Canvas Software


 

Offered by Instructure, Canvas is a solution suitable for many types of educators, from K-12 to higher education. The system is a native cloud system capable of scaling from classrooms to large Universities with expansive online learning programs.

Canvas is a learning platform, offering core LMS functionality including gradebook, testing, course authoring and integration with other teaching tools.

The Canvas App Center offers mobile-ready teaching tools that can often be installed with a single click. Over two hundred different LTI tools allow teachers to customize their courses and engage students. Since Canvas offers native apps for iOS and Android it can be accessed from the vast majority of mobile devices.  

Canvas is typically recommended to campuses with more than two hundred students. It is available for a free two-week trial, so that users can experience the interface and features for themselves before making any kind of commitment. It’s currently being used by over one thousand school districts, universities, and colleges. 

 

Canvas - Calendar
 
  • Canvas - Calendar
    Calendar
  • Canvas - Gradebook & Parent App
    Gradebook & Parent App
  • Canvas - Mastery Paths
    Mastery Paths
  • Canvas - Quizzes
    Quizzes
  • Canvas - Quiz Stats
    Quiz Stats
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10

78 Reviews of Canvas

 

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Software Advice Reviews (46)
More Reviews (32)

Showing 1-20 of 46

Bill from Stanly County Schools
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 501-1,000 employees Employees number: 501-1,000 employees

January 2017

January 2017

Way too time consuming and complex to be useful

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The capabilities of this software are quite impressive but the tedious layout, limited choices, and incessant need to 'jump through hoops' to make it worthwhile far outweigh any value it might otherwise have. The designers of the software considered practically every aspect of what they were intending to do but completely ignored the target audience. We are having weekly training sessions and even after several months, most teachers are struggling with the interface. For example: to create an assignment for a class you must go through a plethora of steps to make the class, including a great deal of information that isn't truly necessary before you can get to the complex task of actually creating an assignment. In other words, EVERY task is simply too time-consuming to make this software of much use to the average teacher. It does interface with Powerschool which makes a great selling point to administrators and parents, but if your teachers are spending an extra hour to hour and half a day, just utilizing this program, what is gained? Frankly, I can do essentially everything needed to implement a classroom through Google Classroom and Google Apps and the time needed to do so is a fraction of what Canvas requires. Bottom line: if you don't mind putting your teachers through a horrendous learning curve and saddling them with tedious and extremely complex software, go with Canvas. If not, I suggest developing your LMS around something with a more simple interface, more forgiving functionality, and quicker to implement. I can say the LMS of Learnmate used in some technology classes isn't really a great deal better but again, why make simple tasks complicated when Google provides a much easier platform.

Pros

The functions available are quite impressive.

Cons

"User Hostile" interface that makes an incredible amount of demands to implement. A large number of items it requires should have and could have a default setting allowing for quicker use.

Advice to Others

Try it before you buy it and let your teachers see the complexity

 
 

Matthew from B Braun Medical Inc
Specialty: Healthcare / Medical
Number of employees: 5,001-10,000 employees Employees number: 5,001-10,000 employees

January 2017

January 2017

Can't beat ease of use and overall functionality

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I am a huge fan of Canvas, especially for college use. This platform has a tremendous amount of functionality & flexibility while also being incredibly user-friendly, both for the end-user and the system administrator. In addition, the online support available makes it very easy to troubleshoot should you encounter any issue.

 
 

Garth from Asher College
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 51-200 employees Employees number: 51-200 employees

January 2017

January 2017

Canvas for Higher Education

Ease-of-use

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Customer Support

Value for Money

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I enjoy being able to look up various topics and having easy access to the materials and the flexibility with my work and personal life.

Advice to Others

Take full advantage of the opportunity to self educate.

 
 

Carlos from YARABI, LLC
Specialty: Hospitality / Travel
Number of employees: 2-10 employees Employees number: 2-10 employees

December 2016

December 2016

Easy to work

Ease-of-use

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Value for Money

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Canvas product it's been very easy to use. Great product for "non-tech" guys.

