Canvas Reviews

143 Ratings
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Nicolas Hanhan profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Canvas is used to offer online and hybrid courses for students. It is used across the whole organization.
  • Creating different course sections with effective course design.
  • Creating assessments and learning measures tools.
  • Work on third-party application integration especially browsers compatibility.
  • Make more cost affordable for schools and Universities especially for those interested to switch from higher-cost LMS
Canvas essential tool to create courses for both instructor-led and self-paced. In the self-paced model, students complete the required reading and media materials available from within Canvas. After completing the required assessments with a passing grade, a certificate is automatically created.
Read Nicolas Hanhan's full review
Joshua Welsh profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is the default LMS we use at CWU (our university).
  • Canvas is extremely flexible. I think that is both its greatest strength and perhaps a bit of a weakness.
  • Canvas is getting better at allowing instructors to duplicate individual assignments. That's a big improvement.
  • Canvas integrates well with Crocodoc for online paper commenting and grading.
  • Canvas has great import functions.
  • It would be great if we could deal with multiple assignments at a time.
  • Better visibility of how students see a course would also be helpful.
  • Searching for rubrics is really bad. The rubrics from the current course should default to the top. As it now works, the user has to search through every course ever taught to find a rubric.
Canvas is great for creating online classes. We also use it for two other purposes: communicating with program advisees, and internal department communication. For communicating with students, the program is very helpful, but it would be nice if the list of users could integrate more easily with PeopleSoft.
Read Joshua Welsh's full review
Chris Wilkey profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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I am using it as a learning management system to teach four courses at Ball State University. All professors will be required to use Canvas starting in the fall semester, but I adopted it early to test and create my courses for the last two semesters. I am also taking a class where we are using it as our learning environment.
  • User experience
  • Organization and ability to create a course
  • I love the modules function
  • It's compatibility with Banner
  • The speed grader could be improved
  • Extra credit assignment feature would be nice
It is well suited for online-only classes and as a supplement to on-campus courses. It would not be appropriate for a class that is very hands-on and doesn't have a need for online resources or discussions. Distance education would be the key market, but it does a nice job overall for teaching.
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Nicholas Judd profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is used by the majority of faculty at the University of Florida. It is a great way to keep in touch with students outside of the classroom as well as an effective method of posting grades. If you decide to use Canvas for your class you can be as involved with it as you choose to be. There are tools which allow you to have message boards/group chats, you can post assignments, rubrics, videos, etc. Being a university professor in today's day and age you must have some sort of online platform for your class. Canvas fulfills all your possible needs said platform and more.
I have seen other instructors post take-home exams on Canvas as well which gives you the option to have automatic grading (one less thing to worry about as an instructor) for exams.
  • User-friendly. It is very straightforward to use.
  • There are lots of functions at your disposal.
  • The layout is aesthetically pleasing.
  • There are really any technical issues.
  • Providing walkthroughs on how to carry out certain tasks could be helpful.
  • Allowing instructors to use the 'what if scenario' for grades to gauge students' outcomes.
  • Making profile pictures bigger so they are easier to see.
Canvas is appropriate for any professor looking to keep a grade book online for their class. Whether you teach Math or Astronomy, Canvas can be a tool to keep your class organized. Canvas can also be used for any type of class size. A smaller class obviously would allow you to be more involved with the site, however, there is no reason you could not use Canvas in a class of 100 or more.
Read Nicholas Judd's full review
Mark Labbett profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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TCS Education System is a non-profit organization that uses Canvas for all of its five affiliates. We have an Instructional Design team under the Academic Affairs Department that designs all of the courses. The majority of courses are totally online, however, we do have many blended and on-ground courses that also use Canvas. Canvas solved a problem we had with our previous LMS, which was costing us a lot of money as well as not providing the flexibility and up-to-date design technology that we wanted for our students. We have been very happy with the quality of the product as well as the professionalism and helpfulness of the Canvas staff.
  • Canvas does a great job of integrating many third-party vendors. We use vendors such as Flipgrid, Padlet, and Storyline to help enhance our student experience in the online classroom.
  • Canvas is very user (designer) friendly. It uses a simple Rich Text Editor that is easy to create text, insert pictures and video and enhance the text. With that comes an HTML Editor which is very useful if you have knowledge of HTML. This provides the designer with the flexibility to design more than just plain text on a page.
  • For the student, Canvas is also very easy to use and organized well. The Modules listing provides students with an "outline: of the course and helps keep them working in a linear fashion (if that is what you want). There are also direct links to assignments and discussions so students can see all of the specific assignments at once. The grade book is also very easy for students to read and interpret.
  • Even though Canvas works great with third-party vendors by integrating them right into Canvas, there is room for improvement on this subject. There are still glitches with certain programs as well as programs that simply do not work well with Canvas.
  • The Rich Text Editor is a good selling point for Canvas, however, it could use an upgrade There are features that could be implemented that are not there and it can make designing a dynamic page difficult.
Canvas is an LMS that is wonderful for schools that want a good online program. Canvas organizes the classroom for the instructor and makes it easy for the student to follow. It provides discussions and assignments that are essential in creating an effective online course with student interaction.
Read Mark Labbett's full review
Jason Hill profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is used by our entire institution as the means for delivering course content, assessing student work, calculating grades, and providing actionable feedback to our learning community.
  • Canvas integrates with 3rd party vendors extremely well. We have multiple vendors and publishers connected to our instance of Canvas. These integrations allow our instructors to use additional tools such as McGraw-Hill Connect, Kaltura, Box, Office 365, Google Drive, and many more to deliver course materials and pass grades back to the Canvas grade book.
  • Canvas has a cascading approach to its organizational design. We can manage roles, permissions, LTIs, etc. at the root account level or within any sub-account. Each sub-account inherits its parents’ attributes. Managing all these items is made incredibly easy by leveraging SIS Imports of .csv files.
  • Instructure keeps its Canvas documentation up-to-date on the Canvas Community. Canvas Community users share knowledge, offer help, and provide valuable insight into best practices and approaches for everything from administering Canvas to course design.
