Canvas Reviews

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Score 8.9 out of 100

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Reviews (51-75 of 81)

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January 20, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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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January 16, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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 08, 2018
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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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September 25, 2015
Travis N. Thurston, MET | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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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
September 24, 2015
Neil Gomes | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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
September 23, 2015
Ryan Seilhamer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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
September 23, 2015
Itewari Ekpebu Bryan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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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
September 23, 2015
Moss Pike | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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
September 23, 2015
Annette Torrey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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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
September 21, 2015
Samuel Small | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
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Canvas is used by Centralia College as the learning management system for our students and faculty in several ways. We have taken advantage of the quick and easy nature to create courses to support students in both their academic course management as well as clubs, events, seminars, and other student activities. In my job, I have taken advantage of the robust and reliable Canvas API to create some great applications for the institution using the data provided from Canvas. Using Canvas helps get the information to the students quickly and reliably. This means success for our students.
  • The Canvas API is easy to understand and use for custom application needs at your business/institution.
  • Students appreciate the ease of communicating with instructors and support staff using Canvas.
  • Faculty find it is quite easy to do quizzes, tests, and organize their course materials and lectures.
  • The Canvas mobile experience on Android is not as good as on Apple.
  • Those people who use SMS messages in Canvas get a minimum of 2 texts per announcement - then they have to login. It is a bit cumbersome.
  • Canvas needs a better forum/collaborative environment for the administrators and developers to go to talk about the product and get questions answered.
Canvas is the best LMS available today on the market. I would ensure that your institution has a department devoted to supporting this application. Many faculty who do not use an LMS appreciate guidance when setting up courses and putting their content for students to use. I would also ensure that you understand the difference in environments from cloud hosts to on premises, and if hosted yourself - ensure you have a server/application team who understands Ruby.
Read Samuel Small's full review
September 18, 2015
Ryan Ulrich | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
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I used Canvas when I worked at FGCU. Canvas replaced an LMS that we had that was currently outdated (ANGEL). Canvas is being used all across Florida Gulf Coast University by teachers, students, e-learning support team, and more. Canvas allowed for a seamless connection between teachers and students to have work done on time and help students have a better understanding of what is expected from them.
  • Design - The design of canvas is very user friendly on both a user's perspective as well as on the back end.
  • Functionality - Canvas works great for sending notifications. You get to choose what medium you like most and you receive notifications through that medium. I love that feature about Canvas.
  • Communication - Sending messages and comments on threads is incredibly easy. All the canvas system takes is a tiny tiny bit of technical know how.
  • Setup - The setup process at our university took incredibly long and we had a lot of people working on it. This is probably the thing that I disliked most about Canvas as we worked hours to get it synchronized with our system.
  • Customization - I think that there could be more color customization or user profile settings for how they'd like to view canvas.
  • Canvas Support - during the early stages of canvas in 2013, the support team was lacking in availability. I am sure things have changed by now though with how popular it's become.
If someone is looking for an LMS that is intuitive, simple, and easy to use then Canvas is right for them. It was an immense improvement from the university's current system (ANGEL). I think that Canvas works best within education. I have not seen it used outside of that setting so I cannot recommend in other scenarios.
Read Ryan Ulrich's full review
September 18, 2015
Laura Talon | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Ex'pression College uses Canvas to give our students online access to syllabi, assignments, grades, and other course information. It is used for every course we offer. It allows faculty to communicate important course information, class time changes, and answer student questions remotely, reducing the need for mass emails & restricted on-site office hours.
  • Canvas is intuitive and relatively easy to use with minimal training. I had almost no training and was able to learn to create course shells and update user information very quickly.
  • The interface is clean, friendly, and easy to navigate. The colors, font, and layout used make it easy to look at for long periods of time.
  • The Canvas guides are pretty thorough for most questions.
  • It would be nice if the search options were a bit more flexible. For example, if I search for EENG121, but a previous Online Course Coordinator set the course code for EENG 121, it won't show up. I'd like search suggestions that are close to what I type to show up if what I search for isn't exact.
  • While the Canvas guides are incredibly useful, there are some simple things I can't seem to find in them. Recently, I've searched for information on how to restrict or remove a user's access (specifically a former instructor), which version of Canvas I'm using, how to find which modules we're using, and how to find grades that may have accidentally been deleted by an instructor.
  • I create all of the course shells for our faculty. Every time I create a new course for the upcoming term, it adds me as the teacher and sends me an email. I'd love it if there was an option to add (or not add!) the course shell creator to the course so I didn't have to delete myself every time I create a course.
  • It would be helpful if there was a way to remove people from a course in bulk rather than removing them one at a time. One method might be to have a checkbox option so the user could delete all checked members of a course.
For our purposes, Canvas is wonderful. It's simple, pleasant to use and look at, and I'm able to quickly create course shells and add students. As well as working at a college, I usually take one software development course per semester at a local community college. Compared to the LMS that I use for the community college, Canvas is much simpler to navigate.
Read Laura Talon's full review
September 18, 2015
Brian Ditmer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
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Canvas is used to provide a learning management system for a community college district consisting of multiple campuses over a large geographical area. In addition, Canvas is being used with a state-wide licensing with more than 90% of learning institutions using it in the state of Washington. It's use provides a consistent and reliable interface for students.
  • The interface allows for an easy set of of learning modules with lectures, photos, videos and assessments.
  • The product update process is user-driven with a great deal of interaction with Canvas developers.
  • Since it is cloud-based, updates are rolled out without down-time.
  • There are many "apps" or externally developed utilities that integrate into Canvas.
  • On the back-end, Canvas provides a great deal of customization, branding and user options.
  • There is a great set of tutorials for users, user groups where knowledge is shared and technical support is drearily available.
  • Parts of the customization require knowledge of CSS, and other programming. Providing a user-friendly administration panel would be a plus.
  • If not done correctly, course content copying can get messy. I standardized check for file duplication would be great.
Canvas is well suited where you have people who are, at least, somewhat familiar with CSS and scripting. Cost is lower than other LMSs. It is adaptable to many scenarios.
Support is very good. Users also support one another and Canvas participates in these forums so often, and answers can be found without having to enter a support ticket. The beta environment allows users to "break" things and the developers work with users there to ensure that when an update is rolled out, everything will work.
Read Brian Ditmer's full review
September 18, 2015
Virginia Jones, Ph.D. | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is not implemented across my entire organization but is currently being reviewed for a system wide alternative. At my previous institution I oversaw the review time for changing LMS providers and became deeply involved with Canvas and the Canvas community. Several of the faculty there still use Canvas as their LMS of choice due to its ease of use for both professors and students.
  • Absolute best alternatives for student notifications - allows students to receive content when and how they desire.
  • Ease of use for professors - allows quick drag and drop for uploading.
  • User interface is almost foolproof - easy access and easy to read.
  • None

