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Instructure Launching Free Learning Object Repository, Canvas Commons

Instructure has launched a limited pilot of Canvas Commons, a new learning object repository that integrates with the Canvas learning management system.

Instructure is describing Canvas Commons as "a new platform that will enable educators to tap into the power of crowdsourcing and the social Web. Called Canvas Commons, it's a learning object repository where the best ideas, courses and curriculum can be freely shared — all seamlessly integrated into the Canvas LMS environment."

The system, designed for both K-12 and higher education, was developed with guidance from a consortium of universities under the Unizin umbrella, including Colorado State University, Indiana University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan. Unizin itself will be the first organization to pilot Canvas Commons.

Features of Canvas Commons include:

  • The ability to build and share courses, course materials, assessments and other resources;
  • The ability to maintain a private learning object repository;
  • Integration with the Canvas learning management system, including the ability to share materials from Canvas Commons;
  • Support for both public and selective sharing of specific resources; and
  • Search tools, including filters for topics, grade levels, type and institution.

"Unizin is committed to providing its members with leading tools, based on open standards, and with the usability and depth required to host a sustainable ecosystem," said Amin Qazi, CEO of Unizin, in a prepared statement. "Having an open forum like Canvas Commons that educators can call their own supports Unizin's primary mission."

"Teachers and designers often create custom learning resources — or simply accept materials handed down to them — because it's hard to find and incorporate vetted, relevant, open content, activities and assessments," said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. "Canvas Commons makes it so much easier to not only find and reuse the world's best and brightest teaching ideas, but also to revise, remix, and, of course, redistribute those activities back into the community."

Canvas Commons is expected to be in full release "in the coming months," according to Instructure. It will be free for Canvas LMS users. Further details will be available on

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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