About

About Cidi Labs

Cidi Labs was started in partnership with Utah State University to enable “SaaS-sharing” of locally-developed instructional design tools and innovations. Our flagship product, DesignPLUS (Design Tools for Canvas), is the leading advanced course authoring toolset to natively integrate with the Canvas LMS. Design Tools enables you to rapidly build course shells and painlessly create and style the content in your courses. They improve the quality, consistency and accessibility of your course content while allowing your instructional designers and instructors to do more in less time.

With more than 120 higher education and K-12 organizations as customers, institutions of all sizes are improving the instructional design and learning process with Cidi Labs tools.

Cidi Labs (rhymes with “city”) was started in 2016 by Utah State University’s Center for Innovative Design & Instruction (CIDI), which is led by Executive Vice Provost Robert Wagner; and edtech industry veteran, Mike Zackrison, who worked for Instructure prior to founding Cidi Labs. 

The company began with a vision of enabling the sustainable sharing of locally-developed software tools and innovations developed by creative, problem-solving institutions and instructional designers.

Today’s SaaS-delivered, API-rich, and standards compliant learning platforms (like the LMS) afford instructional designers and developers the opportunity to create innovative add-on solutions that make their work easier and more efficient. The problem is, the old way of sharing these add-ons via open source distributions is not ideal for today’s SaaS-delivered world and has proven difficult to scale for the developer (or her employer) due to the support demands required by popular solutions. This limits the potential reach of these inventions.

Cidi Labs enables “SaaS-sharing” of these solutions in an economically sustainable way while providing users the usability, support, maintenance and services they are accustomed to having from newer SaaS-delivered solutions. This helps broaden the reach and impact of a solution and creates an economic model that encourages continued innovation.

Our “Cooperative Instructional Design Innovation” Model

You create tools and innovation and we help support and sustain them. 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. We license intellectual property from the tool creator (usually an educational institution) 
  2. We SaaS-enable the solution
  3. We add implementation, training, support, and maintenance services
  4. We package as a SaaS subscription
  5. We market and sell the solution
  6. We share revenue with the creator via a royalty
  7. We collaborate with developer on bug fixes, new features, and solution road map