What experience is presented for the student?

Does it have a vehicle for data analytics?

Does it work on multiple platforms?

Is it customizable?

Mobile friendly?

Read Virginia Jones, Ph.D.'s full review
September 15, 2015
Roxanne Adelstein | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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The entire company is using Canvas. We use it for our online and on-ground courses. It is now mandatory for all faculty to utilize it to the best of their ability.
  • Technical Assistance is very helpful.
  • Canvas is more user-friendly than some of the other LMS's.
  • Generating reports is easier.
  • Enrolling students & faculty is integrated with our contact database.
  • Creating the gradebook through the assignments nav button is a little confusing for faculty.
  • Course filtering would be easier if all schools weren't on the list.
  • Having to open an entire term for one course can be very different for faculty & students as they get confused to which course(s) they are enrolled in.
If using Canvas as an LMS for an institution, I would ask about the features and grade book.
Read Roxanne Adelstein's full review
September 15, 2015
Paul Zurek | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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Verified User
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I currently use Canvas for all of my high school classes. Canvas serves as a one stop shop for everything related to my course. All students take tests, turn in assignments, get feedback, work on group projects, access course resources, and participate in live online conference sessions. It also serves as a classroom webpage where I can make announcements and keep an updated home page.
  • Classroom Management
  • Grading assignments and providing feedback
  • Quiz creation
  • Differentiation of assignments between students in the same section class.
  • The ability to organize questions across multiple question banks.
  • The peer review process is very clunky and hard for the students to use.
Well suited
  • Looking for organization of all classroom materials and assignments
  • Students have access to computers in class
  • Instructor has a good understanding of technology and can learn quick
  • Want to invest time into developing strong question banks for assessments and quizzes
Less Appropriate
  • Students don't have access to computers in class
  • Instructor limited on technology skills
  • Classes based around paper and pencil and find it hard to use technology to complete assignments/homework
Read Paul Zurek's full review
January 16, 2019
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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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.
Read this authenticated review
February 24, 2015
Michael Smith | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Canvas will be launched by my institution as its online-wide Learning Management System (LMS) in the Spring 2015 quarter. We are in the process of transitioning from another LMS to Canvas because of its dynamic, student-friendly features. In fact, I work as an online instructor at several institutions, and have undergone this same process at another school. Canvas is certainly worth the switch because it solves many problems. In particular, it makes the online learning process easier for students to navigate because it looks and feels familiar to them. The LMS brings a social media-like feel to online learning, encouraging interaction, while maintaining a robust dashboard filled with learning tools, ensuring that students are receiving the required course content. Students and instructors also have a mobile app available to them and this app has most of the same features included.
  • Without question, the major strength of Canvas lies in its utilization of technology. As an instructor, and even as a student, there is not much one cannot do in this LMS. With integration of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Khan Academy, the possibilities are endless for creative course design. In addition to the mobile application, students and faculty can also associate a mobile phone number and receive SMS alerts. These alerts can be managed according to personal preferences.
  • Canvas navigates extremely well for both students and instructors. The dashboard makes it easy for students to access weekly modules and participate in discussion forums. In fact, the discussions are very modern, allowing for better peer-to-peer interaction and instructor feedback. Student and faculty profiles also make the online environment feel more interactive, allowing users to upload pictures of themselves, link their social media sites, and include personal information.
