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Learning Tools for Canvas

Extend the core functionality and features of Canvas


Learning Apps, also known as external tools or LTI apps, can be added on to Canvas to extend the core functionality and features of the system. Examples include tools such as VoiceThread, Respondus and Turnitin. These apps can be added to an individual course, a group of courses, or all courses in a unit, college, or campus.

UMN has a variety of apps already installed and ready to use. Tools that are not available can be requested by faculty, instructors, and staff, however, they must go through a formal evaluation, vetting, and approval process before they are made available in a Canvas course. This process requires input from several University units and can take up to six months from request to implementation.

Getting Started

Using this form, you may request a specific application or tool by name for integration into Canvas. If you're not aware of a specific tool, you may also describe the functionality you're hoping to achieve and the Canvas Team can assist in finding a tool that meets your need.

Before requesting a learning tool, please check the ongoing list of integrations to see if it's already been implemented or on our radar.

Important Information about the Learning App Request and Approval Process

Learning tools exchange data with a third-party vendor, and for this reason the University needs to protect the privacy and security of students, faculty and course data. A thorough vetting process can take up to six months.

When a requested tool reaches the vetting stage, a number of factors go into the final approval for implementation, including: the tool’s effect on system reliability and performance, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, installation complexity, content usage by the vendor, user support structures, and impact on teaching and learning.

The Process

The decision to integrate a new tool into Canvas must include input and evaluation by several University units. Reviewers involved in the evaluation process come from a variety of backgrounds. They may include collegiate administration, technology staff and/or instructional staff.  

For each tool submitted, pre-identified community members will be involved in the evaluation prior to the final review process.  The evaluation includes a consistent review of several technical and administrative requirements as well as prioritization of the tool by the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Throughout this process, the Canvas team will ensure that tool requests, decisions, and status are transparent.


Canvas Process Timeline


Submissions are received via request form by the Evaluation team

Reviewers from across the University work together to evaluate basic technical and administrative requirements.

Requests receive rating for prioritization based on evaluation criteria that include teaching and learning value, college/department importance, innovation, and comparable usage at other peer institutions.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT), Academic Success Resources (ASR) and Information Security vets requests for security, technological capabilities, and data privacy concerns in order of prioritization from the evaluation stage.

Apps/Tools that pass vetting are presented to LMS Governance for final approval and implementation timing.

Applications are integrated with Canvas at appropriate level (system-side, college, unit, etc.).

Requestor and University community are notified of tool availability.

Intended Audience

Staff & Departments
Health Sciences Affiliates
IT Staff and Partners


University-funded: No charge