TrustRadius
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.https://dudodiprj2sv7.cloudfront.net/product-logos/iP/dR/BD9WTL7V56OM.JPEGCanvas - A great efficiency tool for the course I teach!The University of Iowa recently switched over to Canvas in order to manage our online resources for students in various courses. I have found Canvas to be MUCH more user-friendly and easy to use than our past web platform. My grading goes much faster, and I can easily update my course in ways I was not able to before. I attended to short training sessions on Canvas and immediately felt at ease with the program. I highly recommend it.,The "Speedgrader" option is amazing! I can easily grade student papers and the rubrics are built right into the system! We do group assignments in my course and I can assign groups electronically and also assign peer evaluation for assignments electronically! It does it all for me and I love it. The ability to require "links" for submission is helpful to me when we ask our students to update websites for the course I teach. They submit the link, and I can access their site easily to do my grading! I enjoy the ability to view my site from the "Student View" so I know exactly what my students are seeing on Canvas!,It took me a long time to figure out how to set up my "dashboard." I felt like it should have been easier considering how easy the rest of the program is to navigate. When you assign a peer evaluation to an assignment, the peer comments end up in the rubric and you have to erase them to write your own comments.,10,My grading goes so much faster! I can communicate more easily with my students! My course feels more organized than it did before.My Canvas ExperienceOur business is a 2 year college. At first, Canvas was intended for use mainly for online instruction. However, because of it's user friendly platform, after a bit of persuasion and faculty input, the academic division decided that all instruction would use Canvas, not only for online, but also for all face to face classes to provide instructional support-grades, testing-(e-tests cut down on the significant cost of paper printing), and for the use of other features, handouts, chat, etc. It is also used by Human Resource services to assess new employee skills and provide info to employees; Canvas is also used by Student Services-to promote clubs and other services, numerous administration and faculty committees use it to discuss, disseminate, and maintain data in one place 24/7; the library uses it to provide information about their services and to obtain feedback about their services-tours, and it is also use as a survey tool by several departments. Nevertheless, the bulk of its use is for instructional purposes.,Ease of use--it is very friendly and its access from different e-sources-iPad, phone, keeps students and instructors in touch with their course/s any day any time. My returning and new students are able to navigate the platform with ease without getting lost. The simplicity of importing content and creating courses makes it ideal for faculty in support of their F2F and online courses. Since I over saw the implementation and support side of Canvas, I can say that the technical support to resolve issues was excellent. You have an assigned tech and he/she is very resourceful and the communication is constant. I never had to follow up on issues; they would keep me informed on the developments when we submitted a ticket on a specific course issue that were promptly resolved. I can add that I felt as being part of the Canvas team; I could get on the phone, and there was a live person at the other end....here in Texas. Another positive venue was our "migration" from Blackboard to Canvas. Because of Canvas' ease of use, we trained all of our online faculty during the months of June, July, and part of August to get them ready to migrate their courses to Canvas---all 140 plus online sections--more than 90 faculty--for the start of the fall semester. The migration was very favorable and all faculty commented positively to the migration of their course content-as one instructor noted in his training evaluation, "it was a piece of cake.",I would like to have a drop down menu in Quiz Moderator view so that when I am grading a student quiz, I am allowed to grant the student permission to retake a quiz/test-instead of getting out and having to go to another screen.,10,Positive-our institution has benefited by using Canvas by moving from a paper test base mode to an e-Canvas test service to assess student course outcomes. There significant $avings that were curtailed in the use of paper, and in the time it took to check papers. I don't think Canvas has impacted us Negatively on our objectives.,,Intronis ECHOshareCanvas is a stream-lined, intuitive LMS that is setting the pace for others to followWe use Canvas to teach online and blended courses related to instructional design and educational technology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Our department uses Canvas along with a homegrown LMS called Learning Suite, but adoption is generally up to the lead instructor for each course. We use Canvas to organize course content, communicate with students, and grade assignments.,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.,Customization: The instructor has some customization options within Canvas, but as with any standard LMS, power users will sometimes wonder why they cannot do things that seem simple. Email: Depending on your preference this may be a pro or con, but Canvas tries to operate as its own email client. Though you can also receive notifications whenever students message you, having the separate inbox in Canvas can be confusing for students and instructors, and the conversation threads in a large course can become confusing very quickly. Ugly HTML: This is only a critique that power users would have, but like many Web 2.0 systems that use a WYSIWYG interface for content entry, Canvas pages can often yield ugly HTML that does not comply with usability standards, especially if you work with others that are not mindful of these issues. As a result, I often have to edit HTML directly on content pages that have hundreds of unnecessary elements, that incorrectly use tags for layouts, or that do not provide appropriate "alt" or "title" attributes to visual content.,9,Improved Efficiency: We can efficiently create and teach courses in the platform from semester to semester. Improved Interoperability: We can modify the operations of Canvas for research and improved functionality (e.g., learning analytics) through the use of LTI-compliant tools. Improved Feedback: Through the use of rubric grading and document commenting, we can provide more focused feedback to students on assignments.,Blackboard Collaborate and Moodle,Google Drive, SlackCanvas ReviewCanvas is currently being used across the Maricopa Community College District as the primary LMS for all 10 community Colleges. The LMS provides a technology based solution for faculty to deliver classes in several different modalities. Canvas is used both in online and in-person classes, and has been incorporated into nearly every subject.,Canvas does an excellent job of organizing lessons through the use of modules and HTML options Canvas has a fairly straight-forward grade-book that makes grade management easier Canvas does a great job integrating other apps and technologies such as MyITlab. Canvas's Inbox and messaging system is easy to use and integrates with other messaging platforms,Speed up the time it takes to navigate between menu options. Include more options for modifying test banks, such as listing all details of questions without the need to expand each question to see its answer contents Include more options in the WYSIWYG such as font types, active content, and rotating banner capability,10,Students enjoy the constant feedback and visibility that canvas provides them Creating new courses is a fairly straight forward process that reduces the size of the learning curve. At times, Canvas has gone "down" placing a strain on faculty,BlackboardCanvas - what I've learned about it as a language teacher and graduate studentI have experience writing course materials in Canvas for Russian language classes. In particular I've been modifying some materials originally written in Blackboard to use in Canvas. I've also worked in Canvas as a student taking graduate courses online. The institution offering these courses (coincidentally) had also recently made a switch from Blackboard to Canvas.,I looks clean and modern. "Next" and "Previous" buttons allow for a linear and relatively smooth navigation between pages. The video and audio recording tools are easy and fairly intuitive for both teacher and student.,Canvas is very linear. When working through modules students will not be able to see the border between Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 unless you add numbers to the headings and (even better!) create a "Finished with Lesson 1 / Go on to Lesson 2" page. Also it is awkward to add in any "If you want to know more on this topic..." folders within Canvas. It'd be possible to add a link to an external resource (YouTube playlist, Padlet, Thinglink, GoogleDoc), but you wouldn't assemble those resources within a Canvas page. It's not intuitive for students to know where to start. You really need to create a straightforward Homepage in Canvas to give students a point of navigation beyond just clicking the Modules link in the Menu. You can't add Menu items, only control which of a number of set items students can see (as opposed to Blackboard where you can create any number of content folders, tool links, web links and keep them in a left hand menu). In Discussion boards the indent difference between an original post and a response to that post is basically negligible. When scanning a list of posts, it is hard to take in at a glance which were original posts and which were responses. It makes for a really crowded looking Discussion board.,5,Blackboard
Unspecified
Canvas
104 Ratings
Score 8.2 out of 101
TRScore

