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Fall 2024 courses are now in Canvas! Log into Canvas to find your FA24 courses on your Dashboard.

“SAKAI_Archive” sites of all 2022, 2023, and Spring 2024 registrar courses taught in Sakai are available if you wish to reuse content. Learn about working with migrated content.

Sakai Timeline: Sakai entered restricted access on May 15, 2024, and will be decommissioned on May 15, 2026. Schedule a consultation, watch our training videos, or attend live training (next on July 18 and 24) to learn about Canvas.

Canvas is the University’s centrally-supported Learning Management System (LMS) and fully replaced the Sakai LMS after the Spring 2024 semester concluded. Sakai is now in restricted access until it is decommissioned on May 15, 2026. Please see below for information about the timeline, course migrations, and details on Sakai Restricted Access.

Training and Support

Canvas Help Resources

  • Help menu within Canvas: 24/7 chat and phone support
  • Moving from Sakai to Canvas: UNC training videos and resources to help instructors move from Sakai to Canvas
  • UNC Canvas FAQ: Curated list of guides to help users get started in Canvas
  • Instructor Guides and Videos
  • Student Guides and Videos
  • UNC Help: Go through for UNC-specific questions only. For example, select the ‘Get Help’ button for assistance with cross-listing courses and 3rd party tools or search ‘Canvas Support’ and select ‘Canvas Site Rename Request’ to rename a site. All other questions about how to use Canvas or issues should go through Canvas Support (Help menu within Canvas).

Canvas Training

Learn How to Use Canvas (Technical)

Self-Help Resources

See Moving from Sakai to Canvas for video tutorials and guides to help instructors transition from Sakai to Canvas with tool comparisons between the two systems. This resource provides an overview of commonly used tools for instructors to manage their courses, communicate and share course materials with students, and collect and provide feedback on student work.

Personal Consultations

Need one-on-one help transitioning to Canvas? Sign up for a personal consultation to meet with an ITS-EdTech member over Zoom!

Group Training
Just in Time for Summer: May Canvas Training Options

For UNC instructors who are making the transition from Sakai to Canvas this summer, we offered two different Canvas training opportunities before the end of the semester.

Canvas Course Design Snapshot: NOTE: Cancelled due to low enrollment

If you were interested in this session or have pedagogical questions, please feel free to request a consultation with the CFE.

The CFE is hosted a special 2-hour Canvas Course Design Snapshot session for instructors interested in refining and aligning their course goals around Canvas tools and organizational structure. The 2-hour interactive session outlines the process of making evidence-based instructional decisions and helps you learn about the features of Canvas that can be used to help you achieve your course goals. ITS staff members were on hand to answer any technical questions. They were also available between 12 and 1pm to answer any specific questions.

Technical Canvas Training

After the Canvas Course Design Snapshot, the Educational Technologies team hosted a 1-hour Technical Canvas Training. This training allows faculty to be face-to-face with technologists while you locate migrated content and import it into a Canvas course for this summer/fall as well as provide a general overview of key features/tools to ready you for the first day of class.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Carroll Hall 111.

We understand that the end of semester is a challenging time. If you are interested in learning more about Canvas, please consider one of the upcoming Summer sessions listed below or register for a personal consultation above. If none of these options fit your schedule, feel free to reach out directly for assistance. We are here to help!

Summer Canvas Support

In addition to the offerings listed above, ITS Educational Technologies will be hosting several sessions both in person and virtually for those making the transition from Sakai to Canvas. This highly interactive session will give a comprehensive overview on how to start teaching in Canvas. Register below for a session that suits your schedule.

