Canvas! Learning for the 21st century!
September 15, 2015

Canvas! Learning for the 21st century!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Canvas

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.
  • 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.
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.

Canvas Implementation

Plan ahead and test how things import from a different LMS into Canvas. If you're starting fresh, then it is fairly easy.
Yes - 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

Using Canvas

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.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • 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.
Yes - You can access Canvas via a mobile webpage or a mobile app available for both iOS and Android. Both work very well.