Canvas Reviews

Canvas
104 Ratings
Score 8.2 out of 101
Show Filters 
Hide Filters 
Filter 104 vetted Canvas reviews and ratings
Clear all filters
Overall Rating
Reviewer's Company Size
Last Updated
By Topic
Industry
Department
Experience
Job Type
Role
Reviews (1-25 of 42)
  Vendors can't alter or remove reviews. Here's why.
Linda Varvel profile photo
February 17, 2017

Review: "Canvas - A great efficiency tool for the course I teach!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The University of Iowa recently switched over to Canvas in order to manage our online resources for students in various courses. I have found Canvas to be MUCH more user-friendly and easy to use than our past web platform. My grading goes much faster, and I can easily update my course in ways I was not able to before. I attended to short training sessions on Canvas and immediately felt at ease with the program. I highly recommend it.
  • The "Speedgrader" option is amazing! I can easily grade student papers and the rubrics are built right into the system!
  • We do group assignments in my course and I can assign groups electronically and also assign peer evaluation for assignments electronically! It does it all for me and I love it.
  • The ability to require "links" for submission is helpful to me when we ask our students to update websites for the course I teach. They submit the link, and I can access their site easily to do my grading!
  • I enjoy the ability to view my site from the "Student View" so I know exactly what my students are seeing on Canvas!
  • It took me a long time to figure out how to set up my "dashboard." I felt like it should have been easier considering how easy the rest of the program is to navigate.
  • When you assign a peer evaluation to an assignment, the peer comments end up in the rubric and you have to erase them to write your own comments.
I know Canvas best from use with the class I teach. It works great as a way to submit assignments, share documents, send quizzes, and communicate with the students in my class. It also has the ability to do online discussion which has come in handy for some of my assignments or times when we've run out of time in class.
Read Linda Varvel's full review
Jerry Sifuentes profile photo
September 16, 2016

User Review: "My Canvas Experience"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our business is a 2 year college. At first, Canvas was intended for use mainly for online instruction. However, because of it's user friendly platform, after a bit of persuasion and faculty input, the academic division decided that all instruction would use Canvas, not only for online, but also for all face to face classes to provide instructional support-grades, testing-(e-tests cut down on the significant cost of paper printing), and for the use of other features, handouts, chat, etc. It is also used by Human Resource services to assess new employee skills and provide info to employees; Canvas is also used by Student Services-to promote clubs and other services, numerous administration and faculty committees use it to discuss, disseminate, and maintain data in one place 24/7; the library uses it to provide information about their services and to obtain feedback about their services-tours, and it is also use as a survey tool by several departments. Nevertheless, the bulk of its use is for instructional purposes.
  • Ease of use--it is very friendly and its access from different e-sources-iPad, phone, keeps students and instructors in touch with their course/s any day any time. My returning and new students are able to navigate the platform with ease without getting lost.
  • The simplicity of importing content and creating courses makes it ideal for faculty in support of their F2F and online courses.
  • Since I over saw the implementation and support side of Canvas, I can say that the technical support to resolve issues was excellent. You have an assigned tech and he/she is very resourceful and the communication is constant. I never had to follow up on issues; they would keep me informed on the developments when we submitted a ticket on a specific course issue that were promptly resolved. I can add that I felt as being part of the Canvas team; I could get on the phone, and there was a live person at the other end....here in Texas.
  • Another positive venue was our "migration" from Blackboard to Canvas. Because of Canvas' ease of use, we trained all of our online faculty during the months of June, July, and part of August to get them ready to migrate their courses to Canvas---all 140 plus online sections--more than 90 faculty--for the start of the fall semester. The migration was very favorable and all faculty commented positively to the migration of their course content-as one instructor noted in his training evaluation, "it was a piece of cake."
  • I would like to have a drop down menu in Quiz Moderator view so that when I am grading a student quiz, I am allowed to grant the student permission to retake a quiz/test-instead of getting out and having to go to another screen.
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.
Read Jerry Sifuentes's full review
Royce Kimmons profile photo
September 06, 2016

Review: "Canvas is a stream-lined, intuitive LMS that is setting the pace for others to follow"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Canvas to teach online and blended courses related to instructional design and educational technology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Our department uses Canvas along with a homegrown LMS called Learning Suite, but adoption is generally up to the lead instructor for each course. We use Canvas to organize course content, communicate with students, and grade assignments.
  • 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.
  • Customization: The instructor has some customization options within Canvas, but as with any standard LMS, power users will sometimes wonder why they cannot do things that seem simple.
  • Email: Depending on your preference this may be a pro or con, but Canvas tries to operate as its own email client. Though you can also receive notifications whenever students message you, having the separate inbox in Canvas can be confusing for students and instructors, and the conversation threads in a large course can become confusing very quickly.
  • Ugly HTML: This is only a critique that power users would have, but like many Web 2.0 systems that use a WYSIWYG interface for content entry, Canvas pages can often yield ugly HTML that does not comply with usability standards, especially if you work with others that are not mindful of these issues. As a result, I often have to edit HTML directly on content pages that have hundreds of unnecessary elements, that incorrectly use tags for layouts, or that do not provide appropriate "alt" or "title" attributes to visual content.
Canvas is a great all-around LMS, and it is easy to get up and running with if you have not used an LMS before or are redesigning a course. As with any LMS, however, converting courses between platforms can be a headache. So, if you have courses in Desire2Learn (D2L), Blackboard (BB), or some other LMS, be prepared to run into many problems if you try to use automated methods for converting the course over.
Read Royce Kimmons's full review
Sean Petty profile photo
September 23, 2016