In Person


About Canvas


  • Fall 2021 – Spring 2022: Pilot conducted through several courses across various academic units.
  • Summer 2022: No summer courses taught in Canvas. System access only available for future course development.
    • May 20: FA22 courses made available in Canvas (in addition to Sakai). All active Onyen users granted access to Canvas.
    • July 15: Begin accepting requests for non-Registrar courses.
  • Fall 2022 – Spring 2024: Canvas and Sakai available for any course listed in ConnectCarolina (instructor chooses which LMS to use). Migrated Sakai content from 2022 and 2023 available in Canvas (see details on getting content into Canvas).
  • Summer 2024: Only Canvas available for teaching and active use. Migrated Sakai content from Spring 2024 available in Canvas.
    • May 15, 2024: All Sakai sites permanently unpublished. Restricted access available only to Instructors, Organizers, Teaching Assistants, Coordinators, and Tech Support. 
  • May 15, 2026: Sakai no longer available.

Sakai Restricted Access

Sakai is now in restricted access as of May 15, 2024, until the system is decommissioned and unavailable to all users on May 15, 2026. During restricted access:

  • All courses, projects, and University-related work must be conducted outside of Sakai. No new sites created.
  • All Sakai sites permanently unpublished. Student, Participant, Auditor, Guest roles do not have access to sites.
  • Instructor, Organizer, Teaching Assistant, Coordinator, Tech Support roles still have access to their sites to allow for content review and retrieval for 2 years until Sakai is decommissioned on May 15, 2026.
  • Tools hidden from student view will not be visible to site owners. Submit a help request opens in new window with any questions or issues.
  • All email functions disabled.
  • Password resets for Sakai non-Onyen Guest accounts not permitted due to disabled email functions.
  • Incomplete grades: Instructors who have students with IN and AB grades must submit a help request to give their students temporary access to the course to complete their work. All communication between instructor and student must occur outside of Sakai (e.g., University email).

Course Migrations

We worked with a third-party vendor (K16) recommended by Instructure to migrate courses from Sakai to Canvas. This means that the content in some (but not all) of your Sakai courses was automatically transferred to a similar (but not identical) structure in Canvas.

Migrated content from University Registrar courses that were taught in Sakai in all 2022, 2023, and Spring 2024 terms are available in Canvas. If you taught a course from these terms in Sakai, you should see an archive of each of your courses on your Canvas Dashboard, titled in the form of “DEPT101.001.FA22_SAKAI_Archive” (note: SP22 archive sites do not include “SAKAI_Archive” in the site name and some sites may include “k16” in the archive title as well). Instructors can choose to reuse this copied content and import it into their official Canvas courses. We advise reviewing migrated data as soon as possible to identify where you will need to make adjustments. See full details on getting content into Canvas.

Note: The Sakai data from past courses was extracted on the following dates. Updates made after this will not be available in the Canvas archive sites.

  • Spring 2022 courses: June 3, 2022
  • Maymester, Summer Session I, Summer Session II 2022 courses: December 12, 2022
  • Fall 2022 courses: December 12, 2022
  • Spring 2023 courses: May 15, 2023
  • Summer 2023 courses: September 13, 2023
  • Fall 2023 courses: January 29, 2024
  • Spring 2024 courses: May 10, 2024

Rationale Behind Transition from Sakai to Canvas

While Sakai has worked well for the University, the number of educational institutions comprising the Sakai community has significantly decreased over the years and fewer improvements are being made from version to version. Our faculty members continue to experiment with external technology tools they can use in tandem with the campus learning management system. Unfortunately, many vendors are not developing their products to integrate with Sakai. As a result, the Sakai LMS is not a viable long-term option.

ITS Educational Technologies and Digital and Lifelong Learning conducted a pilot of the Canvas Learning Management System as a potential replacement for Sakai over Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. The pilot consisted of a diverse cohort of undergraduate and graduate courses representing a variety of schools and academic units across campus. Although the preferences of the more than 600 students surveyed for the pilot were mixed between Canvas and Sakai, an overwhelming majority found Canvas easy to use. A strong majority of pilot instructors who were surveyed or participated in focus groups also support the move to Canvas, while recognizing that there will be a period of adjustment for all.

