Rhode Island School of Design

Delivering digital learning technology for enhanced arts education


Founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1877, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a private, nonprofit college that is established as one of the first art and design schools introduced in the United States. Placing #4 in “Best Fine Arts Programs” by U.S. News in 2016, RISD (pronounced “Riz-dee”) is a world-class arts institution which offers a comprehensive, studio based curriculum. Students who attend RISD can earn a bachelor’s or master’s in disciplines such as fne arts, design, architecture, photography or art education

19 majors offered

2,480 students from around the world

33% international students

Kannu is a registered trademark of Kadenze, Inc.



Providing powerful learning tools for an enriching
classroom experience

As a premier liberal arts institution that offers degrees in fields like graphic design, fashion, and fine arts, RISD requires an adaptive LMS with an easy-to-navigate, inviting interface that can keep students constantly engaged with content. Multimedia and reading materials are a big part of the courses, providing contextual information that reinforces students’ mastery of their studies.


Rhode Island School of Design implemented the Kannu
LMS for a new version of their 500-student freshman
survey course, “Global Modernisms”.

Compared to their previous LMS, Kannu stood out for its accessible and appealing visual design. Leora Maltz-Leca, Associate Professor at RISD, notes that their last LMS had basic, poorly designed visuals, so what they first noticed about Kannu was the simple, user-friendly content authoring and delivery. These features allowed students to better comprehend the lesson material, allowing them to focus less on figuring out the software and more on learning the topics of the course.

Kannu is a registered trademark of Kadenze, Inc.

“We were able to load images from lectures and readings onto the site in a way that was more visually appealing for students: they could see key paintings or objects of design, read short descriptions of each lecture, and pull up readings. For visually oriented students, this strong visual mapping of large amounts of information is helpful.”

— Leora Maltz-Leca, Associate Professor, Global Contemporary Art
Department Head of Theory & History of Art & Design, RISD

Key Features

Efficient technological support for streamlined user experience

Automated survey function and student analytics to measure curriculum success

Streamlined course management system with multimedia embedding

With direct messaging and student analytics tools that enhance the online classroom experience, RISD’s success in its integration of Kannu is a great example of low the quality of courses can be enhanced by the right digital learning software.

Kannu is a registered trademark of Kadenze, Inc.