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Score 8.3 out of 10
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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.
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Recent Reviews

Helpful Platform for Students

9 out of 10
January 07, 2022
Canvas has been integrated into one of my businesses as a virtual and in-person learning tool to help students (and professors!) study …
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Great LMS

10 out of 10
November 05, 2021
We used it as a Learning Management System--I posted assignments and grades on Canvas, and students could use it to check their daily …
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Popular Features

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  • Assignments (41)
  • Course authoring (41)
  • Course catalog or library (38)
  • Mobile friendly (40)

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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.

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  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

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What is ProProfs LMS Software?

ProProfs LMS is a learning management system software that is designed to help instructors create and deliver online training courses. The LMS offers both businesses and educational institutions comprehensive training solutions by allowing them to create online courses, complemented by tests,…

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Learning Management

Features of LMS and LCMS systems, related to designing, administering, and consuming learning content in an educational, corporate, or on-the-job context.

7.7Avg 8.1
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Product Details

What is Canvas?

Canvas by Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system for every stage and style of education. Available to institutions of all sizes and types, from individual K-12 classrooms to universities to companies with a blended or fully virtual environment.

As the hub of the digital learning environment, Canvas offers complete LMS functionality, including standards-based grade books, course content authoring, customizable student assessments, mobile communication, video learning, and digital badging.

Canvas LMS integrates with an institution's existing SIS and other teaching tools. With over two hundred different LTI tools educators can customize courses and monitor engagement with classes or individual students. Canvas also has mobile apps to keep everyone informed and connected, on the go, on any device.

Canvas Features

Learning Management Features

  • Supported: Course authoring
  • Supported: Course catalog or library
  • Supported: Player/Portal
  • Supported: Learning content
  • Supported: Mobile friendly
  • Supported: Progress tracking & certifications
  • Supported: Assignments
  • Supported: Compliance management
  • Supported: Learning administration
  • Supported: Learning reporting & analytics
  • Supported: eLearning
  • Supported: Assessments
  • Supported: Live online learning
  • Supported: In-person learning
  • Supported: Micro-learning
  • Supported: Video learning
  • Supported: eCommerce
  • Supported: SCORM-compliant
  • Supported: Social learning
  • Supported: Gamification
  • Supported: GDPR Compliant Learning
  • Supported: Single Sign On (SSO) Enabled Learning

Canvas Video

What is Canvas?

Canvas Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationApple iOS, Android, Mobile Web
Supported CountriesGlobal

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Blackboard Learn by Anthology, Infor Learning Management, and Edmodo are common alternatives for Canvas.

Reviewers rate Assignments highest, with a score of 8.8.

The most common users of Canvas are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees).
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Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
Kevin Reeve | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
  • LMS adoption has grown among instructors and departments.
  • More degree programs are offered fully online reaching more students.
  • SaaS/Cloud has reduced the amount of staff that are needed as we do not host the system.
  • Migration to any new LMS takes time and your innovation and creativity take a hit during the migration process. Canvas has provided us more opportunities for innovation and creativity through LTI than any other system we have used in the past.
  • Large enrollment courses are now being offered fully online adding additional options to students.
We have used WebCT CE, and Blackboard Vista & Learn. We evaluated Blackboard, D2L, Canvas, Sakai, Moodle.

Faculty, Staff, Students, Instructional Designers
Canvas is SaaS in the cloud.

  • IT Technical Staff - needed only for SIS integration and single sign-on solutions integration at start.
  • Instructional Designers - Support faculty in course development. We have 8.
  • Canvas Administrator - Supports the GUI interface of Canvas. We have 1.
  • LTI Tools Developer - Create new plugins for Canvas. Not required. We have 1.
There is no set number of instructional designers required to support Canvas, or other LMS tools. You need at least one person who is experienced with supporting faculty/instructors with educational technology. We have over 350 fully online courses and have faculty located throughout the state so we have chosen to assemble a team of instructional designers to support our faculty and degree programs. Not having adequate staff puts an extra burden on faculty/instructors.
  • Designing, building, and delivering fully online degree programs and courses.
  • Supporting face-2-face courses with online materials, discussions, quizzes, videos, etc.
  • Professional Development of staff, and training of professional in non-academic courses.
  • Creating our own extensions/features to enhance our programs (LTI).
  • LTI allows us to develop innovative tools that enhance the product, and to adopt other tools that make delivery of specific online programs possible
  • Create courses customized to individual students needs. - Learning Pathways.
  • Instructure has created a version of Canvas for employee training and professional development.
  • Adaptive Learning, Personalized Learning, and Competency Based Education.
The other LMS tools have fallen behind. One reason is they are not able to update their systems, features, toolsets in a timely manner. While other LMS providers release bug fixes and new features several times a year, schools struggle to install and implement them in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for a school to take 6 months to a year to fully install and implement new releases on other LMS platforms. With Canvas, those features are released every 3 weeks, and there is nothing for a school to do other than choose to turn them on once released. This has allowed Instructure to innovate faster, and get new features and tools to customers quicker.