"Canvas Review"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is currently being used across the Maricopa Community College District as the primary LMS for all 10 community Colleges. The LMS provides a technology based solution for faculty to deliver classes in several different modalities. Canvas is used both in online and in-person classes, and has been incorporated into nearly every subject.
  • Canvas does an excellent job of organizing lessons through the use of modules and HTML options
  • Canvas has a fairly straight-forward grade-book that makes grade management easier
  • Canvas does a great job integrating other apps and technologies such as MyITlab.
  • Canvas's Inbox and messaging system is easy to use and integrates with other messaging platforms
  • Speed up the time it takes to navigate between menu options.
  • Include more options for modifying test banks, such as listing all details of questions without the need to expand each question to see its answer contents
  • Include more options in the WYSIWYG such as font types, active content, and rotating banner capability
Canvas is well suited in both traditional and non-traditional teaching modalities.
Read Sean Petty's full review
Emily Saunders profile photo
September 16, 2016

Review: "Canvas - what I've learned about it as a language teacher and graduate student"

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I have experience writing course materials in Canvas for Russian language classes. In particular I've been modifying some materials originally written in Blackboard to use in Canvas.

I've also worked in Canvas as a student taking graduate courses online. The institution offering these courses (coincidentally) had also recently made a switch from Blackboard to Canvas.
  • I looks clean and modern.
  • "Next" and "Previous" buttons allow for a linear and relatively smooth navigation between pages.
  • The video and audio recording tools are easy and fairly intuitive for both teacher and student.
  • Canvas is very linear. When working through modules students will not be able to see the border between Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 unless you add numbers to the headings and (even better!) create a "Finished with Lesson 1 / Go on to Lesson 2" page. Also it is awkward to add in any "If you want to know more on this topic..." folders within Canvas. It'd be possible to add a link to an external resource (YouTube playlist, Padlet, Thinglink, GoogleDoc), but you wouldn't assemble those resources within a Canvas page.
  • It's not intuitive for students to know where to start. You really need to create a straightforward Homepage in Canvas to give students a point of navigation beyond just clicking the Modules link in the Menu.
  • You can't add Menu items, only control which of a number of set items students can see (as opposed to Blackboard where you can create any number of content folders, tool links, web links and keep them in a left hand menu).
  • In Discussion boards the indent difference between an original post and a response to that post is basically negligible. When scanning a list of posts, it is hard to take in at a glance which were original posts and which were responses. It makes for a really crowded looking Discussion board.
Canvas is great if you want to embed content from other sources (YouTube, Padlet, etc., display well). Canvas is great if you want students interacting with each other using audio and video. Canvas is good for date management. It's not as easy as as one might think to set up well for novice materials creators.
Read Emily Saunders's full review
Robert Gibson MS, MBA, EdD profile photo
July 15, 2016

"Gibson Canvas Review"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Used as the university's primary LMS.
  • Ease of use
  • Cloud hosting
  • Update strategy
  • Some areas of the product have poor UX. For example, integration with Turnitin and Kaltura.
  • Missing several core features.
  • Needs improved analytics.
[Canvas is well suited for] about any higher education or corporate eLearning environment. Some K12, although the cost may be prohibitive when Google Classroom is free.
Read Robert Gibson MS, MBA, EdD's full review
Donna Harrington profile photo
November 03, 2016

Canvas Review: "Getting Better Every Day"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is used for distance education and for electronic delivery of classroom materials for traditional face to face classes.
  • The user interface is clean
  • Course design elements make it easier to keep students on task
  • Communication tools are easy to use
  • The gradebook has some integration challenges with some textbook publisher tools
  • Canvas should collaborate with textbook publishers for more robust test banks
Canvas is great as a classroom supplement resource space but has a way to go with fully online spaces.
Read Donna Harrington's full review
Raphael Molina profile photo
September 16, 2016

Canvas Review: "Superior product, from the future; today!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas LMS is our main learning management system for our graduate degree programs. For continuing education, a separate University entity uses Moodle.

We use Canvas to serve over 4500 students and also to provide professional development to staff and faculty. It is also being used for projects management, communities, and committees' work.
  • Canvas is student-centered and very easy to use by teaching assistants, faculty, designers and administrators.
  • Students love Canvas, it is far superior to the previous learning management system we used.
  • We love the fact Instructure, Inc is receptive to feedback, suggestions and recommendations and as result we have an update every 21 days!
  • Navigation
  • Student-centric interface
  • We would like to see an auto-copy template feature, in order to import the course template we designed into all course sites/shells. At present time, there is no such tool.
Canvas is:
  • Easy to use
  • Well suited for large class size management
  • Video-friendly
Read Raphael Molina's full review
Francis Kohler profile photo
October 29, 2015

Review: "What Instructors and Students Can Learn Using Canvas"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is in use across the whole organization.
  • Syllabus makes it easy for an instructor to communicate with students on what will be required of them throughout the course providing a chronological order of assignments/events.
  • Discussion Board allows the instructor and students to interact asynchronously deploying text, images, audio, or video and attach files. They may be graded or non-graded.
  • Student Groups facilitate semester/term-long projects for students to communicate and iterate on documents, share media files, create discussions and collaborate synchronously.
  • Peer Reviews enable students to comment on work by their peers. A tool that allows communication between students. An instructor can require students to submit their assignment before reviewing their peers.
  • 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.
Canvas by Instructure is a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) with sufficient tools to facilitate higher education and K-12 multiple learning environments (i.e., face-to-face, blended, or online). The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), an advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, on September 28, 2010 awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to Instructure for its Canvas LMS. Another important aspect of the Canvas LMS is its ability to harness customer input, feedback, and collaboration for product improvement via its online community, Canvas Guides. The Canvas Guide is a resource for instructors, students, administrators, and those working within the Canvas LMS as observers. For example, it provides a path for new users in “Getting Started with Canvas.” Multiple hyperlinked areas exist from how to search the guides, view comment policies, the Guides’ FAQs, and download Adobe PDF manuals to use Canvas tools/features. An essential resource is the Video Guide. Video tutorial resources exist for how to use/install the Canvas App for Android Phone or Tablet and the iPhone or iPad. These provide mobile access for instructors to interact with their course(s). They can install the SpeedGrader App on their tablet to provide student assessment.
Read Francis Kohler's full review
Crista Calderon profile photo
September 25, 2015