 
 

Candace from Virtual Learning Community
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 11-50 employees Employees number: 11-50 employees

December 2016

December 2016

Basic Content Management System

Ease-of-use

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Have used Canvas at various community colleges to teach online courses. The application is easy to use for faculty and students. The application does not support as many features as other LMSs such as Blackboard or Moodle.

 
 

William from Lancaster Bible College
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

November 2016

November 2016

Almost there

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

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I think that Canvas is really almost there as a leading LMS for the 21st century. I use this product as a student and hear a lot about it from my professors. My major complaints are that the mobile app is not functional, the discussion threads are painfully useless, and the product allows too much appropriation from the buying company. I wish that it was simpler, more consistent, and more in-line with software trends.

Pros

Clean, efficient, and organized. I am thrilled by the overall layout, having used a number of other LMSs at this point.

Cons

Still not there. They have a lot of changes to make to improve for a 21st century audience.

 
 

Abha from Northwestern University
Specialty: Education
Number of employees: 201-500 employees Employees number: 201-500 employees

October 2016

October 2016

Great for students and teachers!

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Functionality

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I have been using Canvas for over six years now. I started using it as a student. It was easy to take quizzes and submit homeworks. For the past two years I have been using it as a teaching assistant. The software makes it super easy to grade homeworks, upload reading material and send messages to students. It is by far the best learning platform I have used.

Pros

The intuitive interface and easy-to-use file management is best in Canvas. The SpeedGrader is a very convenient tool.

Cons

There is no tool schedule classes or take polls for extra hours on Canvas. That makes it a convoluted process to schedule time.

 
 

Pierce from Westminster Theological Seminary
Specialty: Faith-based

June 2016

June 2016

Helpfully Structured, Organized, and Accessible

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Likes Best

As a course delivery system, Canvas has been intuitive, organized, and accessible for me. I have used this LMS for one online course and found it very easy to check my grades, submit assignments, and dialog with other students. It was also easy to take quizzes and tests.

Likes Least

At first, Canvas can be a bit intimidating because it houses so much information. It takes some getting used to, and not every user will need to be familiar with all of the features and capabilities of the software. After some time, this gets better, and you will learn what features you rely on heavily.

Recommendations

Keep in mind not just the software's capabilities (which is critical), but also its ease of use for a range of users. For a given user population, there is likely a set of features that will be employed regularly. Are those features easy to use and clearly marked? What additional features might improve the efficiency or ease of use for the user, given the specific features he or she uses most? These are good questions to consider.

 
 

Brian from Ex'pression College
Specialty: Other

January 2016

January 2016

I direct academic programs in animation and film-making.

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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Likes Best

Canvas is very flexible and responsive for configuring standard classroom needs

Likes Least

Managing large data files and video content submitted by students, including visual feedback on video. We still use local servers or services like shotgun or sync-sketch for these needs.

Recommendations

Define your pipeline for student work in detail- not just content delivery form your faculty. Then choose your platform and what tools you need.

 
 

Mary from Expression College
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Friendly, functional interface with some room for improvement

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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Customer Support

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Likes Best

In general, the Canvas platform is easy to navigate and understand. There are few features that can't be learned within minutes.

Likes Least

As an instructor, the single largest suggestion I have is that one be able to create drafts in the e-mail feature. It is really frustrating to have to create a message in one fell swoop every single time; one has to have all the pieces in place when one starts, and that takes some work.

Recommendations

I'm not sure that an online learning tool has to function like Facebook. I often get the sense that Canvas was designed to resemble Facebook and other social media products, and I don't think this necessarily adds value to the product.

 
 

Mary Ann from Expression College
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Canvas Integration

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

Class group discussions, ongoing access to grades for students

Likes Least

Student view is often overlooked and instructor can unintentionally miss making content available to students.

Recommendations

I would like to have a few more short tutorials on how to implement features, and also have up -front information about what Canvas DOES NOT do readily, to allow instructor to plan around those limitations right from the start.

 
 

Michael from Expression College
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Canvas does what it is supposed to do

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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Likes Best

I appreciate being able to moderate quizzes and adjust grades on a curve.

Likes Least

The menu interface is not always very intuitive. It should be easier to find the tools that are offered.

