Based on 184 reviews and ratings
Canvas and Moodle are both academic learning management systems most commonly used in higher education. They are focused primarily on facilitating course management and administration, rather than content creation.
Canvas is a rapidly growing cloud-based LMS that has challenged many of the legacy academic learning management systems. In doing so, it’s become widely used across midsized and large institutions. In contrast, Moodle differentiates itself as an open-source LMS that can save institutions long-term subscription costs if organizations have in-house IT personnel that can manage the platform.
Canvas and Moodle take distinct approaches to serve academic institutions, with unique features and advantages accordingly.
Canvas stands out for its scalable support for educators to manage higher education courses. Specifically, Canvas excels at document management, including assignment creation and grading. Core gradebook features that educators spend much of their administrative time using are also very easy to use, which can make teachers’ daily activities easier.
Moodle offers unique advantages due to its open-source architecture. The platform is more customizable and can be tailored to each institution, educator, or even course. It also doesn’t entail any subscription costs. Moodle also offers robust discussion forums and chat methods to facilitate online communication and discussion.
There are also some limitations to Canvas and Moodle worth considering.
Canvas’s full range of features and capabilities comes with a steeper learning curve. This curve falls disproportionately on educators, rather than students, and can take teachers some time to stand up courses and content in the platform. In-platform assessment administration is also less easy to use and more prone to errors than the rest of Canvas’s document management capabilities.
In contrast, Moodle’s open-source platform lacks the managed service benefits of Canvas. Instead, institutions need in-house IT personnel or a 3rd-party organization to implement, customize, and maintain the LMS. Institutions that either lack this personnel or are large enough for the implementation and management costs to scale disproportionately may find Moodle to be less ideal The core mobile capabilities that Moodle provides are also more limited and less user friendly than emerging market standards.
Canvas is priced by quote from the vendor. There is a one-time implementation fee and then an annual subscription cost.
Moodle is open-source and free to download. The cost of implementation and long-term maintenance or support will vary by each academic institution or business.
Provided by the TrustRadius Research Team
Published on July 30, 2020
Likelihood to Recommend
Feature Rating Comparison
Course catalog or library
Progress tracking & certifications
Learning reporting & analytics
- Creativity options for teachers to create a virtual space that still has fun graphics and accessibility options.
- Canvas has versatility in viewing options for assignment due dates such as the calendar built in feature as well as the dashboard options to display upcoming and due assignments.
- Allowing teachers to create community with each other and collaborate in each-other's space.
- Discussion platforms within classrooms for students to communicate with each-other and with their teachers.
- Easy messaging portal within each virtual classroom.
- Moodle's grade book works well. Assignments are integrated so the grades are recorded automatically.
- Moodle is customizable by administrators, so our version only gives us the options we need. NO Clutter.
- The discussion board offers several options for instructors that help with grading. I use "sum of points", but there are other options as well.
- Their integration with Big Blue Button was a bust for distance learning. Would be great to see them collaborate with Zoom or Google Meets.
- Their "feature request" process is slow and cumbersome at times because it relies on user "up votes" to get ideas addressed by the developers.
- They seem to have a lot of turn-over with their staff. We get a new Customer Success Manager far more frequently than with other vendors.
- The interface is not very intuitive. You must know what you are looking for in order to navigate effectively.
- Although installation of Moodle is easy, it is a little more difficult to configure it with your other Learning tools. As an example, LDAP synchronization is a little difficult.
- The interface is a little dated, even though new releases keep coming out (which is great!) none of them really add value to the appearance of the platform.
Likelihood to Renew
Reliability and Availability
Return on Investment
- Canvas has helped us provide a more robust online component to our courses.
- Canvas has helped us better adapt to a rapidly changing educational landscape.
- Canvas has reduced the time that we have to spend training faculty on how to use our learning management system.
- While it certainly takes more time to develop an online training vs a face-to-face we can offer the same content over and over again and meet a larger audience. There's no way we could have offered these trainings face-to-face to the same size audience. Economically it's just not feasible. Moodle allows us to share multiple trainings on a variety of topics over extended periods of time in a cost effective way.
- The impact on early interventionists is still being evaluated, but we do know that early interventionist now have more ways to access professional development than in the past. The ability to customize the registration page has allowed us to track which agencies in Virginia are having their staff participate and we can see which topics are favored above others.
- Other LMS's were far too costly. Aside from the monthly hosting fees (less than $200 a year), and the time it took to do the initial install and setup, Moodle is free. Once it's setup the only elearning costs are related to the development and creation of each training and then the setup of training on Moodle. This allows us to devote more time and money to the development and creation of more courses vs. the management of the system.
- Minimal tech support for the users is required and most requests are limited to lost/userid passwords. The course designer is able to manage tech support needs for the users because so few requests are received.
Premium Consulting/Integration Services—
Entry-level set up fee?
Canvas Editions & Modules
Additional Pricing DetailsMust contact vendor for pricing information.
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
Moodle Editions & Modules
- per year