  • Canvas has extremely reliable ‘up time.’ Because Canvas is SaaS-based and hosted in the AWS environment, we have experienced very little down time. In the very rare instances we have had outages, we’re usually back up and running extremely quickly.
  • I would like to see Instructure continue to focus on improving the user interface and functionality for the Canvas roles and permissions. In the summer of 2018, they made vast improvements to this area of Canvas, but they still have a little work to do. I’d like to be able to manage ‘sub permissions’ within the top-level permissions for each role. I’d also like to run a report/export of the roles and permissions, make edits in a .csv editor, and then upload the updated roles/permissions via the SIS Import tool. This would alleviate the time-consuming process of managing roles permissions by hand.
  • I’d like to see more LTI integrations that are set up like the Box integration. The Box LTI integration is accessible via the user’s profile page and allows the user to access content in Box via a native Box window that is embedded in the page. Most LTIs are only accessible via an actual course. Instructure has the potential to turn the user profile page into a hub that allows the user to jump in and out of multiple apps, whose provisioning and authentication is handled by Canvas
  • Instructure needs to create a permission that manages the access to a course’s start and dates. At our institution, we have to programmatically hide the start/end dates for courses from instructors, so they don’t open courses early or leave them open after the semester has officially ended. Canvas customers should be able to treat the opening/closing of a course (not the publishing) as an administrative task only.
  • Canvas admins should also be able to restrict who can control the course visibility and course format functions in the course settings. At our institution, we have committees and processes in place to determine these attributes. Allowing faculty to edit these options creates confusion for students and administrators.
Canvas is a Learning Management System that can be used by a small organization offering just a couple of classes locally or a gigantic organization offering thousands of courses to hundreds of thousands of students worldwide. The scalability of a Canvas instance is very powerful. Canvas is NOT a collaboration tool like Slack. We have had users want to create ‘courses’ for the sole purpose of collaborating and project management. There are other apps/services that are much better suited for these activities.
Read Jason Hill's full review
Stefanie Cash profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is a great learning management system that allows for training and teaching to take place anywhere in the world because it utilizes web apps. Our marketing department uses Canvas to help train our sales staff on new products, features, and other items we need the team to be aware of. Since most of our staff is remote, Canvas offers multiple options to ensure that our staff is up to date on learning.
  • Announcements
  • Communication options within the app
  • Building of modules
  • Random glitches can occur
  • Navigation can be tricky
  • Being able to go back to previous versions
If you're looking for an easy to manipulate platform for training and teaching staff members, Canvas is one of the best tools out there. Great for remote staff and can easily be used in-house as well, as Canvas stores documentation in easy to navigate modules. While in some instances, finding certain functions can be difficult, if you empower your team to simply "click around" then they will have no issues working in the platform and learning the necessary material.
Read Stefanie Cash's full review
Christopher Sweets profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We use Canvas to host programs for the majority of our 18 partners. Canvas is our first choice of LMS for all partners we support, and we strongly discourage the use of any other LMS. Students find Canvas simpler to use than any other LMS, and it presents fewer barriers to learning than their competitors.
  • Easy to use interface for students and faculty. No need to switch to "Edit Mode" or any other different views to make changes.
  • Well defined APIs make administration easy.
  • Intuitive design lets students start on course materials right away, without having to take time to learn the system.
  • Instructure can be slow to address admin-only issues or change requests due to the community voting on issues.
  • Submitted assignments or assessment attempts cannot be removed at all, so if a student makes an erroneous submission it will always be visible.
  • All or Nothing question types do not have a choice for all or nothing points grading.
  • Exam settings are not available/appropriate for high-stakes testing.
Canvas is the best LMS on the market, hands down. If you need only very simple corporate type training, then Bridge, also by Instructure may be more appropriate.
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Sarah Ciras Rousseau profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Our high school is using Canvas with junior and senior classes to help ease the transition from high school to college. I have been using it since we piloted it, and find it very intuitive and also very customizable. It is a great product to share resources and lesson plans with students while still allowing for individualization.
  • Provides a customizable platform where the user can determine the experience for others.
  • Allows for integration with many useful services, such as Drive.
  • Is fairly user-friendly and you can use only the features you desire.
  • The integration with Drive and Gmail could be more intuitive. Originally I found a workaround for this. I am now able to link shared pages, etc, but it still could be more native.
  • The interface can seem cluttered at times, so a way to be able to remove or hide features you don't tend to use would be helpful.
  • A way to archive courses in a more accessible way would be helpful.
Canvas is great for sharing information in a class setting. I could also see it being used well in a study group, or in a small organization that works with a fair amount of data. It would work well for a flipped classroom or an online course. I could see it being difficult to use in a business setting where a lot of back and forth communication is needed.
Read Sarah Ciras Rousseau's full review
Marina Taylor profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is being used at the university where I attended. It is used by the university as a Learning Management System for online learning at college. Canvas provides an easy platform as another avenue for teaching and learning where teachers set up their course and students easily navigate through the class. Canvas allows easy communication between the professor and students individually and as a group. Students can submit their work and received feedback from their instructor with ease.
  • Canvas is easy to navigate for both the instructor and student.
  • Skeptics of online learning claim that it limits the ability of students to communicate with their professor or the social interactions with fellow students. My experience was the opposite. I felt closer to my professors and colleagues because of the diverse ways Canvas allows for communication. There is email, chat options, and ways to set up groups to work together. Professors can add video lectures if needed. I loved the experience.
  • Canvas provides various ways for professors to create and set up their courses. Instructors can offer video, links to specific readings (documents), set up groups to work and perform together, and more.
  • Canvas allows the business, instructors, and students to design the way it looks.
  • Instructors need to take the time to learn all that Canvas allows them to do. If not, the course could be quite dull.
Canvas works best with self-motivated students because of the online learning platform. I am unfamiliar with the cost of Canvas so that would be a factor for schools to consider. Canvas is not appropriate for those who experience technology phobias; however, most will find it user-friendly and easy to navigate through their courses.