  • Grading has always been a challenge in other systems, but the SpeedGrader feature in Canvas eliminates any frustration, confusion, and difficulty an instructor might have regarding student grading. For written assignments, documents such as Microsoft Word files appear on the left and the instructor's grading dashboard is on the right. An instructor has the option of adding in-text comments within the documents as well as separately. As an English instructor, this is an amazing time-saver that you really have to see to believe!
  • For those who may not be technically savvy, particularly with social media and other high-tech Learning Management Systems, Canvas may take some getting used to. Luckily, my institution developed a wonderful training program for faculty. In addition, there are many video tutorials available on the Internet for free!
  • There are no "e-mails" in Canvas and that often throws some people for a loop at first. There are, however, "conversations," and this method further reinforces the pro-interaction approach to student learning. Instead of sending an e-mail to the instructor, a student simply starts a conversation with the instructor and he or she responds. An alert does show up in the instructor's "Inbox," so there are not many differences beyond naming conventions.
  • I have only used the mobile app on my iPhone and while most features are available, there are some limitations. You will be pleasantly surprised with the app compared to other systems with app technology, but do expect that not all options to be available in the Canvas mobile app. As an instructor, for instance, I can view and respond to student messages. However, I can only view student discussions and assignments; I cannot grade those items at this time. I do expect those functions to become available at some point!
Canvas is extremely well-suited for career college online divisions that want a more student-centered approach and a boost in their retention. During my time as an instructor using this LMS, I have been able to incorporate more video and audio presentations, manage my time more efficiently because of the SpeedGrader feature, and interact more smoothly and effectively with my students. As a result, I have seen much higher retention rates and my students are much better engaged.
Read Michael Smith's full review
February 25, 2015
Melissa Metzger | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas was selected as a replacement LMS for our university-wide distance and hybrid delivery. It is used throughout our campuses and serves some 50,000 students, faculty, and staff. We chose Canvas after vetting many other available systems, narrowing the field to 3 contenders, each of whom presented for an evaluation committee. We were seeking a system that could dynamically support our needs, with more frequent updates and more robust web 2.0-like features. Canvas provided all of the above.
  • Web 2.0 integration: Easily integrate tools, apps, and dynamic content into modules. The depth and breadth of apps available for use is outstanding (whether K12 or Higher Ed) and ever-increasing.
  • Streamlined Layout: As someone trained in Instructional Design, I appreciate Canvas' streamlined layout. There are still options for customizing the look/feel of a course, but Canvas makes putting together a clean, concise, and user-centric design easy for users to accomplish.
  • Responsive Product Releases: Canvas is listening to their users! Really! On the Canvas Instructure website, users can "vote" for the features they'd most like to see in the next platform update. The more people that "me too" a particular feature, the higher it ranks on the list and the sooner users see changes. As a user, I always feel like I'm able to contribute to improving the product, which is not typical in the industry.
  • Search Feature: My biggest request is for Canvas to implement a search feature where users could search for key words across all areas of a course (discussions, documents, instructions, etc).
  • Master Pages: The ability to create "master pages" that can be reused for courses is sorely needed.
  • Videos: Although the videos generally play fine in Canvas, there is enough of an issue with some file types not playing ALL the time that it has become an issue I cannot ignore.
My experience is in higher ed and Canvas had suited our needs 99%. Part of this is due to the rollout of updates. Interestingly enough, the current rollout of Canvas is essentially the same across the board. That is to say, that the version live and online is the same version every Canvas user is also utilizing. This is very different with other LMS' where institutions are often "locked" into the version they purchased, and must purchase "updates" if new, desirable features are released. Canvas allows everyone to experience "new features" without additional cost. This is also excellent for collaboration and troubleshooting, because you are assured that anyone using Canvas has the same version that you do. The only (small) exception to this rule: if an institution "turns off" features - this is a possibility.

