Academic Tools at UW-Madison

Learn@UW is the campus name for the suite of digital tools that UW-Madison provides to help students, faculty, and staff succeed.

Many different services are available, including ones that are used mostly by faculty and instructors. Some of the tools that students are most likely to encounter are listed below.


Canvas is the official Learning Management System (LMS) used by UW-Madison. It is used by instructors to post course content for their academic classes as well as by groups like STS for non-academic purposes.

The interface is pretty intuitive, but it can sometimes be hard to know where to find things in a course because instructors can customize them in a variety of ways. One instructor might organize readings, videos, and quizzes into Modules by class topic, while another instructor might not use Modules at all.

If you ever need help figuring out how to use Canvas, the Canvas training course for Students gives a good overview of how it works, and you can always schedule one-on-one help with Software Training for Students via our 1-on-1 Support service.

Screenshot of the Canvas courses page

Kaltura MediaSpace

Kaltura is the official video service supported on campus. If you ever need to host a video project created for class, Kaltura is the place to go.

Screenshot of the Kaltura interface


Piazza is a student-to-student question-and-answer service that functions like a bulletin board or forum, similar to Reddit. Students can ask and answer questions, which instructors can add and respond to as well.

It is most often used as a module within the Canvas pages of a specific academic course.


TopHat is an in-class student response system used to engage learners during classroom sessions.

It can be used for realtime feedback, to assess knowledge, and a variety of other interaction models. Instructors or TAs can get more information from Learn@UW Support or their department tech staff.