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Your Checklist for Canvas Success

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We’ve seen our customers do incredible things to plan for change and adopt Canvas. From tying Canvas to their vision for teaching and learning, to coming up with unique ways to incentivize and engage users, our customers have thought of everything. We captured all these best practices and developed the Canvas Success Model (pictured above). Our model gives school leadership a process and tools for leading the people side of your change to Canvas. If followed, this model will help you:

  • Increase the speed of adoption
  • Optimize utilization
  • Improve the overall student experience


While we encourage you to follow this model from the start, it can be used in year 2, 3, and beyond. The purpose of this document is to give you a checklist and free resources to get you started down the pathway to success. The resources linked in this checklist have been created by many talented people in our Customer Success Department at Instructure - chances are you'll recognize a few of them. Our model puts all these resources into perspective and gives you a framework for success. If you find yourself needing more help with your rollout or adoption, our Learning and Strategy Consulting Team is available to assist with Change Strategy Consulting and Adoption Consulting



The checklist below is available via Google Docs "Make a Copy". Please select the following link for access: Canvas Success Model Checklist and Resources Copy

In addition, please view this interactive version of the Canvas Success Model.


Analyze current state

Define "the why" (vision)

  • Vision and Goals Worksheet - this worksheet is meant to give you key questions to ask yourself during a new implementation of Canvas.

Determine what success looks like

Set success measures

Identify audiences
Develop key messages and timing 

Determine content, delivery method, frequency, and sender


Tie training to your vision for teaching and learning

Identify audiences, needs, and timeline

Create a plan for ongoing training


Identify site-based leaders 

  • Site-based leaders
    • K12 - Principals, Coaches, Canvas Champions, etc. 
    • Higher Ed - Deans, Instructional Designers, Department Chairs, etc.
  • Who are faculty accountable to? Who are the 'people who lead people'?

Develop an incentive plan 

Predict and plan for managing resistance 

Empower site-based leaders 

  • Equip leaders with communication and strategies for recognizing success and addressing resistance

Implement plans

Drive Canvas adoption

  • Provide ongoing support for site-based leaders

Follow up and monitor progress


Aggregate quantitative and qualitative data 

Assess usage 

Review goals

Define next future state and set goals 
1 Comment
Community Coach
Community Coach

This is brilliant  @akuntz and Team. 

Loads of superb ideas to get started, and sustain growth.

The Growing With Canvas course suggested is fabulous and the Course Evaluation Checklist invaluable. 

But, defining the Why at the beginning is crucial. Each institution will be different - but that makes it exciting. 

18 months in and we still rely on the amazing support that Canvas provides, including the wonderful Community.