Review: "Canvas - making life easier for instructors, students, and support staff"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is the Learning Management System in use across our entire campus. Our university transitioned to Canvas 3 years ago, after many years of using Blackboard. Initial use was primarily for online courses, but use has grown over the past couple of years as instructors have become more comfortable with the product and aware of its potential.
  • Canvas is very intuitive for students to use, and requires little to no orientation or support.
  • The online Help documentation is so robust and up-to-date that it reduces our workload enormously. We no longer have the need to spend hours developing support materials for instructors because Canvas does such a great job keeping theirs current. This is especially important with a product that changes so often.
  • The Canvas Speedgrader is a favorite tool of our instructors. The ability to view student submissions online and make both written and media comments makes their lives much easier.
  • Attendance is something that is missing from Canvas. There is a tool called "Roll Call" that is the current solution, but it is somewhat difficult to use and has reporting limitations. An easy-to-use attendance tool would be a big win.
  • Students can submit multiple versions of an assignment and instructors can comments on each submission. However, students cannot see prior submissions and comments online. They can only see the current submission, thus they lose that valuable trail of feedback.
  • Making large scale changes (such as date changes) in a course is cumbersome. Each item must be opened, edited, and saved. Having a single editable screen with dates would save instructors and course designers a lot of time at the start of each quarter.
Canvas is a fairly young product, so some features are not as fully developed as they might be. At the same time, they are constantly working to improve and enhance existing functionality as they add new features in. Users must be flexible in their expectations, and not get too hung up on small items. Also - I would always suggest users take full advantage of the Canvas Community, which provides a wealth of information and support not only from Canvas employees, but from the worldwide Canvas user community as well.
Read Crista Calderon's full review
Bryan Tanner profile photo
September 22, 2015

User Review: "Canvas is for Students"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I previously used Canvas to help me facilitate a BYU undergrad course designed to train pre-service, high school teachers how to effectively implement new technologies in their classrooms. I chose Canvas as a learning platform—over Blackboard and Learning Suite (BYU's proprietary LMS)—because I felt Canvas helped me and my students meet our course objectives better than the alternatives. I set up separate Canvas "courses" for each section I teach. I utilized many Canvas features:

  • broadcasted and email announcements
  • hosted multi-media content
  • facilitated outside-of-class discussions
  • allowed students to submit work
  • gave feedback on assignments
  • posted events on the calendar
  • kept an updated gradebook

While Canvas is a popular tool amongst many faculty and students in my Instructional Psychology and Technology Department, I feel like we are relatively "early adopters" of the product amongst other colleges and departments at our university.

Canvas was a better than Blackboard, for me, primarily because it's a free, open-source software. I prefer it to my school's private LMS because the user interface and some of the features are less intuitive and still a little buggy. Not to mention, Canvas's headquarters is 20 miles up the road from us. (Supporting a local, but booming, business.)
  • Instructure, the makers of Canvas, are brilliant folks with an excellent mission—to be better than Blackboard and to offer their LMS service for free. You gotta love that.
  • The rich, yet intuitive, features are exactly what I needed as a college-level educator.
  • Canvas is an open-source software. That means it's designed for modular flexibility. If you have a third-party app that you want to include yourself, there's a way to do that. If you are low-tech user, you can rely on their frequent updates to improve your experience.
  • The online help community is very active and very helpful. Anytime I have a question, I go to https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome and I can easily navigate to a thread with my specific problem for help. Response times are next to immediate.
  • I've met the makers of Canvas at Open Ed and AECT conferences. They are brilliant and cool dudes.
  • I had a hard time with the Calendar feature when I copied courses from previous semesters. I think they've improved the experience by now.
  • One of the cutting edge features that other services are coming out with, which I haven't seen yet from Instructure's Canvas, is a live collaboration space, where students and teachers can "create" together. (E.g., a whiteboard)
  • There were a small number of specific things that irked me when I was trying to push Canvas to its limits. I got on the message board and aired my frustrations and was immediately replied to. Either they put my idea on the "next version to-do list" or they said, "yeah, we're not going to do that [for these reasons]," which I was cool with.
I've only used Canvas for the specific purpose of creating a blended learning atmosphere for my undergraduate class. (And it's perfect for that.) I especially recommend it to small or private schools looking for a tool to help them organize their content, facilitate collaboration, and manage assessment.

When I think Canvas, I think student collaboration, not business collaboration. There are other, simpler tools to help businesses host and deliver content.

Read Bryan Tanner's full review
Jeanne Rewa profile photo
September 21, 2015

Canvas: "A beautiful, integrated LMS that saves us time and builds social connection!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas serves as the platform for asynchronous learning for the online graduate level certificate program our organization partners with two other organizations to create and implement. We have program participants from all over the US and a few other countries who use Canvas as their learning and communication hub for the program. They use a broad range of features in the software - discussion forums, assignments, editing wiki pages, embedding Google docs and other docs, sharing files, surveys, embedded media, and links to other applications like Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing. Our participants are also utilizing the mobile app version of the software.
  • Canvas makes it smooth and easy to edit assignments and discussions, streamlining the number of places you need to make changes, compared to other LMSes. Changing the due date and points in the assignment itself, for example, updates the calendar, the syllabus, and the learning modules list automatically.
  • The discussion forum is streamlined compared to other LMSs, so you don't have to click to multiple pages to view instructions or threads - it's all on one page. We also like that you can "like" posts on the discussion forum.
  • The overall navigation of Canvas is clean and intuitive, making it easy to learn and attractive-looking.
  • Canvas makes it easy for a course designer or instructor to embed relative links to other pages and parts of the course, and preserves these links when you copy or import the course into another course. This allows us to make the courses more user-friendly and makes course development MUCH faster than with other LMSes.
  • The Modules page is a great feature for viewing a course at a glance. It is very helpful to be able to view requirements and due dates and track your progress all on one page.
  • Canvas has a strong feature set for allowing communication between users, and in particular between students and instructors. The built in email tool, discussions on course announcements, and the ability for students and teachers to comment back and forth privately on assignments (including an easy to use audio recording tool) are appreciated features among our users, which will hopefully increase the social connection and student support in our online courses.
  • Canvas allows instructors and course editors to embed images directly through the WYSIWYG editor, but not students. Students in the course (if they don't know how to embed external images using code) have to attach images, which makes the discussions a little more clunky and less fun (having to open attached files instead of viewing inline).
  • The options for adaptive release and gamification in general, including achievement badges, are much more limited in Canvas than in Blackboard Learn. I would like to see more advanced options in this area in Canvas.
I would ask anyone considering Canvas about their budget (most likely limiting factor), the level of features they would be using, and intent to use gamification in courses. I am likely to recommend Canvas, with a few exceptions based on these criteria.
Read Jeanne Rewa's full review
Kevin Reeve profile photo
September 19, 2015

