Why transition to Canvas?


Sakai will be retired on December 21, 2018 at 12 NOON. You will no longer be able to log in or use Sakai as your LMS.

To avoid data loss, download or migrate all data you wish to keep before December 15, 2018.

What is the Transition to Canvas (T2C) Initiative?

The Transition to Canvas (T2C) initiative would consolidate the University’s support of two Learning Management Systems (LMS) to one, Canvas. This project will support faculty in moving remaining Sakai courses to Canvas and current Sakai projects to Canvas or other platforms as appropriate. Read the announcement in UDaily for more information. 

What does this mean for users of Sakai?

Current users of Sakai wanting to continue using an LMS, should begin to plan a strategy for moving their courses to Canvas. You will not be alone in this endeavor. Consider the following additional support:

Academic Technology Services has planned hands-on-faculty workshops, onsite departmental meetings, an online migration guide and other documentation to help with this process. We hope to have an automated migration tool allowing faculty to select their course and automatically have their Sakai Resources, Tests & Quizzes, Assignments and possibly other tools moved over.

Faculty Commons partners will work with anyone wanting to update or enhance their courses to take full advantage of the Canvas tools and features and current best practices in teaching and learning.

What is the Rationale?

  • Canvas is more advanced: Canvas and Sakai offer overlapping feature sets, but Canvas offers more features and an advanced architecture. It also offers better integration of outside learning tools and mobile devices.
  • Canvas offers better accessibility: Canvas uses the most modern HTML and CSS technologies, and complies with W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and Section 508 guidelines.
  • Sakai Security risks: Security support for the current version of Sakai has ended. Substantial resources would be required to migrate to a supported version of Sakai.
  • Sakai community is shrinking: Original Sakai developers Indiana and Michigan migrated from Sakai to Canvas in 2016. Yale, Virginia Tech, and other universities are following suit.
  • Browser compatibility: Canvas works with all web browsers supported by the University and works well with mobile devices. Sakai works with a limited number of web browsers and mobile devices.
  • Student consistency: Students are confused by having two LMS systems. Confirming source: 2016 Registrar’s Office survey in which students indicated a preference for using only one LMS and a preference for Canvas over Sakai.
  • Natural evolution: A growing number of faculty are choosing Canvas over Sakai for their courses, suggesting a positive faculty attitude towards Canvas overall.
  • Canvas is both vendor-supported and cloud-based: Instructure provides Canvas as a cloud-based LMS, facilitating efficient and timely patches, software enhancements, and security updates. Sakai runs on UD systems requiring UD resources to purchase hardware, update the systems, and patch the software.
  • Two LMS systems equals inefficiency: The University currently bears the costs of running and maintaining two separate LMS systems, funding software, support staff, and — in the case of Sakai — hardware and security updates.
  • Canvas better for online programs: Canvas’s tools enhance an online learning environment, thereby providing better support for  the Provost’s online learning initiatives.
  • Canvas tools support UD Gen Ed Initiatives: Canvas Outcomes can be used to align accreditation or other core standards to programs, courses, or student assessments.
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