UW-Madison position on Canvas Commons

The transition to Canvas as the single, centrally supported learning management system (LMS) brings about the need for a common “learning object repository.” The sponsors of the Canvas transition effort want to ensure that campus’ needs for such a repository are met. Given the importance of such a tool, the sponsors and the Canvas Transition Team want to be sure that the solution selected for campus addresses particular requirements.

Currently, a few options have been considered, including Canvas Commons. However, based on the following factors, there are too many questions and concerns about Commons to make it a viable solution for UW-Madison at this time:

  • Commons only works within Canvas. It lacks the interoperability that is core to development in the UW-Madison student digital ecosystem.
  • Adopting Commons now would make it difficult to switch to another, potentially more robust, solution in the future
  • Unizin is working on a similar tool for its members, called Course Development Suite. Early indications are that the tool will be better to engage around Canvas development. For details, see this Canvas vs. Unizin repository feature comparison by the University of Iowa.

In summary, the Canvas sponsors and transition team think it is best for UW-Madison to wait and adopt Unizin’s Course Development Suite as a common learning object repository. More information will be communicated as it becomes available.