So if you are choosing an LMS, make certain to inquire about the frequency (and cost) of updates, bug fixes, and new features. In Canvas, they are included.
Read Melissa Metzger's full review
February 20, 2015
Kate Hill | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas is being used as our Learning Management System to house all of our courses, both online and traditional. It is used by all faculty, staff, adjuncts, and students. The decision was made to switch to the Canvas LMS after using a self-hosted version of Moodle for over 5 years. It became necessary to improve our LMS in order to offer fully online programs, and maintain the standards of education that CCU is known for.
  • Intuitive. The Canvas platform is the most intuitive and user-friendly LMS out there. I work with a number of those who are are not tech savvy, but Canvas has been easy to implement, and I've received extremely positive feedback from instructors.
  • Students are thrilled with this LMS, because of the differentiated learning offered by Canvas. Moodle was a difficult platform in terms of implementing learning, and addressing different learning styles. Students are so excited!
  • Administration is awesome. I am able to manage the LMS primarily. We paid for the 24/7 helpdesk with Tier 1 support, and we have an average solve time of less than 2 minutes with a 96% satisfaction rate. Enough said.
  • Canvas is a new(er) product. There are some features that are not fully developed and missing. However, updates are made without taking the product offline, and we receive product updates weekly.
I think Canvas is appropriate for any type of university (large or small), as well as K-12 institutions.
Read Kate Hill's full review
February 19, 2014
Danielle Stern | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I have piloted Canvas for four different Communication courses at my university as we consider switching from Blackboard. Last semester, 13 other faculty also participated in the pilot. We overwhelmingly enjoyed the Canvas experience compared to Blackboard. However we did have some problems with the user interface that we continue to address.
  • Incredibly intuitive user interface
  • Multiple access points to access assignments
  • The speed grader is the best I've seen
  • The mobile app is also amazing
  • Canvas is very student-centered. While this is good in many ways, it can be limiting to faculty's approach to crafting modules and other online learning components.
It is especially useful for writing courses because of the easy-to-use speed grader option of commenting on and augmenting student papers. Creation of assignments, rubrics, and quizzes is easy, as is the student access and use of these items.
Read Danielle Stern's full review
September 23, 2016
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Canvas was used to create a blended learning environment. We also used it to submit all homework and take quizzes.
  • Quizzes
  • Discussions
  • iPad support
  • Instructor apps
Great for homework submission and discussion outside the classroom.
Less appropriate when class is in session (i.e. class discussions should not be in Canvas during class time)
Read this authenticated review

Feature Scorecard Summary

Course authoring (39)
8.9
Course catalog or library (36)
8.3
Player/Portal (31)
9.0
Learning content (33)
8.9
Mobile friendly (38)
8.3
Progress tracking & certifications (35)
9.1
Assignments (39)
9.4
Compliance management (32)
8.9
Learning administration (35)
9.1
Learning reporting & analytics (36)
8.8
Social learning (32)
8.4

What is 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 Video

What is Canvas?

Canvas Competitors

Canvas Pricing

  • Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
  • Has featureFree or Freemium Version Available?Yes
  • Does not have featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?No
  • Entry-level set up fee?No

Must contact vendor for pricing information.

Canvas Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 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.

What is Canvas's best feature?

Reviewers rate Assignments highest, with a score of 9.4.

Who uses Canvas?

The most common users of Canvas are from Mid-size Companies and the Higher Education industry.