Review: "Instructure Canvas - 4 Years of Experience"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas was adopted by Utah State University in January, 2011 for use throughout the entire university system, as part of a state wide contract. All Utah System of Higher Education schools use Canvas. Utah State University uses it to offer fully online degree programs and classes, and is also used for blended courses and to supplement face to face courses.
  • Canvas is a SaaS cloud application. Instructure pushes new features and bug fixes every 3 weeks, which keeps it current, and evolving. These new features are released in such a way that they are not disruptive to instructors or students, and we can choose when we make those new features available to our customers.
  • The mobile app for grading assignments (Speed Grader) has reduced the time it takes for me to grade assignments by 30 - 50%. Allows instructors to grade while waiting for meetings, on the bus, and anytime they have a few minutes.
  • A WYSIWYG editor appears in about every tool. It has a file and tool manager that allows you to provide direct links to any connect you have in your course with a simple click. You can provide these in content pages, discussions, announcements, and other places. Makes referring students to content a breeze.
  • Students can create their own groups for course project purposes, and can play "what if" scenarios with their grades. For example, a student can see how a particular grade on a final exam will affect their final grade in the class.
  • Instructors and students can choose their own notification paths, and how often they receive them. For example if an instructor posts an announcement, students could choose to receive it via email, sms, or other method, and choose if they want them immediately or in a daily or weekly digest.
  • LTI integration is the best of any of the Higher Education LMS software packaged. It is easy for a campus admin, or even a instructor to add LTI tools to their course and choose them from a catalog of LTI tools. Everything from integrating full rich text books, open content, youtube, and social media integrators, and publisher content and tools.
  • Outcomes - needs to be easier to create, adopt, and assign outcomes.
  • Gradebook. It works, but some efficiencies could be added, and certain functions streamlined. I am told the grade book is getting a overhaul and will be released in 2016.
  • SIS grade push. - Needs some additional functionality to allow instructors to choose which students grades to push to the SIS.
After 4 years of using it and still checking in on the other LMS offerings, Canvas is still the most flexible and easiest to use LMS on the market. The high school and middle school where my children attend are now using Canvas. My kids like it because they can work on things at home and access materials they need to complete assignments. Canvas works well at our institution, and provides great functionality to support a wide range of courses. Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) provides the mechanism to easily integrate other systems and tools into it that extend the functionality and add components needed in specific disciplines.
Read Kevin Reeve's full review
Kris Bickell profile photo
September 18, 2015

User Review: "Canvas was the right choice for us!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is the Learning Management System at our university. All online courses are taught on Canvas, and campus courses can also utilize Canvas, as decided upon by the instructor.
  • Canvas is very user-friendly and well organized. It is easy for students to find their courses, and easy for faculty to put their course materials into Canvas. Most faculty & students learn how to use Canvas very quickly.
  • Canvas is very flexible, both on an admin and course level. It makes integration with third-party tools very simple, to allow faculty to utilize tools such as plagiarism detection, test monitoring, video editing, etc. Faculty can design their courses in several ways, to meet their teaching needs. Admins can set permissions for a variety of different types of users. All can be done quickly & easily.
  • Canvas support & documentation is excellent. The Canvas guides are always up to date, easy to follow, and contain visuals to help users understand the various features & components of Canvas. Their support staff are very knowledgeable, and help answer questions and resolve issues very quickly. Each support agent has access to our account, so they can provide support for very specific questions and issues.
  • Each institution has their own customer success manager. This is a huge benefit, to have someone at Canvas be an advocate when issues arise, to understand your needs, and to be a point of contact for serious matters.
  • Canvas is updated every 3 weeks, which is helpful for fixing bugs & issues. And even though they provide clear documentation well ahead of time, it still does make it hard to train faculty & students since some features change in the middle of a semester or course.
  • The Canvas roadmap needs to be more transparent. They are working on improving this, but it would be helpful to know which components they are working on and where they stand on the development timeline.
  • Since Canvas is so community oriented, it would be helpful to have representation on the direction of the software. There are forums to make feature requests and make comments about upcoming releases, but it would be great if some of us could work with Canvas to have these discussions before a change is planned.
Changing to a new LMS, especially after using one for years, is a challenging process. Canvas is very helping during the investigation process, and during the implementation process, to make the transition easier. I would encourage any institution that is considering Canvas to ask as many questions as possible during the selection process.
Read Kris Bickell's full review
David Buck profile photo
September 18, 2015

User Review: "What will you create on your Canvas?"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is our college's primary learning management system. It is used to deliver online and hybrid courses, as well as supplemental support for face-to-face courses. Every division at the college uses Canvas. It plays an integral part of instructors' pedagogical approaches, and it is an important catalyst for students' learning and engagement.
  • Student engagement -- Canvas allows students to interact with content, with professors, and with course content quite organically in the learning process. Students may choose to integrate Canvas with Web 2.0 tools, while determining the method and frequency of Canvas notifications.
  • Elegant User Interface -- Canvas mirrors many of the Web tools that our students currently use and with which they are already comfortable. The simple, clean UI prevents unnecessary clicks and confusion for students.
  • Display of content -- Canvas provides innovative ways for professors to display their course content and for students to navigate that content.
  • Assessment & Feedback -- Canvas supports interactive. immediate feedback to students, allowing them to track their learning progress. Professors can utilize a variety of feedback methods: digital annotations, video/audio comments, rubric assessment, and automatic quiz replies.
  • Glitches -- even after four years of using Canvas, I still experience glitches in the system. Most recently, the Media Comment tool was not fully reliable when I was recording feedback to students.
  • Missed opportunities -- there are some functions that are not fully realized in functionality. For example, an instructor can assign badges to students via the Attendance tool; however, the instructor is the only one who can view the badges tally! The effectiveness of badges hinges on students' intrinsic motivation -- how can they find motivation if they cannot see the badges that they've earned in a course?
  • Poor reporting / poor extraction of data -- the Attendance reports that are downloaded from the system are simply horrible to decipher and read. If an instructor must produce a conversation from the Inbox to an administrator/supervisor, there is no easy way to extract these messages from Canvas. The best one can do is take screen shots of the conversation!
  • Inbox -- the whole Conversations experiment that Canvas has been performing must end. The Inbox tool acts nothing like conventional email. Professors see the word "Inbox" and expect a traditional email tool. Instead, there is a "bait-and-switch" quality to Conversations. In my four years of training faculty to use Canvas, I regularly received complaints about the Inbox and the challenge of storing, sorting, and managing messages.
It seems as if Instructure has recently poured its efforts into developing the K-12 instance of Canvas at the expense of higher education users of the product. The product is an excellent learning tool; however, its recent updates seem directed more toward the K-12 market place. Also. the would-be selector of Canvas should ask about the company's plans to adapt Canvas in support of mastery-based and competency-based learning approaches. Since these are disruptive approaches in higher education, Canvas would do well to help professors implement them in their courses.
Read David Buck's full review
Jason C. Munn profile photo
September 18, 2015

