What users are saying about
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Top Rated
184 Ratings
188 Ratings

Canvas

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Top Rated
184 Ratings
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Score 8.9 out of 100
188 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 100

Highlights

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. 

Likelihood to Recommend

Canvas

If you are in a school or have a lots of students to manage. And you need to have a full curriculum represented online, to have the ability to track students' assignments and their grades, Canvas can be a great tool to use. It was easy to be onboard with their customer support. And the productivities can be improved significantly.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

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.
Joe Foran | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Learning Management

Canvas
8.8
Moodle
7.5
Course authoring
Canvas
8.9
Moodle
8.1
Course catalog or library
Canvas
8.3
Moodle
7.7
Player/Portal
Canvas
9.0
Moodle
7.4
Learning content
Canvas
8.9
Moodle
8.6
Mobile friendly
Canvas
8.3
Moodle
6.8
Progress tracking & certifications
Canvas
9.1
Moodle
6.9
Assignments
Canvas
9.4
Moodle
8.3
Compliance management
Canvas
8.9
Moodle
7.1
Learning administration
Canvas
9.1
Moodle
7.9
Learning reporting & analytics
Canvas
8.8
Moodle
7.2
Social learning
Canvas
8.4
Moodle
6.9

Pros

Canvas

  • 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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

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.
Marianna Rader | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Canvas

  • 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.
Patrick Woessner | TrustRadius Reviewer

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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Canvas

Canvas 9.3
Based on 5 answers
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.
Kevin Reeve | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

Moodle 10.0
Based on 21 answers
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.
Steve Covello | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Canvas

Canvas 9.1
Based on 7 answers
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
Jeanne Rewa | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

Moodle 9.3
Based on 7 answers
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.
Robin Sargent | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Canvas

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Moodle

Moodle 9.0
Based on 5 answers
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.
Helen Ware | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Canvas

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Moodle

Moodle 10.0
Based on 3 answers
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.
Helen Ware | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Canvas

Canvas 8.9
Based on 14 answers
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
Ashley Milton | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

Moodle 7.0
Based on 22 answers
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.
Elizabeth Dalton | TrustRadius Reviewer

In-Person Training

Canvas

Canvas 10.0
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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Online Training

Canvas

Canvas 8.0
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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

Moodle 6.0
Based on 1 answer
I have used a few sites and they were adequate but my best learning experience was face to face and hands on.
Mike Sebolt | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Canvas

Canvas 8.3
Based on 4 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 | TrustRadius Reviewer

Moodle

Moodle 9.8
Based on 2 answers
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.
Ted Burke | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Canvas

Canvas provided the most modern UI, which remains intuitive despite holding a significant feature set. The ability to manage a portfolio of online courses through the blueprinting feature really set this apart from our past LMS's, which provided significant cost savings and investment in hiring personnel. Ease of use and mobile friendly approach provided massive advantages that truly shone through as the pandemic hit and all faculty at all of our locations were required to use the LMS significantly. We are incredibly grateful to have been with Canvas during this time.
Justin Harbin | TrustRadius Reviewer

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.
Stephen Lackey | TrustRadius Reviewer

Scalability

Canvas

Canvas 8.0
Based on 1 answer
No answer on this topic is available.

Moodle

Moodle 9.0
Based on 3 answers
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.
Pamela Akins | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Canvas

  • 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.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

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.
Rebecka Anderson | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Canvas

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Canvas Editions & Modules

Additional Pricing Details
Must contact vendor for pricing information.

Moodle

General

Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Yes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional

Moodle Editions & Modules

Edition
Starter$1201
Mini$2201
Small$3901
Medium$8801
Large$1,5601
  1. per year
Additional Pricing Details

Rating Summary

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