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University of Galway partners with Canvas to support students’ hybrid learning


Over 20,000 students will benefit from Instructure Learning Platform solutions to improve in-person learning and teaching experiences, as the university invests in the future of education

Today Instructure, the maker of Canvas, announced that University of Galway has chosen Canvas as its new virtual learning environment (VLE). As part of its commitment to deliver a next-gen learning experience to enhance student success, University of Galway has turned to Instructure for its ecosystem of tools that can be used both off- and on-campus. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has re-established its in-person learning focus and a digital platform like Canvas means that students can have greater flexibility in how they engage with the university and their coursework.

The four colleges at University of Galway, as well as the Centre for Adult Learning & Professional Development, will be implementing Canvas, alongside Canvas Studio and Impact by Instructure. Canvas Studio is a video education platform enabling faculty to create engaging video content, turning passive viewing into active instruction. Impact by Instructure, a data and analytics solution, improves adoption and evaluates the impact of ed-tech. It also means the university can use insights to evolve its offerings to best suit the needs of students, faculty and admins alike.

Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar at University of Galway, said:

“A well-resourced teaching environment requires careful planning, sustained investment and a commitment to innovate in order to open up opportunities for enhanced learning and wider participation. In our Academic Strategy 2021-26 we commit to supporting a digital learning environment that comprises the broad range of tools and systems essential for the sustainable and inclusive delivery of teaching and learning and we see Canvas as key in enhancing the success of our student campus experience and enabling our teachers to nurture greater learner engagement and participation.”

After 15 years using a traditional VLE, the university realized they needed to update the capabilities of the platform and decided to look for a new edtech partner.

“Migrating to the next version of the solution we were previously using was going to take the same time and effort as migrating to a whole new platform, but without all the benefits we were looking for,” said Dr. Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. “Canvas offers deeper integration with existing technologies; it is easy for teachers and students to use, and provides Tier 1 support that allows anyone to log tickets directly to Canvas if they have any issues, making it more efficient for all.”

The university’s IT department worked with HEAnet to identify the top solutions in the market and put together a team of over 30 staff and students from different departments to assess four virtual learning environments.

“We did an assessment not only of the virtual learning environments but also of what the other higher education institutions were doing across the globe effectively and looked at the market movers and market leaders in that space,” said Mac Labhrainn.

University of Galway is an internationally recognised research-led university with five research institutes. It has over 20,000 students across multiple cohorts of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, including four thousand international students from 116 countries.

“We are excited to support University of Galway with the Instructure Learning Platform as the world is moving into a new educational environment that allows for a more student-centered approach, promoting flexibility and mobility to improve student success,” said Jay Fabian, general manager for Europe, Middle East, & Africa at Instructure.

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