User Review: "Canvas is great for us!!!"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Canvas for our college courses. Canvas is our online learning management system. We use it for content delivery in our physical classes, as well as assessment items (quizzes, exams, discussion boards, projects) and grades. It is extremely useful for helping instructors to maintain organized and effective content delivery and allow prompt and easy communication between students and instructors. Students are always aware of what is due and when those items are due. Students can also view their current grades in real time, so they should be aware of their current progress throughout their semester. Canvas allows for a lot of interaction online and is great for engaging students in and out of the classroom.
  • Grades are available in real time to the students and can be checked any time, if instructors are current in their grading.
  • Automated grading of quizzes and exams. This saves so much time for instructors like me.
  • Allows students to access course materials and course content 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. If a student misses class, he or she can still keep up by accessing and completing materials in Canvas.
  • We also use the Respondus Lockdown Browser, which allows particular Canvas quizzes & exams to be taken online through a special browser that locks the screen of the computer so other sites, programs, files, etc cannot be accessed during the test. This is a very proactive approach to prevent cheating.
  • The question banks and management of the question banks is a bit clunky. Questions get duplicated for reasons I cannot figure out. Also, duplicating quizzes is not possible to my knowledge.
  • Randomizing the order of questions on a quiz is not an option.
  • Having a quiz randomly pull from a test bank of questions is also not an option.
  • Being able to view all of the question details on each question when a quiz has more than 25 questions would be great.
  • Ending (terminating) a student's quiz attempt manually is not an option.
Canvas is a new LMS, so there are always new and innovative features being added. I expect it to continue to improve. We are just starting to experiment with HTML and CSS and the possibilities of coding in Canvas to enhance the courses for our students. Canvas also resembles the look and function of social media sites (such as Facebook) and I think that lends itself to some appeal among young adult students. The ability to create a profile & ePortfolio, to message instructors & students, to keep a calendar in Canvas, to connect their cell phones to Canvas notifications and use the Canvas app on their cell phones, all appeal greatly to younger, tech savvy adults, which is the majority of our student population.
Read Jason C. Munn's full review
Terry Steckowich profile photo
September 15, 2015

Review: "Canvas! Learning for the 21st century!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
At Montclair State University we replaced Blackboard with Canvas as our LMS of choice in the Fall of 2014. It is used to support our online classes, hybrid classes as well as normal in person classes. Many of our campus communities also used Canvas for their groups. Canvas is a great LMS compared to Blackboard which I personally despised for various reasons. The faculty and students seem to pick up on how to use Canvas fairly quickly and our implementation has gone much smoother than we had anticipated.
  • Canvas has a wonderful Files section where you can populate your course by creating folders, subfolders, and uploading all the files for your course into them and linking everything in Modules.
  • The Quiz and Assignment sections are very easy to use and when students upload papers via Word documents, the professor can actually mark them online and then return them to the student's via Canvas where the students via the markups and Canvas and the paper does not have to be printed and return.
  • Canvas also has a Conferencing system that uses BigBlueButton where classes can be held online and the professor and students can interact via video, audio, chat, and share PowerPoint projections as well as sharing what you are doing on your desktop!
  • Canvas updates fairly frequently. Most of the changes are in fact great improvements. However, some are released that there should have been more input from the community before they were implemented.
  • I would like to see more options in how to edit modules as they appear to the students. More color options instead of everything being black text in Modules for them.
  • More customization options for each univeristy's instance of Canvas.
Canvas works well in a university setting and I am aware that there are many grade schools as well that use Canvas. It is a very powerful yet very user friendly Learning Management System when I compare it another LMS like Blackboard. In my opinion it is definitely superior to Blackboard.
Read Terry Steckowich's full review
Bethany Cleveland, PhD profile photo
September 15, 2015

User Review: "Canvas from an ISDs perspective"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Auburn University uses the Canvas LMS campus wide. It is used for course administration as well as student/instructor communication and resource sharing. I have experience with other LMSs and I prefer using Canvas as opposed to other products. Students as well as faculty have embraced the system and use it routinely in their courses. I teach a distance course and our department has several programs that are delivered primarily via distance. The Canvas LMSs capabilities have proven very effective at managing the distance courses in a positive way for both the students and faculty.
  • Creating leaning modules - the features that Canvas offers allows users to create visually stimulating learning modules within the course itself. As an instructional designer, I appreciate that capability.
  • Embedding materials- YouTube videos, web pages and other web objects can be embedded easily by clicking on the HTML option in posts. This allows the user (designer) to add interactive features to the course as well as provide students with course/resource materials from external links within the course.
  • Communication (chat/email/discussion features), collaboration (GoogleDocs) and grading are features are intuitive and easy to use.
  • Group feature - Instructors can set up pages for groups to allow for enhanced collaboration for group projects. This allows students to have a private page within the main course. The group page has the same look and feel as the main course; including similar navigational tools. In this space, students can share resources by uploading files, communicating via private discussion boards/chats, and collaborate effectively as a group via distance.
  • I would like to be able to upload my Articulate Storyline learning modules/activities into Canvas instead of having to publish them to the web and then embed the link. I would prefer to upload the zip file and run from within the course itself. I have the ability to do this in Blackboard, but as of yet, I'm having issues doing this with Canvas. I do not have issues with Adobe Captivate.
I would highly recommend purchasing Canvas. I prefer the overall navigation features and the look and feel of Canvas compared to other LMSs. I currently teach and design courses using both Blackboard and Canvas and prefer Canvas. As an ISD I use Articulate Storyline to incorporate interactive learning activities/tutorials so I have found that uploading to Blackboard is easier; however, I also publish these to the web, so with Canvas I just embed them into a page and add it to a learning module or Homepage. Overall, this really isn't an issue, it's just realizing that you have to work around it and learn how to embed using the HTML code feature in posts/pages in Canvas. Again, l personally prefer working with Canvas.
Read Bethany Cleveland, PhD's full review
Krista  M. LeBrun, Ph.D. profile photo
September 15, 2015