Other factors include great pricing, customer support, and the innovative way in which LTI is implemented in the tool.
We replaced Blackboard Vista. It was EOL by Blackboard, so we had to find a replacement. Blackboard Learn was a possible pathway until Blackboard decided to make it a migration from Vista to Blackboard Learn instead of an upgrade.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
At our purchase time (4.5 years ago), Canvas was unknown and not feature rich, however they had implemented features in their earliest versions that we had been begging the other LMS providers to implement. We felt that the developers who had recently been students using an LMS, had focused on key areas that the other LMS vendors had ignored or failed to understand.
Keep it simple. Look at your needs, what the challenges are, and your current level of support staffing. Use your rubric to identify gaps, but use your gut instinct on the best solution for your campus.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Change management was minimal
With the adoption of any LMS, the workflow changes. That requires rethinking the course development process, and also allows you to rebuild courses from the ground up to make them better. Going from a locally hosted server stack to SaaS in the cloud required change in technical staff assignments, and new workflows for support.
  • FInding alternative ways to implement something that was well done in the other LMS, or a tool that a faculty loved and had used a specific way, and it did not work the same in the new tool.
  • The Sheer number of courses to move from one system to another was a big task. We took one year for the migration to accommodate two semesters plus summer courses.
Once you purchase and sign the contract there is nothing to install or hardware to buy. You can almost immediately start using it and have courses up and going within weeks. We signed in December and had pilot courses online ready to go for the start of school in January.
Faculty can call 24/7 and get support with building a course.
Canvas admin can call 24/7 when there is a problem.
I teach with Canvas and on weekends and even holidays I have called the 24/7 support line to get help on something. It has been great.
I have reported several bugs in the first year we were using the tool and my course was one of the first to use it. They have a feedback mechanism built into the tool. I have seen bugs reported one week, and they are fixed and released within 3 weeks into production. Others may take some time to fix, test. In one case a couple of years ago, Instructure pushed a release on Sat. By Sat evening several reports from faculty about a bug were reported by multiple institutions, but Monday noon, the bug was fixed and pushed into production. There have been times when bugs seem to linger much longer than you would expect for a company who is able to push out things every three weeks to production. Perhaps that alone adds to the number of bugs.
I was one of the very first persons to test out a new feature and use it in my class. It worked well, but there was one aspect of it that would prevent me from using it because of the content I teach and need to grade. I told them the feature was great, but I could not use it for some of my assignments. The very next release contained a feature enhancement that was specific to what I needed to do. A small subset of faculty in their customer base who teach this content would need it. They implemented it. That is support!
  • Grading - using the speed grader mobile app works very well for my course. Love it
  • Linking to content from a discussion, content page, etc is easy to do.
  • Adopting an LTI tool as a faculty is easy. In most cases it does not need to involve a admin.
  • Developing Outcomes are cumbersome. Too many clicks.
  • The gradebook took me some time to get used to how it works and how to understand the true grade of a student.
The web version adapts to tablets really well. You can use it on a smartphone too. They have a mobile version targeted to students that is really good. Faculty can use it too for some things. Faculty have their own app for grading that is excellent. Easier to grade and use rubrics than the web version.
There are a few tools that need an overhaul, and are a bit cumbersome to use, or lack some of the features that faculty want.
For example the current web grading tool, although better than others I have seen, could have fewer clicks. There are some inconsistencies in interface in a couple of areas. I hear that a complete overhaul of the gradebook i, and grading s underway and will be released in 2016.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
  • It has made our classes here at Montclair State University more efficient in all forms: online, hybrid, and in person classrooms.
  • The use of the Conferencing system in Canvas is great for long distance learning and those snow days where students are not able to make it to campus or the University is closed and the professor chooses to hold class "online".
  • Being able to submit assignments or take quizzes or exams online and grade them and return them to students via Canvas has been wonderful!
We previously used Blackboard. Blackboard had slow down issues and seemed.. primitive compared to Canvas. Canvas is continuously updated and every institution is on the same version of Canvas whereas with Blackboard, you would have to upgrade to the latest version manually. With Blackboard a college or university down the road could be on a different version of Blackboard and that has or does not have the current features your university has. As I've stated previously, I'm so happy we switched from Blackboard to Canvas.
  • Implemented in-house
We had early adopters in the Spring/Summer before we rolled it out campus wide in the Fall of 2014 and only had Canvas as our LMS at that point.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled
The hardest part for us was moving over previous courses and communities into Canvas from Blackboard. Not everything moved over perfectly or was organized the same way it was in Blackboard. This was basically because people had done things so differently from course to course in Blackboard and sometimes not in the best way as they should have where the imports were a bit messy and we had to clean them up a bit for the users.
  • Course imports.
  • Broken links in imports
Plan ahead and test how things import from a different LMS into Canvas. If you're starting fresh, then it is fairly easy.
  • Creating quizzes and assignments in Canvas is so easy to do!
  • Creating modules and populating it with all your assignments, quizzes, and documents is easily done and you can put everything in there that your students will need to access for the semester without having to go to multiple places in Canvas to access them.
  • The files section! It's like having your own desktop in Canvas on how to organize files to populate your modules with or to allow the students to access!
  • To be honest, there are very few that are difficult or cumbersome. The only thing that may be a little tricky is setting up Rubrics, but once you get the hang of that, it is easy as well.
You can access Canvas via a mobile webpage or a mobile app available for both iOS and Android. Both work very well.
Having used Blackboard for a year I must say Canvas is MUCH easier for both students and faculty to use. The interface is clean and everything is pretty straight forward.
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