IT Connect
Your connection to information technology at the UW

Canvas Use Policy

What are the supported and appropriate uses of Canvas?
Canvas can be used only for the following purposes:

  • ​For an official course published in the UW time schedule
  • To support course content development for a future course
  • To provide program or degree resources for students enrolled in an official program or degree, such as a cohort site
  • For medical residencies or fellowship programs. For these programs, additional restrictions apply:
    • Programs must be listed on the UW Medicine graduate medical education website here:
    • All participants in the residency or fellowship must be UW employees or affiliates and have a valid personal UW NetID
    • Programs cannot conduct compliance training or maintain records of required staff training on the UW’s Canvas LMS. For assistance with compliance training for graduate medical education, contact the Learning Gateway,

Please note:

  • Any course that contains student submissions or contributions must be assigned to a specific academic term in Canvas, and is subject to the published data retention policy.
  • Due to data retention requirements, staff training or professional development is not a supported use of the Canvas LMS.

I want to use Canvas for a student group or faculty committee
We are glad that you find Canvas useful!  Although we understand the desire to use the Canvas learning management system for administrative purposes, we cannot support the use of Canvas for purposes other than teaching and learning.

Why can’t I use Canvas the way I want to?
The UW contract with the Canvas vendor provides for specific uses of Canvas, and provides assurances and protections for course and student data related to courses.

UW-IT conducted a risk assessment to assess the security of course content and student data related to the above uses; other kinds of protected or confidential data (e.g., patient information, data related to human resources processes) have not been assessed.

Security, access, and integration policies have all been developed to address confidential student data and other academic content.

Data retention policy requires that academic course content and student work be deleted after the retention period has passed. In order to facilitate compliance with this policy, content in Canvas must be limited to academic and student data. Other types of content, such as staff training history or human resources documentation, have different protections and retention policies. UW-IT staff are happy to work with customers to find appropriate collaboration tools to meet their needs. Among the recommended tools are:

Please contact for assistance.

Last reviewed May 25, 2017