The purpose of this article is to provide:

  • understanding of the purpose of Torus and OLI Canvas including the audience and location
  • understanding of the relationship between Torus and OLI Canvas
  • identification of the steps of the course authoring and publishing cycle

Welcome to OLI! OLI provides an authoring and delivery environment for quality courses designed to best meet the needs of instructors and students. Torus is a course authoring platform allowing authors to author create custom courses. The resulting courses can be published to a Learning Management System. OLI offers Canvas as a Learning Management System to publish Torus courses for review and for use by instructors and students. 

In the future, an institution may choose their own Learning Management System instance, instead of OLI Canvas, to take advantage of locally populated course and student data.

PurposeAuthoringPublishing and delivery


The OLI platform provides access to many courses. To develop new courses, Torus is a blank slate for custom content created for specific needs. Starting with sound instructional design and learning engineering principles, learning objectives map to skills and learning activities on pages within modules and units to build a course including formative and summative learning assessments tied back to the original learning objectives.


Once the materials are ready for use with students, Canvas or another Learning Management System serves as the location where the course is published. The author publishes the course to Canvas where it can be reviewed. Changes made in Torus are republished as needed and accessed by instructors and students when ready.

Course Authoring and Publishing

Here are the technical steps to get started with Torus and Canvas, create, publish, review, and publish again before using the course with instructors and students.

1. Get started with Torus and Canvas

2. Build a course in Torus

3. Publish a course to Canvas

4. Review a course in Canvas

5. Edit a course in Torus

6. Publish changes to Canvas

7. Repeat review, edit, and publish steps as needed

8. Add instructors and students to course in Canvas