If a university or school needs to serve widespread students in different locations, Canvas would provide a great platform. I assume the school would save money with this approach and would be able to communicate well with their students all over the world.
Read Marina Taylor's full review
Rita Wheeler profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is the LMS for all of Moberly Area Community College. We are an educational institution, so it provides the service of delivering online, hybrid, and even on the ground course material.
  • Speedgrader helps instructors cut down on grading time.
  • Provides communication between students and instructors or administrators
  • The multitude of media and apps that can be used in Canvas creates an enhanced learning environment for students. We use Turnitin, publisher platforms like Connect and MyLabs, and many other tools that easily integrate and can be accessed from Canvas.
  • The new quizzing ( interface needs some work. We need to be able to electronically proctor these quizzes with Lockdown Browser and we cannot do that right now since the quizzes are delivered through the assignments area.
We use Canvas for online course delivery as well as for the professional development of faculty and staff. The only area where I can see that it isn't well suited is for staff that do not use online interfaces (maintenance, custodial etc.)
Read Rita Wheeler's full review
Kyle Moninger profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is being used across the entire university as its official Learning Management System. It is an incredible tool that allows instructors to organize their course content in any format they want, but still, have consistency across all disciplines. Students are familiar with the interface and need not learn a new interface for each course. In short, Canvas in the foundation for building well-organized and streamlined courses for both student and instructor.
  • Its ability to copy course content into a new shell saves hours of time!
  • Its ease of use and streamlined interface makes it very intuitive.
  • Its ability to add a grading rubric saves hours at the end of the semester by automatically assigning letter grades to students.
  • It's mobile app needs improvement as it often misses notifications and assignments
  • It's messaging system is clunky
  • It's quiz/test interface could offer more advanced settings. It's too basic
Canvas is well suited in an education setting where there are a lot of students and courses. It allows the organization to organize its content into a uniform format that helps both students and instructors.

