Canvas vs. Moodle

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Canvas
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Instructure is an educational software company based in Sandy, Utah. It is the developer of the Canvas learning management system, which is a comprehensive software package that competes with such systems as Blackboard Learning System, SumTotal and Saba.N/A
Moodle
Score 7.3 out of 10
N/A
Moodle is an open source learning management system with hundreds of millions of users around the globe and translated into over 100 languages, used by organizations to support their education and training needs.N/A
Pricing
CanvasMoodle
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
CanvasMoodle
Free Trial
YesYes
Free/Freemium Version
YesYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoYes
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeOptional
Additional DetailsMust contact vendor for pricing information.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
CanvasMoodle
Considered Both Products
Canvas
Chose Canvas
The decision to use Canvas was not mine; however, I happily use it. I have used Blackboard before and that is a great LMS. Prior to Canvas, we used Moodle here at SAE Nashville. Moodle (at least the version we used) was odd looking, difficult to interface with, and was limited …
Chose Canvas
I have evaluated Blackboard, Desire to Learn, Moodle, and Canvas. I felt that Canvas provides the best overall experience for all users with its ease of use, ease of learning the new system, and customer support.
Chose Canvas
Canvas is a new age LMS. It allows teachers and instructional designers to scaffold and plan their courses in many different ways incorporating custom styling option and LTI integrations that I was never able to use in Blackboard or Moodle.
Chose Canvas
Canvas provides a nice blend of intuitive, simple interfaces with strong functionality. Other products will often try to do too much and become bloated (e.g., BB) or are not mature enough to provide reliable functionality in key areas without extensive support (e.g., Moodle). …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is the most advanced and most versatile of the products I have used in the past. It has more features and is better able to be customized by the user. Programs like Classroom, Moodle, and Edmodo are geared more toward younger users and therefore do not have the same …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is much more flexible and modern than Moodle or Blackboard where I started with programs like this in 2013. I don't actually make this choice though. In other words, I didn't select Canvas, but I am happy that the administrators here at CWU made that selection. I think …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is a pricey option, at least when compared to something open source like Moodle. Personally, I don't feel that Canvas has the same ability to customize as Moodle. However, the customer support from Canvas makes it stand out. With an open-source platform, it might be …
Chose Canvas
How content is delivered using Moodle is not up to the mark when compared to Canvas. The user interface is clunky when compared to a much simple and easy to understand user interface that of Canvas. Configuring Moodle can be quite tedious if one comes from a non-IT background. …
Chose Canvas
Moodle is open source and it is free. So we can implement our own server with Moodle very easily. But it is not very customizable. When we need a new feature, it is very hard to change as we do not have the ability to change. Canvas has been great help in this because we can …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is more cost-effective when compared to Blackboard Learn. Canvas has lately worked on features improvement especially in the grade center, for example, moving columns around like an Excel sheet, a feature not found in Blackboard Learn.
Chose Canvas
Canvas is a stronger platform. I used it as a teacher AND as a student in graduate school, and it is just the most put-together, professional version of a learning management system that I've used or seen. I do assume that Canvas is more expensive than its competitors, which …
Chose Canvas
Canvas was far easier to use, more feature rich, and much better supported. Teachers and students prefer it to the other solutions we've evaluated or used in the past. Anything that kids can use with minimal instruction is a major win for schools.
Chose Canvas
Simple design interface combines with powerful functionality within the platform.
Chose Canvas
Canvas's ease of use and ease of administration were huge deciding factors in the decision to use Canvas as our preferred LMS. We found that on average Canvas took 1/3 the clicks to accomplish the same tasks as Blackboard, and the structure of data in Canvas is far superior to …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is easier to use, easier to develop, and easier to organize. My experiences with other learning management systems have been varied as both instructor and student, and Canvas truly makes the experience streamlined and worth it. The data is always accessible if you know …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is easier to use, navigate, and explain. Most of our customers prefer Canvas over the other learning management systems. The only challenge they find is linking non-app integrated content. Thus we set this up for them.
Chose Canvas
I've used Moodle, e-college, others, but Blackboard was the last LMS adventure we had. I had to evaluate these services prior to selecting Canvas, and based on my evaluation, and the resources that the University of Texas at Austin afforded us, I am confident that we made the …
Chose Canvas
Canvas is head and shoulders above the other systems for features. responsiveness, openness, and ease of use. We went with Canvas because it was a step forward into the future of learning and our faculty wanted it. It has been a positive experience for us.
Chose Canvas
We felt that Canvas had the most modern interface, was the simplest to use, offered the best support, and offered the most features. The others products are all very good, but for our needs Canvas offered the most value for an institution our size and with our set of needs.
Chose Canvas
Canvas offers similar navigational and interactive tools as other LMSs; however, as an ISD, I have been most impressed by the quality of the overall look and feel of Canvas. Visually, courses published with Canvas have a more professional overall appearance. I believe this is …
Chose Canvas
During the RFP process we evaluated a number of platforms. Additionally, we were formally a Blackboard school. We needed our LMS to customize due to our unique relationship of 15 community colleges sharing resources including student enrollment. Canvas was up to the challenge …
Moodle
Chose Moodle
Excellent community support, it is very affordable and also about costs.
Chose Moodle
Open source platform. So, cost effective.
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
CanvasMoodle
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