Recommendations

I think this software would benefit from remodeling the interface. I would suggest comparing the existing interface to other, more robust web interfaces out on the market.

 
 

Chris from Ex'pression College
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Canvas Review

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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Likes Best

Tools are relatively self explanatory. Basic LMS functionality. Well organized interface.

Likes Least

Lack of features, and backend access to alter and create features. Would like more media-rich capabilities and easier ability to upload and implement video and audio files. Better integration with other tools and platforms such as Twitter, Classmarker, etc.

Recommendations

Compare and contrast the parallels of an on-site classroom to this and other LMSs.

 
 

Carolyn from MSU
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Intuitive Learning Portal

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

It's really easy to use and the interface is intuitive. The vendor is responsive to incorporating feedback into updates and there is an active online community of users.

Likes Least

Because it's being updated all the time, it can be a challenge to keep up with changes, but generally the production release notes share the main features that have been updated.

Recommendations

Try using it or taking a free open course to see how well it works.

 
 

Amy from Utah State University
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Canvas - The User Friendly LMS

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

I like that the software is so intuitive and that the vendor is always working to make it better.

Likes Least

Haha, the constant updating is a double-edged sword. I dislike the changes and subsequent bugs that happen due to all the updating.

Recommendations

Keep in mind the usability of the design and not just the features that are available.

 
 

Jennifer from Utah State University
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

An excellent LMS

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

Canvas is an excellent Learning Management System (LMS). It provides multiple avenues to organize and present learning content. The built in wiki-editor allows for html formatted pages. Most common document types can be imbedded and previewed. Assignments, quizzes, and discussion come with many customizing options for access restrictions, grading. Grading is straightforward and transparent.

Likes Least

There are some complexities and quirks that can trip people up--questions in quizzes can become unlinked from the version in the question banks resulting in multiple version of questions, and questions made in the quiz don't translate back to the original version of the question. Student's current score versus final score trips people up--missing assignments don't count against them in the current score which is what students see, but the final score is what is exported to student's permanent record. Publishing items versus publishing the course in it's entirety

Recommendations

No Learning Management System is perfect, there are trade-offs. Different products make different trades. The instructor and developer interface remains relatively sleek, by streamlining the options available. An LMS that could be customized to do everything everyone wanted it to would have to sacrifice ease of use.

 
 

Alice from Northwestern University
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Reliable tool

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Ease-of-use
Ease-of-use
Functionality
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Product Quality
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N/A

Likes Best

It was clear and easy to use. Loved the calendar that was very efficient.

Likes Least

That it didn't allow you to memorize your ID and password.

Recommendations

Use it as much as possible, how the website is laid out is very useful.

 
 

Michael from University of Bridgeport
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

A better and more enjoyable LMS

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

Canvas is user friendly while also allowing the advanced functions that you would hope to find in a learning management system. It is rare to find software that is user friendly at both the instructor and student level. The Canvas help line offers accurate answers while also providing insights to improve future usage. Updates are done quickly, frequently and keep everything running smoothly.

Likes Least

I could list my wish list here, but really there is nothing that I like least. Nothing. Keep up the great work.

Recommendations

Spend 1 week with Canvas LMS and then make your decision. After one week, you'll like it; after 1 semester you will love it. And your students will love it after 1 day!

 
 

Anuja from Northwestern university
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

My experience with Canvas

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

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N/A

Likes Best

Keeps track of assignments and deadlines, easy to access

Likes Least

Class or workshop schedules could also be incorporated. Just to remind us of things ahead in a day

Recommendations

More questions about different features can be incorporated into this survey. Completing survey helps in getting feedback directly from users.

 
 

Ahsan from NU
Specialty: Other

December 2015

December 2015

Canvas Survey

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

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Likes Best

Software and the iPhone app. The functionality of the app is really good. It provides the necessary communication eapcial to check grades and homework S due

Likes Least

Sometimes can be confusing to navigate. There are simply too many folders. Teachers don't clearly used the correct folders assigned as it may be challenging to navigate

Recommendations

Need to improve communication using messaging service