It is less suitable if there are fewer courses and fewer instructors. The need for uniformity may be less in this situation and the instructors can organize their content without the cost of the system.
Read Kyle Moninger's full review
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Score 9 out of 10
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Spending a lot of time utilizing an LMS system myself within my current school district and having to be knowledgeable on most LMS systems, I had to evaluate how Canvas stacked up against other popular systems such as Schoology and Google Classroom. I use Canvas outside of my school organization. As with most learning management systems, the goal is to help provide a platform for blended learning, where students are able to manage their digital selves, track homework assignment, interact with the teacher and students, and submit work digitally. For teachers, this helps solve problems with missing work that needs to be turned in physically, or during the creation phase as teachers struggle to integrate technology into the classroom and design more digitally engaging lessons and activities for students.
  • LTI integration. This is particularly useful for teachers creating digital lessons and activities so that can embed other digital tools within their canvas materials.
  • Collaborative in nature. Easy to navigate and engage in discussion with students and teachers.
  • The Calendar view. Teachers are use to utilizing agendas and Google Calendar for daily routine like a planner. This give you an overview of your course highlighting various assignments, quizzes, tests, etc.
  • An easier way to manage and/or organize materials and be able to share them with others.
  • A way to track what learning objectives are being met.
  • Integrated badging system to create and award badges for gamification elements.
Terrific for teachers to create a hub for their classrooms and schools who want to make managing the 1:1 classroom easier and more efficient. An LMS provides a plethora of options when it comes to true differentiation and personalized learning. So having a system like Canvas can afford teachers and students more ability to work at their own pace and master concepts via completions settings, to truly hone in on what students know and do not know. Giving those who work slower more time and those who work faster the ability to move on.
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Score 8 out of 10
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Many departments across our university are using Canvas. Canvas is used by our faculty to communicate and interface with students i.e inputting student grades. Students interface with Canvas to find information about their classes and courses.
  • Grade reporting: easy for students to find their grades once posted.
  • Analytics on student interaction: now we can view the analytics around how students are interacting with the application and find ways to better serve our students
  • Custom notification for course updates: now we are able to create custom notifications for our students when an update is made to a course.
  • Mobile app: the mobile app has been a revelation. Now, students can access their course material from anywhere they are.
  • Native integration with third-party applications i.e: Zendesk, Salesforce
  • Sometimes you have to click through many features before you get to what you are really looking for
  • There is no simple way to add one-sentence reading assignments to a calendar
It has an intuitive, easy-to-use format design that is clean and simple. It makes grading and viewing grades easy. Our faculty has enjoyed using it so far. Canvas is well suited for faculty who want an easy way to communicate with students regarding course information and grades.
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January 17, 2019

The greatness of Canvas!

Score 10 out of 10
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Our entire district uses Canvas. Our teachers use it as a Learning Management System with their students, our curriculum and district handbook are housed in Canvas, and we use Canvas for Professional Learning. It allows 24-hour access to all resources and learning for both students and staff.
  • User friendly design.
  • Great support through assigned CSM, 24-hour help, and the community.
  • Tons of pre-made materials in Commons that you can pull into your own courses to use.
  • When you first log in, it can be overwhelming to see nothing in your course.
  • When you first start using Canvas, it can be daunting to begin designing and building your course since it is blank when you first start one.
Canvas is great as a learning management system for learners, it is also great for professional learning opportunities for adult learners. It allows for interactive opportunities between facilitators and learners, as well as a place to keep resources and learning materials. It can also be used to house information such as curriculum and handbooks for districts.
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Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is used across the entire school. We use it to manage classes as well as various non-educational purposes like training our paperwork repositories. Canvas helps mitigate issues with online/distance learning as well as our on-ground classes, providing opportunities for instructors and students to work collaboratively on educational processes and goals.
  • Housing online courses.
  • Providing analytical data of course usage.
  • Organization of course materials.
  • Availability of communication with users.
  • Data can be difficult to manage - need knowledge of API calls and databases.
  • Extra products can drastically increase the price.
  • Development of background structure needs to be done correctly the first time.
I have not found a situation where I could not use Canvas. It has been helpful in managing classes, teaching classes, and as a repository for paperwork submissions of employees and training. It has even been used as a model professional development course that was gamified. The possibilities are limitless with this product.
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January 09, 2019