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. 

Features

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. 

Limitations

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. 

Pricing

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. 

Features
CanvasMoodle
Learning Management
Comparison of Learning Management features of Product A and Product B
Canvas
7.7
41 Ratings
6% below category average
Moodle
8.2
29 Ratings
0% above category average
Course authoring8.941 Ratings8.825 Ratings
Course catalog or library7.138 Ratings8.326 Ratings
Player/Portal8.032 Ratings8.526 Ratings
Learning content7.934 Ratings8.124 Ratings
Mobile friendly8.740 Ratings6.326 Ratings
Progress tracking & certifications8.037 Ratings8.927 Ratings
Assignments9.041 Ratings8.929 Ratings
Compliance management7.032 Ratings9.022 Ratings
Learning administration8.036 Ratings8.927 Ratings
Learning reporting & analytics8.038 Ratings8.724 Ratings
Social learning7.933 Ratings7.726 Ratings
Gamification4.12 Ratings6.03 Ratings
Single Sign On (SSO) Enabled Learning7.12 Ratings8.52 Ratings
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CanvasMoodle
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Score 9.3 out of 10
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User Ratings
CanvasMoodle
Likelihood to Recommend
8.1
(83 ratings)
8.3
(65 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.3
(5 ratings)
10.0
(22 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(8 ratings)
8.0
(8 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(4 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
9.0
(11 ratings)
7.4
(15 ratings)
In-Person Training
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(1 ratings)
6.0
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.5
(2 ratings)
9.8
(2 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(3 ratings)
User Testimonials
CanvasMoodle
Likelihood to Recommend
Instructure
It is really well suited for school situations like knowing what [assignments] need to be done when, getting feedback, getting points, finding the slides that the teacher used for explaining an [assignment] or theory. I think It would be less suited in business situations because it's [primarily] made to be a [one-way] communication tool for schools. Businesses need more control on individual levels I think[.]
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Moodle
Moodle is great for any environment where a class or other learning activity needs to be completed in an asynchronous manner. It can be used to post information, create interactive threads for discussion, issue quiz and exam work with grading, track and grade progress, and keep track of attendance. It is an overall wonderful solution for managing asynchronous learning.
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Pros
Instructure
  • 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.
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Moodle
  • 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.
Read full review
Cons
Instructure
  • 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.
Read full review
Moodle
  • 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.
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Likelihood to Renew
Instructure
The other LMS tools have fallen behind. One reason is they are not able to update their systems, features, toolsets in a timely manner. While other LMS providers release bug fixes and new features several times a year, schools struggle to install and implement them in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for a school to take 6 months to a year to fully install and implement new releases on other LMS platforms. With Canvas, those features are released every 3 weeks, and there is nothing for a school to do other than choose to turn them on once released. This has allowed Instructure to innovate faster, and get new features and tools to customers quicker. Other factors include great pricing, customer support, and the innovative way in which LTI is implemented in the tool.
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Moodle
We use it because it is what have committed to back in 2011. Perhaps Moodle will evolve and advance in a positive way that will alleviate most of our user-based gripes? Perhaps it will not appear to be as cost effective given the need for a certain level of engineering and support staff to maintain it at a future level of sustainability? It's hard to say. As an enterprise scale critical application, we like it, but don't love it. Our instructors don't particularly like it at all.
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Usability
Instructure
The functions in Canvas are well integrated and consistent across the application, and mostly intuitive. Overall navigation and setup is streamlined through integrated features and navigation. The feedback we've gotten from our program participants is that it is easy to learn to use. It also integrates well with third party software like Google Docs and Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing software
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Moodle
Moodle can be used on a tablet, on a mobile phone, and on a PC. It is easy to navigate for learners and figure out for administrators. The learners can easily complete tasks and the administrators can easily track completion. The last thing about Moodle that one may not realize is that it somewhat resembles Facebook in its layout. This means that users are already familiar with the interface and therefore they are more comfortable using it.
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Reliability and Availability
Instructure
No answers on this topic
Moodle
Yes, Moodle is always available. We are self-hosted and Moodle is always up and available. The only time that it is not available is when we are upgrading it each semester. It is then down for just a few planned hours. That is in-between semesters and we let the faculty and students know. We do it on a Friday evening and it is back up within a few hours.