Review: "Been There, Done That--Canvas Gave Me The T-Shirt"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is being utilized as a our learning management system for the entire institution. All instructors have access to a Canvas course shell each term and utilize it to provide course content, maintain grade records, and as synchronous/asynchronous meeting space. Canvas allows us to provide quality, accessible education regardless of location. The ease of use and seamless integration with other vendors has allowed us to take our course offerings to another level. As a previous Blackboard user, our institution was familiar with utilizing an LMS for course content. There are many portions of Canvas that we prefer but it appears that publishers are still lacking when it comes to synching publisher content with Canvas.
  • Canvas puts the user first. Having been developed by college students, Canvas was originally developed with only the student in mind. When the instructor posts an announcement or assignments, students can access it through a variety of portals including inbox, email, Twitter, Facebook, and the Canvas calendar. Canvas has recently identified that instructors sometimes need to limit what students have access to so new features have been implemented such as locking modules and building but not publishing content in the course.
  • Organization. Courses can be easily organized under modules. Additionally, there is the Canvas calendar, to-do list, and the fact that when an instructor creates an assignment it auto publishes to the syllabus page, Calendar, to-do list, and sends messages to the student if their notifications are turned on.
  • Canvas listens. They have a feature request forum which allows users to request certain features and functions. Once the feature requests receives enough votes, Canvas adds it to their roadmap.
  • Room for growth. Canvas is constantly seeking to improve and listens to the consumer. They allow the user complete customization through CSS codes and constantly seek feedback from users for improvement.
  • Canvas is there to Help. Canvas has a Help button feature within the LMS that allows you to submit tickets, speak to a representation over the phone, speak to a representative via chat, or search the guides for self-help. There is even a Canvas Community to build a network of support from Canvas employees or other Canvas users.
  • Canvas does not let you upload Word documents to upload test questions. This was a feature available in other LMS.
  • Publisher content does not upload seamlessly like it did with other LMS systems. Course cartridges were a valuable resource from publishers but with Canvas, you end up hyperlinking all content to the publisher site which requires you to go out to the publisher website.
  • Canvas seems to put too much stock in the student experience and sometimes forgets that it is the teachers who need certain functionalities to exist to better perform their jobs.
  • Inactive users is a huge issue. Currently, you can only have an active student or a deleted student. So if a student gets withdrawn, they are completely removed from the course.
Canvas is well suited for any course that is offered on our campus. Originally it was adopted for only our online courses but we have since expanded it for use in any courses we offer. We have not found an instance in which it is not appropriate. Instructors who heavily use publisher content run into issues since Canvas does not streamline as well publisher content and requires us to hyperlink to their websites.
Read Krista M. LeBrun, Ph.D.'s full review
Travis N. Thurston, MET profile photo
September 25, 2015

Review: "Canvas LMS offers flexible and customizable course design options"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Canvas as our global LMS solution. Specifically for online courses, but our face to face and broadcast courses use Canvas as a content repository.
  • Organizing Content in Modules
  • SpeedGrader feature for grading and student feedback
  • Allows for course level and global customization
  • The Gradebook needs improvement
  • Ability to edit css for mobile
  • Quiz feature needs to have more options for question types, alternative questions, and extra credit questions
Don't adopt Canvas LMS with the intention to use it like other LMS's. Really look at the functionality, and the features to see how you can alter the way you're delivering content.
Read Travis N. Thurston, MET's full review
Neil Gomes profile photo
September 24, 2015

User Review: "Canvasing for Canvas?!?"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is in use across the whole organization. It serves as our academic LMS. We moved from Blackboard Learn to Canvas. I was one of the early proponents of Canvas. I was the only instructor to use it in the pre-pilot and then one of few that used it in the formal pilot. I contributed to the decision to go with Canvas over Blackboard. I also wrote a technology grant to fund its implementation and developed training that helped with the successful transition.
  • Outcomes in Canvas are fantastic, especially when enabled by rubrics for grading.
  • Video integration using Kaltura was great for submitting quick video feedback on assignments.
  • The no-folder approach is great in Canvas. Everything is visible at the first and second level to students and instructors.
  • The visibility of points, due dates etc. in the module view was just fantastic.
  • Canvas did not support SCORM. This was a major drawback for some. We solved the problem by hosting our tutorials elsewhere, but it was a painful workaround.
  • The Blackboard course porting was not smooth. We took this as a positive though and an opportunity to redesign our courses from the ground up.
  • Canvas was not very responsive to customer feedback and new feature or error correction requests. They were very focused on their goals, but the sequencing of these did not always match with client priorities.
Canvas is great as an academic LMS. It was not suitable for corporate learning as it could not issue certs, etc. It was also not as well supported by the open source community as MOODLE. Additionally, the open source version was treated a little like a stepchild. However, Canvas shone in the hosted model.
Read Neil Gomes's full review
Ryan Seilhamer profile photo
September 23, 2015

User Review: "Canvas is Awesome!"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is being used university-wide. The system is our official online learning platform for branding web courses.
  • Canvas integrates very well with third party tools and vendors.
  • Canvas is cloud-based which allows for updates every 3 weeks without any downtime.
  • The content creation tools for users are very easy to use. Most users can create content just like if they were writing an email.
  • The system has innovative tools, such as SpeedGrader, which allows grading in a breeze.
  • Being cloud-based, there are times that an issue with the cloud will bring down most or all of the system for all clients.
  • The company is still young and trying to figure out the best way to communicate with clients, while still having a personal small company feel.
Canvas is well suited for medium to large clients looking for a robust LMS that requires minimal training and a quick deployment.
Read Ryan Seilhamer's full review
Itewari Ekpebu Bryan profile photo
September 23, 2015

