CANVAS - USF’s Next Generation Learning Management System

The countdown to the Blackboard shut-down and full implementation of Canvas is on!

To ensure that you are ready for the change, use this checklist.

Canvas! Quick!

So . . . have you heard about Canvas, USF’s new learning management system?

To get up to speed, quick, you’ll want to check out these top 3 resources:

  • Shifting from Blackboard to Canvas Blog: (your guide to all things Canvas @ USF, including training)
  • Canvas Guides: Getting Started & Quickstart (for Instructors and Students)
  • Build a Simple Canvas Course (15 minutes or less): Video or Text (Step by Step)

I know what you’re thinking, 15 minutes or less, c’mon . . . I didn’t believe it either, until I did it. Ready, set, go!

Do it. > Canvas link

Turn-It-In Available in Canvas

Turn-It-In is the new plagiarism detection software used in Canvas, replacing SafeAssign.  Click here to view a quick tutorial.

Which browsers does Canvas support?

Supported OS’s (Operating Systems)

Because it’s built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.

These browsers require modern operating systems in order to be installed onto your computer, these OS’s include:

  • Windows 7 or greater
  • Max OS X 10.6 or greater

Supported Browsers

Canvas supports the last two versions of these browser releases.

  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari 
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in.


Respondus Lockdown Browser

  • Respondus Lockdown Browser requires you to use the most recent versions of Internet Explorer or Safari; there are no other browsers that support the Lockdown browser.
  • To keep Internet Explorer or Safari up-to date please view the “Keep your OS Up-To-Date” section of this documentation.
  • Once your browser is update, make sure you have the most recent version of Respondus Lockdown installed. The following is the direct link to USF’s download:

Keep your OS Up-To-Date

Keep your operating system up to date by running updates frequently. This may help prevent vulnerabilities on your computer and protect you from viruses. Depending on your OS, this will also keep Internet Explorer or Safari up to date to their most recent versions. Please follow the guides below if you need assistance updating your software.

Other Recommendations

  • Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating “Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas.” If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.
  • Disable or remove toolbars & extensions from your browser.
  • Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.
  • Flash 11 is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas.
  • Please make sure JavaScript is enabled in your browser.

Networking Tips

Please make sure you are connected to a network that has a connection speed of DSL or Greater; Dial-up is insufficient and will cause time delays.

  • The more devices and users you have connected to your network the slower you could expect your broadband speeds performance to be. If anyone in your household is streaming, downloading, video conferencing, or online gaming while you are browsing the internet, you will experience slow response times from webpages.
  • If you are connecting to a public network using wireless and the network is under a heavy load, it will take longer than normal to load pages or you may even get disconnected from your network.
  • Using a hardwired connection can help prevent interruptions on your network that you would normally experience via wireless.
  • There are known Viruses and Trojans that can disable your computer wireless network adapter; a wired connection could avoid this obstacle.

Virus Protection

It’s very important to install security software and run regular scans to protect your computer from viruses. USF offers Symantec Virus Protection free all USF students, faculty, and staff with a valid NetID. For more information and the download link please visit the USF IT website:

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are experiencing difficulties on Canvas and you have followed all of the information above, please try these troubleshooting tips to assist your needs.

  • Make sure you have tried using multiple modern browsers (Firefox, Chrome, ect.) on your computer
  • Try using another computer. If you don’t have access to another computer USF offers open use labs for students. For more information please visit the USF IT website:
  • If your computer needs to be repaired or diagnosed, please contact the USF Computer Store’s Service Center at (813) 974-1779 or
  • If you’ve been experiencing issues with your internet at home, we recommend that you contact your internet service provider.

Shifting from Blackboard Canvas

Why change?

As a result of USF’s need to upgrade from Blackboard 9.0 to 9.1, the USF System Learning Management Committee decided in 2011 to evaluate other options in learning management products. Faculty, students and staff reviewed three learning management solutions: Blackboard 9.1, Moodle and Canvas, during a system-wide evaluation process. After several months of review, Canvas, a product of the educational software company Instructure, was selected.

How was the decision made?

USF began an internal product evaluation in summer 2011. System-wide review and testing of multiple LMS products took place in spring of 2012. This review was conducted by faculty, students, instructional designers and Information Technology staff. The outcomes of this review and testing phase were vetted by various USF governing committees, such as the Information Technology Management Council (ITMC) and the USF Board of Trustees Work Group on Academics and Campus Environment (ACE) in the summer of 2012.

How will the transition affect you?

Instructors can begin using Canvas as soon as they wish. Workshops designed to teach instructors how to use Canvas and a walk-in tech support clinic are available to all. College consultation is taking place concurrently to ensure communication of important information and formal planned transition support.

Colleges and campuses are being consulted to find out how they would like to proceed in shifting from Blackboard to Canvas.