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Performance
Instructure
No answers on this topic
Moodle
Moodle is an excellent LMS in relationship to any other one that I have seen or used. The pages load quickly and the reports complete in a reasonable time frame. Moodle has taken on Respondus, StudyMate, BigBlueButton, Turning Tech, Turnitin2, Certificates, Attendance, Tegrity, Questionnaire, Virtual Programming Lab, and Badges. All of these programs work right in with Moodle and do not cause any issues. Instructors may also use Camtasia and Snagit software as well as using webcams, downloading videos from the Internet, adding into books, or any of the many other areas within Moodle. Our instructors use the grade books without many problems and really don't ask questions much anymore. We upgrade Moodle every semester and are currently on 2.9+. Our instructors have basically learned to use most of the resources and activities.
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Support Rating
Instructure
I do not personally use Canvas support since we have a central office that helps us. However, our central office always has the answers we need and are always able to solve our issues - so I would assume that get great support from the Canvas team on their end. They also offer great training, which uses materials directly from Canvas
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Moodle
Moodle is open source, and must be evaluated in that context, but one also has to provide a fair comparison to competing products with commercial backing. Support varies depending on the component of Moodle. Bug reports in Moodle Core that affect security or stability are dealt with promptly. Functionality requests or features not working smoothly may or may not be addressed, depending on whether the functionality desired matches the "vision" of Moodle HQ. The user community provides excellent support for initial installation and configuration, but more complex questions may go unanswered, unless they are noticed by someone who happens to know the answer. The support forum feature at the Moodle site (the same feature used within Moodle itself) does not provide granular subscription to topic discussions, apparently by design, and Moodle HQ seems resistant to changing this feature.
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In-Person Training
Instructure
The training sessions were broken down into several days as well as different levels depending upon the knowledge of the user
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Moodle
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Instructure
The online tutorials and videos are very clear and addressed the issues/questions that I had about using the system.
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Moodle
I have used a few sites and they were adequate but my best learning experience was face to face and hands on.
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Implementation Rating
Instructure
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
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Moodle
Find a partner who will work with you during the implementation process. Be sure to provide ample training for veteran users on the changes and for newbies on the overall product.
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Alternatives Considered
Instructure
Canvas is more secure, has a cleaner design, and has more features. For the features, they have in common canvas still stacks up against [Smart school] by going for the extra mile. Besidfor e that, [the] canvas looks a lot more [professional] than [Smart school]. I didn't make the decision myself to get canvas instead of [Smart school] but I'm happy they did.
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Moodle
Blackboard has clear advantages in rubric management, and offers a content management system of its own. The largest barrier is cost for smaller or financially-disadvantaged organizations. However, as in any IT project, adequate resources must be made for even "free" software.
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Scalability
Instructure
No answers on this topic
Moodle
Well, I administer Moodle for a dozen of our divisions and there is a wide range of flexibility between offerings. I have course instructors who use every module i their course, chock full of videos, pictures, links to web tools for synchronous sessions within the asynchronous course. I also have others who are content with a syllabus, a few pdfs, links to podcast lectures and a few simple assignments. No matter if your organization is big or small, or if your requirements are strict for credentialing or non-existent (for internal know-how), Moodle can accommodate you.
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Return on Investment
Instructure
  • 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.
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Moodle
  • 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.
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ScreenShots

Moodle Screenshots

Screenshot of Moodle offers activities and resources to create courses.Screenshot of The course dashboard shows the courses which an student is enrolled in.Screenshot of Inside a course view shows the course complete index of activities and resources.
The course view can be customised to be cleaner allowing the student to focus on learning.Screenshot of Moodle Workplace includes all features in Moodle LMS and other exclusive features like multi-tenancy, dynamic rules, and report builder.Screenshot of Programs help users stay up-to-date with compliance, and help with designing learning paths for a teams so that they can develop the right competencies. Certificates can also be issued to validate learning and compliance.Screenshot of Dynamic Rules help to avoid the tedious tasks and create and manage automated rules for several groups of users. Learning experiences based on location, department, position, roles and other criteria are available.