Based on the results of the pilot and diminished development support for Sakai, the University replaced Sakai at UNC with Canvas. Sakai was supported and available for use through the end of Spring 2024. Beginning May 15, 2024, Sakai will remain available in a restricted access state until May 15, 2026, when Sakai will be decommissioned and no longer available.

Canvas’ Advantages

Canvas by Instructure is used by more institutions of higher education than any other learning management system, including other UNC System schools and UNC-CH’s peer institutions. In addition to being a more intuitive system for designing courses, below are several benefits of the Canvas system. Canvas’ cloud architecture also requires little to no downtime for feature upgrades and system maintenance.

  • 24/7 phone and chat support provided by Instructure
  • A more modern, straightforward, and easier-to-use interface
  • A more accessible experience for all users
  • Mobile apps for instructors and students
  • Robust app and email notifications
  • Improved calendar services
  • Templates that can be created by schools and automatically populated into all of their courses
  • Canvas is popular with K-12 school systems and across higher ed, so many first-year and transfer students will arrive already familiar with Canvas

Request Forms

Note: Faculty/Staff Onyen required to access request forms.

New Site Request Form

New Site Request Form: Submit site requests for a brand new Canvas site for course development or training, instructional, or administrative purposes (committee work, communications, reviews, etc.).

Additional Sakai to Canvas Migration

Sakai migrations have been completed for University Registrar courses taught in 2022, 2023, and Spring 2024. The additional migration request form is now closed.

Note: If you require any Sakai content from course sites (pre-SP22) or project sites for re-use in Canvas, please refer to instructions on how to migrate content from Sakai yourself.

Guest Accounts

Non-Onyen guest accounts may be created for individuals not eligible for an Onyen account who will serve in instructional, advisory, or other coordinating roles in Canvas sites. Guest accounts can also be created for students from other institutions enrolled in credit-bearing courses at UNC-CH as well as for students enrolled in non-credit bearing courses or training sponsored by a UNC-CH operating unit. Only users with the role of Teacher, TA, Designer, Dean Designate, or Tech Support can create a guest account from their site. Important: Once created, active guest accounts are valid indefinitely but will be suspended after one year of inactivity (i.e., user unable to log in) and deleted after four years of inactivity (i.e., all data removed).

All UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty, Students, and Staff who have an active Onyen have access to Canvas. Rosters are added automatically to Canvas for official course sites based on enrollment data in ConnectCarolina. 

If needed, you may add other UNC-Chapel Hill users to your Canvas sites. For example: tech support, instructional designers, departmental colleagues, or students not on the roster. To do this, go to the site and select People > +People > select Login ID > enter their Onyen > select role > Next > Add User.

Only complete the following steps if you need to add a user to your Canvas site who does not have an Onyen. Note: Only Teachers, TAs, Designers, and Tech Support can create users in their sites.  

  1. Log into Canvas at
  2. Go to your site where you would like to add a guest
  3. Go to People
  4. Click People+ button
  5. Select Login ID
  6. Enter the guest’s Email address in the box
  7. Select a Role and Section for the guest
  8. Check the box if the guest should only interact with this section
  9. Click Next Button
  10. If the guest does not have an account in Canvas, you will receive the following message: “We were unable to find matches below. Select any you would like to create as new users. Unselected will be skipped at this time.”
  11. Carefully check the box next to the guest
  12. Type their Full Name into the Name box (e.g. “First Last”)
  13. Click Next button
  14. Confirm that the guest’s name and email are correct
  15. Click Add Users button

The guest will then be added to the site with Pending status. The guest will also receive an email from Instructure Canvas with steps to create their account. Important: The guest should respond that they Do Not have a Canvas account (in our UNC-CH instance) if prompted during setup, even if they have one at another institution. After creating their account, the guest will be able to log into Canvas at using the Non-Onyen Login button. Note: Users may be added to sites during the current term but not after courses have concluded.