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 has had an incredibly positive impact on our ROI. Our institution was among the very first customers of Instructure. We were able to get in on the ground-level at incredible pricing, which allowed us to budget appropriately as Instructure grew and gained valuable market share.
We have had the opportunity to provide feedback to Instructure for their product roadmap, feature set, and rollout of other products. This type of vendor/customer relationship (Instructure’s willingness to listen to and consider all ideas) is valuable to our organization as it gives us a voice, and in many instances, has allowed us to be more efficient in our business processes in administering Canvas
We haven’t looked back. I know of an organization that is FINALLY moving to Canvas after they snubbed Instructure back when Canvas was very first created. This organization jumped from one LMS to another (including attempting to build its own), until it finally sucked up its pride and purchased Canvas. So much time, money, and energy was wasted by this organization over the years. We have not had ANY of these problems or ANY regrets with our purchase and implementation of Canvas. By not having to investigate other LMS options, issue RFPs, or go through the tedious selection process, we have saved an incredible amount of time, money, and energy.
Canvas was the very first cloud-based Learning Management System. This was one of the key factors in our selection of Canvas. Canvas’s open platform and out-of-the-box ability to integrate with 3rd party vendors was also critical to its success on our campus.
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.