Canvas Software

4.43 / 5 (887)

Our advisors have recommended this product 1 time in the last 30 days

About Canvas


Canvas from Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) suitable for K-12 and higher education institutes. Canvas is a scalable LMS platform that can be used to serve education facilities all sizes, ranging from individual classrooms to large universities.

Canvas learning platform offers core LMS functionality including the online grade books, testing, course authoring and integration with other teaching tools. The Canvas App Center offers mobile-ready teaching tools that can be added to bring new functionalities in the application. Over two hundred different LTI tools allow teachers to customize courses and monitor engagements with their class or individual students. Canvas also offers native apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing instructors to view key information, share updates or send results from anywhere and at any time.

Canvas is recommended to campuses with more than two hundred students. The solution comes with 14 days free trial period so that users can experience the interface and features for themselves before making any kind of commitment.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, Windows 10

887 Reviews of Canvas

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.43 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(476)

4 stars

(337)

3 stars

(54)

2 stars

(12)

1 stars

(8)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 887 reviews

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March 2019

Magali from Framestore

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Review Source: GetApp


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2019

Learn and teach comfortably with Canvas

You can start using this platform for your academic purposes with confidence. In spite of all the above-mentioned disadvantages, generally, the platform works without any serious problem. I’m confident that students who prefer distant learning and the teachers who like online teaching will really appreciate Canvas LMS.

Pros

The platform is very easy and flexible to navigate so, you can be sure that you’ll never be lost while searching for the material you need. Besides, you can add text, upload pictures and videos without difficulty. In addition to this if you know how to work with HTML code you can have the design you like. The next thing that I like about Canvas is that you can communicate with your teacher and fellow students easily. You can send an email to your teacher or start a chat with your classmates. Canvas is used by educational institutions for two purposes: either for creating courses that are taught exceptionally online or for blending the traditional way of teaching with online one. This platform is especially useful for students who always need to find all the material on their course online, including the textbooks, lectures, homework, individual works and of course, their grades and attendance. Canvas makes collaboration between teachers and students more effective and fruitful.

Cons

It is fascinating to know that the Canvas app is available on mobile devices. However, the app needs some improvements because some features are still not available there and notifications sometimes don’t pop up.
The platform successfully cooperates and works with third-party vendors. However, I should mention that some programs do not work well and obviously they need to get improvements.
And finally, there sometimes some glitches may occur but I wish the platform could work more smoothly.

February 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2019

Site is satisfactory, app needs work

Pros

I've been a full-time student for the past 10 years and all the institutions that I've been attending have used canvas to post grades and make announcements. I have never had any complaints about the online website. It is easy to customize the main page to see exactly which courses you are in and it gives you the ability to arrange them in the order that you see fit, with your most important classes place in the more visible areas of the website. On the right side of the page there is an announcement bar where updates from your professors are easily seen and any new grades that have been posted are showing as well. Canvas also gives the professors the ability to organize students into groups for certain projects and also too give quizzes and tests. Professors also can upload PowerPoints, handouts, and other sources of material, which are easily downloaded through the website which automatically packs all the files, if multiple, into a zip file for your convenience. Overall, I've had a good experience with canvas and I would recommend it to institutions that are looking for a reliable, convenient way to communicate to students and facilitate courses online.

Cons

I don't really have any negative things to say about the software itself. The only issues that I have had are with the app, which I have used both on Android and Apple devices. When clicking on pop-up notifications for new grades being posted or sometimes other announcements, the app opens but it does not take you to the desired notification. When faced with a blank screen, you need to restart the app and manually go to where the notification was trying to direct you.

January 2019

Joshua from Western Washington University Extended Education

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2019

A Revolutionary Aid to Learning

Pros

I have used canvas at both my previous college and my current one which I transferred to, for both classes which were taken entirely on the platform (online classes) and classes where it was used as an aid. The ability to see an up to date schedule for your classes, contact instructors, revisit old modules, submit assignments online, view and respond to instructor feedback... It's completely changed the game. It's become an intrinsic part of my routine to check canvas everyday. You can also customize what alerts you want to see, so if your instructor gives you feedback or sends an alert out you can get an email straight away.

The app is also fantastic and very convenient!

If you're an instructor and you don't use canvas, I worry that I won't be able to see important changes in time. Plus, feedback is relegated to the old fashioned, penciled in way of the early 2000s. We're better than that now, in no small part due to Canvas, which has genuinely revolutionized the medium learning takes.

Cons

There was one brief time this year where they pushed an update that made it so one of my instructors would see some error message when they clicked on my file submission, even though they were able to successfully download the file. They patched that quickly!

Overall, it turns of lasting cons, canvas has tried very hard to become irreplaceable, and they've succeeded. My only problem is when instructors aren't tech oriented, and so don't understand how to set up a course shell, but that's not canvas' fault.

