Canvas vs. Sakai

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
Sakai
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Sakai is an open source learning management system provided by the Apero Foundation. The LMS provides what it calls Core and Expanded Features. The Core Features encompass an integrated tool set that is tested by the Sakai community members and is then included with each new release. The tool set can be configured by: instructors, students, research investigators and project leaders. The other set of tools, known as “Contrib Tools” are specific to Sakai tools and innovations that are developed…N/A
Pricing
CanvasSakai
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
CanvasSakai
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
YesYes
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsMust contact vendor for pricing information.Must contact vendor for pricing information.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
CanvasSakai
Considered Both Products
Canvas
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
The Canvas interface is easier for students to use and navigate. It is also cleaner so students enjoy using the tool more than Sakai. Canvas was easier for our IT department to implement. Training faculty on how to use Canvas was easier than Sakai. The analytics in Canvas are …
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.
Sakai

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
CanvasSakai
Learning Management
Comparison of Learning Management features of Product A and Product B
Canvas
8.8
42 Ratings
7% above category average
Sakai
7.9
5 Ratings
4% below category average
Course authoring9.542 Ratings8.05 Ratings
Course catalog or library8.539 Ratings7.04 Ratings
Player/Portal9.033 Ratings8.02 Ratings
Learning content9.035 Ratings8.05 Ratings
Mobile friendly9.441 Ratings7.05 Ratings
Progress tracking & certifications9.038 Ratings8.05 Ratings
Assignments9.542 Ratings10.05 Ratings
Compliance management8.533 Ratings7.04 Ratings
Learning administration9.037 Ratings9.05 Ratings
Learning reporting & analytics9.039 Ratings6.05 Ratings
Social learning8.934 Ratings9.04 Ratings
Gamification7.13 Ratings00 Ratings
Single Sign On (SSO) Enabled Learning8.53 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
CanvasSakai
Small Businesses
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.6 out of 10
Tovuti LMS
Tovuti LMS
Score 9.6 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Jenzabar ONE
Jenzabar ONE
Score 9.5 out of 10
Jenzabar ONE
Jenzabar ONE
Score 9.5 out of 10
Enterprises
Schoology Learning
Schoology Learning
Score 9.4 out of 10
Schoology Learning
Schoology Learning
Score 9.4 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
CanvasSakai
Likelihood to Recommend
9.0
(84 ratings)
9.0
(14 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.3
(5 ratings)
10.0
(3 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(8 ratings)
7.4
(3 ratings)
Support Rating
9.0
(11 ratings)
8.1
(3 ratings)
In-Person Training
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.5
(2 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
CanvasSakai
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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Apereo
I've used Sakai to supplement my Public Speaking class. Public Speaking is very much a F2F type course, so I didn't use Sakai much for course content delivery. However, I did use it to post my syllabus, post my lecture slides, communicate any class announcements, and to conduct a final exam for the class. Building the final exam was very simple and I was easily able to swap out questions to vary it from term to term. Before I was a staff member and lecturer, I used Sakai as a student. My instructor used Sakai to varying degrees. I really appreciated it being the one-stop-receptacle for all-things class related. If I somehow lost an assignment instruction sheet, I could rely on it being posted there. For multimedia work it was lacking, at that time, but I know Sakai has been updated over time and I hope that part of it has improved. If I was ever frustrated by Sakai, it was because faculty used it in a piecemeal way. It's fine not to want to use the gradebook, but don't enter some grades and not others. It's wonderful to upload class documents to it; but don't do some and not others. Whatever way you're going to use Sakai, commit to it and use it well. Your students will thank you.
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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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Apereo
  • Sakai is flexible, providing a way for our customers (instructors) to customize their courses while staying in line with consistency and continuity of course design. This has allowed our courses to be far less cookie-cutter and stale. This is mostly accomplished through Sakai's LTI functionality and it's Lessons tool. This is particularly notable because not every course is the same, nor should it be. Our faculty and course developers can draw from OER resources, course text publisher assessment quiz banks and pull in content from sources from our library databases and services like YouTube.
  • Sakai is customizable, allowing us to pair it with our student information system to automatically create and track with student registration data - including adding new students and removing students who have elected to drop a course. The customization features also include being able to create course templates for individual schools or courses using specific tools or sequences of tools as well as a way to personalize content for students when they engage with each lesson.
  • Sakai is stable in the market. We have been using Sakai for almost 10 years and continue to see it improve; responding to changing trends in browser technologies, mobile platforms and accessibility requirements. Multiple programs offered over the years have been recognized by outside organizations like BestColleges.com for our programs and given high marks by students taking the courses offered in Sakai.
  • Sakai allows our faculty to inform it's continued evolution. We work closely with the developers, having a front seat to how things can work and function for our faculty. There have been multiple occasions where faculty ask, "Can Sakai do this?" and the answer is never "No."
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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.
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Apereo
  • The coming upgrade will address many issues, the visual presentation of sites and courses
  • The Forums (discussion) tool is not natively integrated into the Gradebook, but needs another step to connect the two.
  • The Wiki tool is awkward and not WYSIWYG. But I understand that is common with wikis in most platforms
  • The Help documentation could use some focus on student needs rather that course developer needs
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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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Apereo
Sakai is a good general learning management system - it is not leading edge but rather a stable system with standard learning management system features. It can be fairly easily customized and is fairly easy to learn from both student learning and faculty administrative vantage points. New paradigms for online learning though are emergent so the current field should also be investigated with competitors.
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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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Apereo
When faculty are preparing courses from term to term, a portion of the content is static within a specific discipline. The time it takes to import past lessons into new versions of Sakai can be an inefficient use of my time. When I want to add new content and edit from the old content, it's reliant upon me to cut and paste the content from term to term rather than simply import and edit from a backup.
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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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Apereo
Since Sakai is open-source their documentation is often lacking and support is absolutely needed onsite. Internal documentation is more important with Sakai than other services. The Sakai community is fun, passionate, engaged, and absolutely doing their best, but it's an uphill battle against the current market and trends.
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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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Apereo
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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Apereo
No answers on this topic
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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Apereo
No, I don't
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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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Apereo
As an adjunct professor, I didn't pick Sakai for the university. I have experience with Moodle, Blackboard, eCollege, iBoard and now Sakai. I would have to say that Sakai is one of my all time favorite LMSs to use as it is very easy to navigate.
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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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Apereo
  • Sakai makes it easy for students to monitor grades which puts their minds at ease.
  • Sakai makes it easy for teachers to assign and receive assignments from students.
  • Communication is one of the most important and one of the most taxing parts of an educational system. Sakai makes this process just a little bit easier.
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