Canvas for K-12

Score 10 out of 10
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LEISD uses Canvas for a myriad of reasons. Teachers use Canvas in their classroom for blended instruction, campus leaders use Canvas to provide information to staff members, district-wide professional learning is also offered via Canvas. Canvas is versatile enough that it has been used to house curriculum, host book studies, and serve as a traditional learning management platform.
  • Customer Service--Canvas has great customer service. I have reached out via phone, email, and their help desk and received prompt reliable service each time.
  • Training--Canvas and the Canvas Community has a plethora of training materials available for use. These range from documents and"click-sheets" to video tutorials.
  • Innovation--Canvas is not content to sit still. New products and enhancements are added.
  • One of the big things I would love to see would be a way for students to annotate PDFs or other documents within the Canvas web platform. The app has an option like this, but currently, there is nothing of equal use in the web version.
  • It would also be great if students could highlight questions in the quiz portion of Canvas.
Canvas is very well suited to meet the needs of K-12 districts, especially in those that are 1:1 or BYOD. Its usage can be modified for K-12 districts that are not technology-rich, as well. Canvas lends itself well to a blended learning environment, a flipped learning environment, or a fully online learning program.
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January 09, 2019

Ins and Outs of Canvas

Score 9 out of 10
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We use canvas for both our students and faculty. We use it to supplement our course instruction so that there is an online learning component with our students and so they have access to course materials from anywhere. We also use canvas to provide required professional development courses for our faculty so they are able to complete them at their convenience and not be taken out of their classrooms.
  • The landing page is very easy to understand and navigate to find courses.
  • As an instructor, it is easy to setup my classes to include only the sections I need for my students.
  • I would like to be able to add more creativity to my class page since I work with middle school students. I would like to be able to make it more inviting to keep them engaged.
  • It can be difficult to navigate between pages when you go into a small group section. There are times when you simply have to go completely out of the class and start over.
  • We have had difficulty accessing and printing student quizzes after they complete them to be able to include them in portfolios.
Canvas is a great addition to our school. It has provided us with the opportunity to be able to reach students who are missing school for activities for illness, as well as provide extra content to those students who want to go above and beyond. Our students appreciate having access to course materials whenever they need it.
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December 07, 2018

Canvas for Customers

Score 10 out of 10
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Canvas is being used by our organization as a learning management system (LMS) provider. Faculty and students access the content through a link and through a web browser. Our company transitioned from Cengage/Evolve to the Canvas Learning Management System and the other three big learning management systems. Although we train faculty to use our content on Blackboard, Moodle, and Brightspace provided by D2L, Canvas is the LMS that we purchased to launch our content. The business problem it addresses is having a place to store our curriculum and content.
  • Easy to use and navigate.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • SCORM compliant.
  • No web design knowledge needed.
  • Importing images and videos needs to be more user-friendly.
  • Rubrics integration and design needs to be more user-friendly.
  • iPad/iPhone app is not always easy to navigate.
Canvas is well suited for non-technical persons. It works just like a Microsoft Word document, what you see is what you get. It is less appropriate for those that just don't like technology or have a fear of online navigation and learning.
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Score 10 out of 10
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The paper forms used by technicians were constantly lost or incomplete, and we used Canvas to create our own electronic forms that everyone could simply access on their smartphones. As we became more proficient, we made use of extra features to verify work location addresses by GPS, scan barcodes to save time and prevent typos, add prefix data from other databases.
  • Simple to learn
  • Simple to deploy
  • Simple to make changes
  • Continue improving the admin portal interface
  • Prevent lost entries sitting on devices
Best for users with a dedicated smartphone and wifi access. Not convenient for high speed data entry.
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Linda Varvel profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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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.
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Jerry Sifuentes profile photo
September 16, 2016

My Canvas Experience

Score 10 out of 10
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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 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.
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Royce Kimmons profile photo
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.
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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.
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Emily Saunders profile photo
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.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Course authoring (20)
Course catalog or library (19)
Player/Portal (17)
Learning content (17)
Mobile friendly (19)
Progress tracking & certifications (18)
Assignments (20)
Compliance management (16)
Learning administration (18)
Learning reporting & analytics (18)
Social learning (16)

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.

Canvas Competitors

Canvas Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No