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 - Embedded content
 
  • Canvas - Embedded content
    Embedded content
  • Canvas - Home
    Home
  • Canvas - Discussions
    Discussions
  • Canvas - Assignments
    Assignments
  • Canvas - Learning mastery
    Learning mastery
  • Canvas - Course statistics
    Course statistics
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10

59 Reviews of Canvas

 
Software Advice Reviews (41)
More Reviews (18)

Showing 1-20 of 41

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

Almost there

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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.

 
 

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

Great for students and teachers!

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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.

 
 

from Westminster Theological Seminary
Specialty: Faith-based

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.

 
 

from Ex'pression College
Specialty: Other

I direct academic programs in animation and film-making.

Ease-of-use

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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.

 
 

from Expression College
Specialty: Other

Friendly, functional interface with some room for improvement

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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.

 
 

from Expression College
Specialty: Other

Canvas Integration

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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.

 
 

from Expression College
Specialty: Other

Canvas does what it is supposed to do

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

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N/A

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.

 
 

from Ex'pression College
Specialty: Other

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.

 
 

from MSU
Specialty: Other

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.

 
 

from Utah State University
Specialty: Other

Canvas - The User Friendly LMS

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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.

 
 

from Utah State University
Specialty: Other

An excellent LMS

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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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.

 
 

from Northwestern University
Specialty: Other

Reliable tool

Ease-of-use

Functionality

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.

 
 

from University of Bridgeport
Specialty: Other

A better and more enjoyable LMS

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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!

 
 

from Northwestern university
Specialty: Other

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.

 
 

from NU
Specialty: Other

Canvas Survey

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

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Ease-of-use
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Product Quality
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N/A

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

 
 

from Montclair State University
Specialty: Other

Canvas brings it all together

Ease-of-use

Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Support
Likes Best

The product support from the vendor is one of the strongest features for Canvas. Not that there are many issues, but when they do arise, answers and solutions are provided immediately, thus increasing the value of this product when rolling it out to a community.
Additionally, the ability to have everything needed for the successful launch of a class makes this a self contained, efficient system for all levels of users.

Likes Least

Some of the issues in the system are non-standard so they take a little time to diagnose and resolve.

Recommendations

Look for what you need the software to do for you and your organization, and see if the software meets your needs. If anything exceeds your expectations, then that is just a bonus and should be noted.

 
 

from Northwestern
Specialty: Other

It was my main CMS (course management service)

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N/A

Likes Best

It is extremely easy to use once you learn how to. Infrastructure seems like a well established company

Likes Least

It is tough for lecturers to use in the start. Managing a lot of students also gets cumbersome

Recommendations

Canvas is awesome for its ease of use once you understand the basics

 
 

from Montclair State University
Specialty: Other

Amazing lms

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Functionality

Product Quality

Customer Support

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Likes Best

Canvas is a fluid and efficient Learning Management System

Likes Least

Nothing more. This vendor came to us over 3 years ago with an excellent presentation and training. We have been using Canvas for just over 2 years.

Recommendations

It is effective both as an Admin and End User! Training is right on point and we are able to design both online and face to face courses

 
 

from SAE Institute Nashville
Specialty: Other

Excellent Online Learning Management System

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Customer Support

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Likes Best

Easy to customize and organize so that ALL of our content (class notes/review material, homework quizzes/discussions/submissions, quizzes, exams, digital material downloads, project instructions & rubrics, hyperlinks to websites) is in our Canvas courses.

Likes Least

No way to duplicate quizzes (to my knowledge). Viewing times for large PDF documents are often slow. Better to just download them and open them on the device.

Recommendations

Dive into HTML and CSS for really maximizing the potential of Canvas. A few templates and a little bit of coding and tweaking can make a huge visual & interactive improvement on content delivery.

 
 

from Thomas Jefferson University
Specialty: Other

A Student-Centered Learning Management System

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Likes Best

Canvas is a simple and intuitive LMS. Period. This is what I like most about Canvas. Instructure, the vendor, is also an agile development company that stays true to their ethos of developing a simple and intuitive learning management system focused on faculty productivity and student engagement.

Likes Least

They do take time to implement some of your change requests.

Recommendations

We should expect any new LMS to be as simple and intuitive as possible. This is very possible with good design principles and a focus on disciplined iterative development. The LMS should also save time and infuse productivity in faculty and student development.