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Center for Instruction and Research Technology

About Canvas

Canvas is a user-friendly Learning Management System (LMS) adopted by UNF in 2016. A cloud-native system, its clean layout allows instructors to set up course content and tools efficiently, while students easily navigate course sites and submit work. Canvas connects digital tools and resources that instructors use into one simple place with strong mobile capabilities for both students and faculty.

Canvas is managed at UNF by the Learning Management System (LMS) Team. This team consists of representatives from Information Technology Services (ITS), the Center for Instruction & Research Technology (CIRT), and the Registrar's Office who meet regularly and jointly make strategic and operational decisions regarding the Canvas. ITS provides integration, development, and technical support for the system, and CIRT serves as the functional and operational owner of the application. The LMS Team is responsible for ensuring that Canvas meets the needs of the campus community, particularly in regards to supporting teaching and learning, and so regularly provides reports to, seeks input from, and vets proposed changes through the Faculty Association's Campus Technology Committee (CTC) and the University's Distance Learning Committee (DLC).

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Banner Design Example in a Canvas Course Template


To assist the University in maintaining compliance with applicable policy, procedures, and law, this set of policies address important considerations in the use of a Learning Management System (LMS) at the University of North Florida. The University administers the LMS to ensure optimal performance, manage user accounts, and safeguard user privacy and data. Access to the LMS is restricted to current employees, active students, community partners, and other individuals with a documented need to access the system, all of whom are subject to these policies. All LMS users must adhere to the University’s Network Acceptable Use policy and safeguard student information from inappropriate disclosure in accordance with state and federal rules and regulations.

Use of the LMS | Course Sites | Course Content | External Users | Integrations | Data Retention

Use of the LMS

The primary use of the LMS is the delivery of academic instruction. The LMS may also be used for the following University-affiliated activities:

  • Course content development for a future academic schedule course.
  • To provide resources and facilitate communication with students enrolled in an official academic program or degree.
  • Professional and continuing education in academic colleges.
  • Faculty Development training courses and resources.

The LMS should not be used for the following activities:

  • Collection of research data.
  • Document repository.
  • Staff and student training.

Use cases not described above may be presented to the LMS Team for consideration.

Course Sites

Individual LMS course shells are created for each course section (CRN) on the University’s official course schedule in the Student Information System.

  • Instructors of record and registered students are automatically enrolled in term-based courses.
  • Course sections that are cross-listed in the course schedule are combined into a single LMS shell at creation with merged enrollment.
  • Instructors must take additional steps to ensure student privacy when combining course sections not cross-listed on the course schedule.
  • Non-registered active UNF students cannot be added to term-based courses unless there is a valid and documented educational need. Other users who are added to courses, such as course designers and teaching assistants, should be assigned the LMS role with the fewest privileges needed to complete their tasks.

Course Content

  • Delivery and access to materials in the LMS must adhere to guidelines set forth in the University's Digital Copyright and DMCA Policy.
  • Course materials posted in the LMS should be accessible at time of publication. The University has identified the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 as its standard for web content accessibility and provides tools and services to assist instructors.
  • Course sites have a file storage limit of 1GB, and individual file uploads are limited to 500 MB.
  • The ownership of instructional materials developed by faculty and posted in the LMS is governed by the UNF-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  •  Course site access can only be given to another instructor under two circumstances:
    • With written consent of the instructor of record.
    • By written request of the department chair when needed to ensure continuity of instruction, in the event a faculty member is unable to complete instruction for a course.
  • Instructors who separate from the University may export their course content according to the policies established by Academic Affairs.

External Users

Course instructors may provision external user accounts for community partners or other individuals with a valid academic need to access a course site and acknowledgment of appropriate FERPA guidance.

  • Access is temporary and expires automatically.
  • External Users are required to use multifactor authentication.
  • UNF emails cannot be used for external accounts.


Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is an integration standard for third party tools integrated into the LMS. LTI integrations must be reviewed and approved through the University’s Data Cookbook prior to installation to ensure compliance with data privacy and security practices. Integration requests should be submitted well in advance to allow adequate time for review.

Data Retention

Student activity in the LMS is considered an educational record and should be retained in accordance with the University’s record retention policy. The LMS is not the system of record for final course grades. Final course grades must be entered and stored in the University’s Student Information System (Banner). 

Term-based courses, including all content and records of student activity, are retained for five years after the end of the term in which the course section was offered. User accounts and associated data are deleted from the LMS when the user is no longer an active student or employee and no longer associated with any term-based courses in the LMS.

These policies do not cover independent use of any LMS which is not supported as the official University LMS, nor external tools not managed by the University that instructors might deploy to supplement their courses (LTIs, apps, external blogs, homework platforms, e-packs, etcetera).