What users are saying about

Canvas

104 Ratings

Absorb Anywhere LMS

5 Ratings
Score 4.9 out of 101

Canvas

104 Ratings
Score 8.2 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Absorb Anywhere LMS

Absorb worked well for us for a number of years but once we started to push the limits of the software, the company and the product let us down. Support became unresponsive and the product enhancements that we were told were coming never did.
Ron Massicotte profile photo

Canvas

Canvas is well suited for instruction and non-instruction services because of its ease of use of its platform that can be accessed from any where and because of the LMS's continuous communication with the users. One of the main issues that I felt missing/troubling was that our Canvas LMS could not communicate well with our Banner Student Information System. We were unable to send grades from Canvas to Banner. I know Banner is a Student Information Systemd, not an LMS, but I would hope that more of an effort be taken to help integrate our Banner-or other systems-to fully utilize the forwarding of grades at the end of the semester. This would really help avert human errors in grade postings/submissions.
Jerry Sifuentes profile photo

Pros

  • Clean interface for learners
  • Logical organization of courses
  • Admin portal is OK
Ron Massicotte profile photo
  • Intuitive: The Canvas interface is generally easy to navigate and aligns with students' notions of how a web app should operate.
  • Connected: Canvas connects courses, assignments, due dates, calendars, third-party (LTI) resources, and notifications well.
  • Simple: The Canvas interface is scaled-down and avoids bloat, making it generally easy to use for both students and instructors.
Royce Kimmons profile photo

Cons

  • Customer Support is unresponsive and poor
  • Inconsistent interface in the product
  • Reporting out of Absorb is cumbersome
  • No search functionality within courses.
Ron Massicotte profile photo
  • The video guide heading has labeling for All Users, Administrators, Community, Instructors, Students, Observers, Canvas Commons, and Canvas Network. Video tutorials are essential for answering instructor questions, guiding students on the use of assignment overview and submission, using chat or collaboration along with working in groups, peer reviews, and taking quizzes. Tutorials represent the Canvas features that include Asynchronous/Synchronous Learning, Classroom management, Live-Video Conferencing, Mobile Learning, Skills Tracking, Social Learning, and Testing/Assessments. Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) interface (approved by the institution). For example, facilitate academic textbook publishers’ robust learning/assessment tools to interact within an instructor’s course, etc. Assistance from our institution provides telephone and one-on-one Canvas support from our instructional designers at the Center for Faculty Excellence or Information Technology Services (ITS). Yet, we have experienced challenges using Canvas.
  • Canvas and Turnitin services undergo scheduled maintenance. It is important for instructors to schedule course work accordingly to offset problems during scheduled maintenance. Our institution publishes this information when an instructor or student logs into Canvas. IT remains proactive by providing access to the Canvas release notes for the latest features and upgrades in conjunction when the upgrades occur.
  • We have yet to experience the perfect LMS. Canvas has its share of challenges. Instructors find difficulty when communicating to students using Canvas within a specific course having multiple course sections. For example, working in an undergraduate health course that has three similar combined sections, an instructor must initiate a conversation from the Canvas “Inbox” specific to each section, and is unable to communicate with all combined sections from the primary health course.
  • Upgrades and changes within the LMS during a given semester/course term provide a mild annoyance for instructors. For example, Canvas made a location change (i.e., allowing students to attach a file to a discussion. Permission was moved from the instructor view within a discussion to the course “Settings,” then “Course Details” tab and moving down and selecting the “more options” link and clicking on the radio button “Let students attach files to discussions” while then selecting “Update Course Details” to enable this option.
  • Another challenge is having the instructor and students remain current with software upgrades as it’s integral to ensuring a successful experience with the Canvas LMS. For example, a Spanish instructor wanted her students to record a video within Canvas of students speaking Spanish as a video assignment. Multiple issues presented themselves since Canvas requires the most recent upgrade to Adobe Flash Player and web browsing software to accomplish the task. When students used on campus computer labs, current updates were not equally applied throughout the labs. A similar challenge followed with student’s personal computers, consistently keeping their software up-to-date to accommodate specific tools within the Canvas LMS. Recording within the Canvas environment is functional when one is running the most current upgrades to their web browser and Adobe Flash Player. Collaboration and interaction with our instructional designers and ITS resolved the above instructor/student video assignment challenge.
Francis Kohler profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Canvas9.3
Based on 5 answers
Auburn was one of the first institutions to adopt Canvas. The school has not presented an alternative
Bethany Cleveland, PhD profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Canvas9.2
Based on 5 answers
The intuitive design has significantly reduced help desk inquired from both students and faculty.
No photo available

Support

Absorb Anywhere LMS1.0
Based on 1 answer
Poor response time and generally poor responses.
Ron Massicotte profile photo
Canvas8.7
Based on 3 answers
There are online tutorials and FAQs that provide a great deal of support for general questions. Also, Canvas is open source and is willing to work with individual customers to customize their LMS to fit their needs
Bethany Cleveland, PhD profile photo

In-Person Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Canvas10.0
Based on 1 answer
The training sessions were broken down into several days as well as different levels depending upon the knowledge of the user
Bethany Cleveland, PhD profile photo

Online Training

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Canvas8.0
Based on 1 answer
The online tutorials and videos are very clear and addressed the issues/questions that I had about using the system.
Bethany Cleveland, PhD profile photo

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Canvas8.5
Based on 2 answers
Once you purchase and sign the contract there is nothing to install or hardware to buy. You can almost immediately start using it and have courses up and going within weeks. We signed in December and had pilot courses online ready to go for the start of school in January
Kevin Reeve profile photo

Alternatives Considered

At the time of selection, we went with Absorb as they were one of the few that could handle online transactions for courses. We are in the process of migrating to Skilljar and will be discontinuing our subscription to Absorb in 2018.
Ron Massicotte profile photo
In general, our users have found Canvas to be much simpler and student-friendly than Blackboard. In addition, the rapid development cycle under which Canvas operates means that improvements and new features are deployed much more rapidly. From a support perspective, it has been much simpler to integrate 3rd party tools with Canvas, due to the open source framework.
Crista Calderon profile photo

Return on Investment

  • We were able to lighten the work load on our finance team by moving course purchase processing to the online platform.
  • Learning team was able to reduce the amount of live training and travel.
Ron Massicotte profile photo
  • [Positive] Information is archived and accessible after the course is completed. Many users go back to the course to review the discussion boards and the course content as reference material once they've been hired as teachers.
  • [Positive] Students receive more immediate feedback since everything is done online, instead of analog, in class. (E.g., Students can choose to receive an email immediately after instructor feedback/grades are submitted.)
Bryan Tanner profile photo

Pricing Details

Absorb Anywhere LMS

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Canvas

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details