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2018

Has its limits, but still the best out there

There is a paid version that you can do too. It's very expensive, and we found it still didn't quite meet our needs. For universities it probably would do the trick, but if you're a small education program, stick with Free for Teacher. Even with its little hassles, Canvas is still the best online classroom you can find out there.

Pros

We use the Free for Teacher edition. When it comes to setting up courses, having assignments, files, students, deadlines, and grades set up, it's pretty simple. Not a lot of trouble getting things put together. You can integrate videos, there's a conference capability called Big Blue Button that allows all the members of the course to video in with each other and you can share screen and everything. It has been a big help allowing our students to have a portal to do their assignments, and connect with everyone in the class.

Cons

One of the nuances to Canvas that is difficult is limiting what teachers can see. By that I mean we have two different types of courses that we run.

One is an individual cohort of a few students and a director. The only way to make these closed down to just these members is to create a duplicate of the course and put those members in. Not a terrible thing, but then the courses start to stack up with all the different cohorts you have going. Plus, there's not really a way to have any updates filter down into all the same semester courses. So if we want to make an update on Semester 1, we have to go into each individual course and update it. There's also no way to update deadlines when you copy a course. So I have to change every assignment's due date so it fits in the new semester's timeline.

The other kind of course that we have is an open course that anyone can jump into, and then we assign a TA to grade certain students. The problem with this is that there's no way to limit the TA's view of who is in the course. So it shows them that there are dozens of students' work that needs to be graded in their To-Do List and makes it difficult for them to know when their assigned students have actually submitted anything. Haven't been able to find a work around for this yet.

April 2018

Brittany from JMU

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2018

This software has been a great tool that helped me throughout my college career.

I was able to be more organized with my work for school. I am a forgetful person but with the reminders on the side of canvas, it helped me to complete the forgotten assignments. Another benefit was that I learn to time manage my work by seeing the work load I have that for that week. In addition, it also helped me to learn to plan ahead.

Pros

Canvas is a great organizing tool. Some pros include the following: a calendar with due dates, to-do list, easy to use, tabs that is very easy to locate, the what if feature, easy to communicate with teachers, pleasing to the eye, has a mobile app, coming up assignment features, viewing files without downloading them, break down of your grade, and very simple. With this system, I did not have the need to buy a planner to write down all my assignments.

Cons

There is not too much I dislike about the system. Though the system is very organized, if the instructor does not put the files in an organized manner it can be hard to seek the desired files. In addition, there are some times where canvas can be very difficult to use as you have to click different features to get to the desired file. In addition, for the discussion page, it would be super helpful if the reply comments could be in a file with the original comment of the discussion board. In one class, we have weekly discussions and the students of that subjects has to write a powerpoint to explain a character that defines it and the student who did not create that has to write comments for it. At first it was not much but later became very hard to locate the different power point comments due to the immense amount of reply comments.

November 2017

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2017

It's ease of use, mobile experience, and ease of administration outweigh the features it lacks.

We are able to get detailed analytics on use not only from our students but from our instructors. We are able to build customizations utilizing the API. We are now in a hosted solution with a beta server, test server and production server that is maintained and updated every week or 3 weeks depending on the server.

Pros

Canvas from an administrator side is incredibly easy to work with. Installing addons takes just seconds in comparison to the fear I experienced in installing anything in Blackboard, and the confusion I experienced trying to set anything up in D2L.
One of the deciding factors in moving forward with Canvas was ease of use for our faculty and students. If Canvas was not easy to use our transition would have been near impossible.
It's mobile app is excellent for students and they are in the middle of improving their faculty mobile app now.
They have an incredible Community that has asked most of the questions you have and someone has provided the answer you're looking for. There are also folks that create customizations and share those with everyone to help improve your workflows. They also let you in on the development process and share with your their progress and let you beta test things for them.
I love having a beta server, test server and production server to work with that is always up to date.
Lots to love about Canvas.

Cons

There are some features that are lacking from Canvas that we are attempting to work around or build customizations for.
1. Set Discussion boards to need grading after x number of posts. Right now it says it needs to be graded after the first post and will not notify the instructor once they have submitted the required amount of posts. This isn't as big of an issue when there are due dates but a majority of our courses do not have due dates.
2. It's Outcomes capabilities are lacking. They have plans to improve on this but it may be awhile.
3. They are releasing a new quizzing tool in 2018 which we are excited for but are worried about how we will need to go about migrating quizzes.

January 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

4.0

January 2019

College course management program for students, faculty, and staff

Pros

After my university switched over to Canvas as the preferred course management software, I was happy to finally have a user-friendly interface to work with. The menu is not cluttered and all tabs and icons are easy to find. One of the main advantages of Canvas is the ability to easily sync a school email account and get live notifications when items and assignments are posted.

Professors can also setup calendars that help remind students of exam, project, and homework due dates. Students can also setup discussions or threads within their respective courses, which is useful when a lot of students have a similar question. Saves the professor time from having to answer 50 emails about the same question.