Review: "Canvas! Because it is the best out there!"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is an easy to use, user friendly Learning Management System (LMS) that lends itself to a variety of course types. While the vast majority of courses I design are online and hybrid, I have found countless opportunities to use Canvas as both course structure and resource, for face to face courses.
The Learning Management System comes with a variety of tools that promote online learning, collaboration and interaction. It is also very easy to design learning opportunities for different types of learners in Canvas. Just to name a few useful tools that Canvas offers: Speed Grader, Peer Reviews, Integrated Rubrics, Discussion Boards, Groups etc.
  • Speedgrader. The opportunity for Instructors to grade several assignments at a go!
  • Peer Review.
  • Groups: Instructors can create groups - mini integrated courses within courses.
  • It would be great to be able to "collect" discussion threads.
  • A major part that is missing is a "Blog" tool. Yes there are LTI's that can be integrated but that gets tricky.
Canvas, in my opinion, is one of the best LMS's out there. Its functionality and accessibility alone makes it an excellent choice.
Read Itewari Ekpebu Bryan's full review
Moss Pike profile photo
September 23, 2015

Review: "Successfully Navigating the Digital Space with the Canvas LMS"

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently in our fourth year of using the Canvas LMS across our entire school (a 7-12 grade independent day school), in which over 200 faculty serve almost 1600 students. Our faculty uses Canvas as our digital "Hub" to store resources, collect student work, create digital discussions, and more. Now that our school has a 1:1 laptop program for all students, Canvas has helped us to consolidate the large variety of digital resources students use. It has made it much easier for our students to access their work, whether on campus or not, while also enabling them to easily share their work with teachers and other students. Given the ease of using Canvas and its flexible architecture, we have begun to use Canvas for other school purposes, including hosting club web pages and faculty professional development materials. Generally, we have been very pleased with the versatility of the Canvas LMS and the support of Instructure.
  • One of Canvas' strengths is its "Discussions" feature, which is the most robust of all the LMS tools I've seen. Students can easily share ideas in discussions created either by them or by teachers, with options to reply in threads, include rich text, and attachments. The system allows for thorough conversations to take place entirely within the digital space of the LMS.
  • Multiple types of assignments can easily be submitted through the Canvas LMS, including voice and/or video responses using the media recorder tool that are of great use for language study.
  • The "Speed Grader" allows teachers to quickly sort through submitted work, while grading and adding feedback that students can see immediately. It's one of our faculty's favorite features of the Canvas LMS.
  • Canvas offers a wide selection of LTI plugins that can be used to customize a school's instance of the LMS. For example, Quizlet flashcards can be directly embedded in Canvas pages and reviewed by students.
  • Canvas offers a great mobile app giving our students easy access to the site.
  • Canvas offers "peer review" within discussion, where students are assigned other student work to evaluate. While the idea is fantastic, the system of assignment and notification needs some work before it's as useful as other features of the system.
  • It can be difficult to work with subsets of students, as one may do when teaching multiple sections of a class.
  • The Canvas gradebook is evolving quickly and has become quite useful. But it needs a few more tweaks before it is ready to replace other traditional gradebooks.
Canvas is a fantastic LMS and, in my opinion, is the most robust of all the big LMS tools. But because of its wide offering of features, it needs a devoted site administrator, especially for a big school, and sufficient and ongoing training needs to be offered to faculty. If these conditions can be met, Canvas would be an excellent choice, and Instructure will certainly offer all necessary support. Alternatively, schools can elect to use the free or open-source version of Canvas, provided they can administer the system themselves.
Read Moss Pike's full review
Annette Torrey profile photo
September 23, 2015

Canvas Review: "The LMS for Student-centered learning"

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Canvas as the Learning Management System for our university. It is used to deliver online and hybrid courses, and to support classroom teachers who are using various pedagogies, including flipping the classroom. We are also piloting the integrated Outcomes tools to gather assessment data on our core curriculum for accreditation purposes. We are investigating the use of Outcomes and ePortfolio tools to address accreditation requirements for specific programs, as well.
  • Canvas is very user friendly. The tools are simple to use, yet powerful and robust. There is not a large learning curve, even for users with little technical skilsl. Thirty percent of our students don't feel they need any support or training to use the system. Our faculty adoption rate in the first year was twice that of our previous system and continues to grow.
  • Canvas support is great. They are responsive to their user community. They also are honest, transparent, and communicate well with their clients. They provide clear user guides and videos that are kept updated so that we don't have to create them. We can send links to the particular guides to our users to solutions to their problems or to provide just-in-time learning. Even as they have grown rapidly, they have kept the very open, supportive culture that I find so refreshing.
  • Canvas includes many of the tools that were add-ons for our previous system with additional costs, such as video capture and streaming, outcomes tracking, and eportfolios. The variety of tools and ease of use is allowing our faculty to explore innovative pedagogies in a way in which they are comfortable. We no longer need to have a large group of faculty do a major pilot because of the expense of getting a particular system. We also don't have to support multiple systems that don't always work well together. No more concerns about whether an upgrade to one system would create problems with another system.
  • Canvas is constantly improving and adding new features, usually based on requests from the user community. It can be a challenge to keep up with the new features every 3 weeks, but the incremental change is less disruptive to our faculty and students than a major upgrade every 1-2 years. Bug fixes are much faster in this way as well. I have seen major improvements in how the system works and meets its users' needs since our initial pilot in 2011. I like being able to contribute my voice and our user case scenarios to feature requests in an open forum and know that I am helping to shape the system that we use.
  • Canvas is easy to administer even if you don't have a large support staff. You do not need database programmers or people to write scripts for everything. If you have people with those skills you can certainly leverage the system to do wonderful things, but it is not necessary. A small school, with a small staff can manage the system and get very positive learning results.
  • Canvas still needs to work on their reporting features. This is something that they are actively addressing and have a new system coming soon that I hope will close the gaps between what is currently available and what we need.
  • The ePortfolio tool is clunky and not as useful for program level evaluation as other systems. It is designed for student personal portfolios, or perhaps for a course portfolio. It requires work arounds to create an evaluation tool that can be used to track a student in a program over a period of time.
Canvas is well suited for Higher Ed or K-12 education. If you are looking for a business based learning management system that tracks individual learners and what training they have done and whether or not you are in compliance, you can check out their corporate system (which I have not seen, but I recommend the company).
Read Annette Torrey's full review

About Canvas

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.
Categories:  Learning Management

Canvas Competitors

Canvas Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No