and Brigham Young University before officially launching Canvas.
Canvas was built using Ruby on Rails as the web application framework backed by a PostgreSQL database. It incorporates JQuery, HTML5, and CSS3 to provide a modern user interface. OAuth is used to provide limited access to a user's information on certain social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to allow for collaboration between sites. Canvas operates as a software as a service using Amazon Web Services in the "Cloud".
In February 2012, Instructure launched Canvas K-12, an LMS platform designed for the specific needs of elementary and secondary schools. The LMS enrolls parents with their students to provide greater visibility into their children's learning experience and provides actionable analytics to teachers and administrators.
In November 2012, Instructure entered the massive open online course MOOC market by launching Canvas Network. Instructure's approach to MOOC has been to facilitate experimentation with pedagogy and new ways to use multimedia environments to change cognition and enhance the learning process. One example is "Gender Through Comic Books," a MOOC taught by Ball State University's Christina Blanch on Canvas Network that used lessons from pop culture to explore evolving social norms and other anthropological ideals.
In July 2013, Instructure partnered with Qualtrics, a Utah-based company, to survey MOOC participants on Instructure's Canvas Network about their motivations for enrolling in and completing these courses. The results suggested that educators rethink ways to fully leverage the online learning environment to make the educational experience more engaging and interesting.
- Canvas Network
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- Josh Keller (January 31, 2011). "Upstart Course-Management Provider Goes Open Source". Wired Campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Christopher Dawson (February 1, 2011). "There are alternatives to Blackboard and Moodle: Instructure Canvas goes open source". ZDNet Education. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Canvas K-12: http://www.instructure.com/k-12
- Rip Empson (October 31, 2012). "With 4.5M Users, Instructure Takes On The Courseras & Udacities Of The World With Its Own Open Course Network - TechCrunch". TechCrunch. techcrunch.com.com. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Instructure Secures $30 Million in Series D Funding - MarketWatch". Market Watch. marketwatch.com. June 5, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
- "Box spins Embed, OneCloud for educational use at K-12 schools, universities". ZDNET.
- Nagel, David. "Instructure Creates Free 'Canvas Network' for Online Courses". Campus Technology.
- Knox, Kelly. "New Online Course Explores Gender Through Comic Books". Wired.
- F. Carr, David. "MOOC Students Attracted Most By Course Topics". Information Week.