Cons

The notification system, both as a student and professor, is not the most efficient system. Canvas is meant to have a built-in emailing program. This creates a lot of confusion when students send messages via Canvas (which is linked to a school email account) and separately send messages directly from their school email. I've encountered times where it was not clear how to send a message directly to particular member of the course, and ended up emailing the entire class by accident.

Professors often alternate between general email notifications and "Dashboard" notifications within Canvas. It makes it confusing for students as to where exactly to look for course related information. I find this lack of streamlining for notifications to be the biggest drawback.

June 2018

Mavares from Universidad Nacional Experimental Politécnica 'Antonio José de Sucre'

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

3.0

June 2018

The 21st century requires interacting, learning and living the virtuality

To reduce the distances between the participants and expand the possibilities and technological literacy of all.

Pros

The teaching of the 21st century requires a change in models and approach to learning. The change allows to reeplantear not only the contents of the subjects, moreover, the tools with which the teacher will have to share their experiences. It is very valuable to have a virtual space in which you can group: Class documents, videos, conferences, guides, questionnaires, tests, texts, messaging, links, e-mail, all online. The teacher, in this platform, also has the ability to qualify the different assignments and even make various qualifications in real time. The interaction can also include the representatives, who can also access, if they wish, the platform.
Through the "Collaborations", participants can work as a team their classroom projects, through group editing programs, which can be sent directly to Canvas. The personalization, organization and structure of the modules is very helpful for the participants to experience the different advantages of virtual training.

Cons

The platforms have generalized their use in such a way that it is easy to find them in different stages and school courses, as well as in undergraduate and postgraduate university studies. In the same way, the age of the instructors and of the participants varies considerably. When users are not able to interact with each other easily and quickly, they lose interest, not only for the course, but also for the platform, which translates into a considerable loss of effectiveness and impact of the same.
It would be fantastic if the teachers could have a cheaper version of the platform, but not be "tied" to large organizations, schools and universities, a kind of "private" virtual classroom that is managed and set almost entirely by the teacher, who will only have to enter his participants, in different classrooms, at the same time, and with an accessible cost.

February 2019

Burcu from Northern Clinical School

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Functionality

3.0

February 2019

Canvas - more pliable than you think

If administrators would like to get the most out of Canvas they have to "think outside the box"; otherwise it can get quite dull and tiresome for their users. Overall I think it is a good software which has a lot of potential. A simple Google search revealed that many administrators like myself looked for similar additional features/options on various forums online; so I wish that the above mentioned options -and many more-could actually be integrated into Canvas by the creators for ease of use for the consumers.

Pros

People may define Canvas as "clunky" and "not very intuitive". I would agree that you need to "learn" how Canvas works, rather than quickly "figuring it out".

I personally use Canvas not for a specific "Unit of Study" but as a platform to share information & news, and communicate with among a large group of students who do not get together in a classroom. So far it has been successful. Students seem to enjoy it and I can view usage stats to see how many pages have been viewed by which student, which is great information.

The fact that it accepts HTML code made it possible for me to integrate photo slideshows and 3-d interactive photos onto my pages. I used other free software available online to create them and simply embedded into my HTML code. I do not think most users are aware of these possibilities.

Cons

Canvas has its own language which does not apply to all needs. "Pages" and "Modules", "Unit of Study" lose their meaning when Canvas is used as communication platform like I use it. I wish these "names" could be changed by the user.

Another thing that most users find a bit frustrating is the way "Modules" are displayed on one page as a list; and the constant need to scroll down to find what the user is looking for. Since this page does not really lend itself to "zjeujing up", it may look tedious for users.

November 2016

Jason from Utah Valley University

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2016

Canvas - An Admin's Dream Come True

As the Learning Management System Admin for Utah Valley University, managing the use of Canvas can be challenging, but in a really good way. Whenever I run into a problem, I can usually find the answer and deploy a solution very quickly. Instructure provides a dedicated Customer Success Manager who meets with us regularly, a robust case management system, and an extremely helpful community engagement platform. Canvas is updated regularly to stay fresh on new technologies, features, and bug fixes. It's really fun to manage this system and have so much buy-in from faculty. Canvas is also on the leading edge with 3rd party integrations, data analytics, and cross-platform compatibility.

Pros

Canvas is always available. Teachers and students rarely suffer from any down time, if ever. Even with the regular updates of the platform (every 3 weeks), there is no significant downtime. The integration with our Student Information System is really good, but will soon be even better.

Cons

I wish Instructure would value the opinions of an institution's Canvas Admin over instructors. Instructors tend to not stay up to speed with an institution's policies, new government regulation, or plain common sense in some cases. There are a few specific tools that would make an admin's life much easier... like this feature idea: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/7301

December 2018

Jeramy from Independence University

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support