About CANVAS

Canvas LMS from Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) specifically designed for K-5 on up through higher education institutions. Canvas LMS is a scalable platform that can be used by educational institutions of all sizes and types, from individual classrooms to large universities with a blended or fully virtual learning environment.

The Canvas platform offers complete LMS functionality for online learning including standards-based grade books, customizable student assessments, course content authoring, mobile communication, plus more. Canvas LMS can integrate with an educational institution's existing SIS and other teaching tools. Additionally, the Canvas App Center offers mobile-ready teaching tools that can add new functionali...


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133 Reviews of CANVAS

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June 2020

User Profile Picture

Kelly from KLB Design

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1 employee

Industry: Information Technology and Services

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2020

CANVAS makes higher education accessible anywhere you have an internet connection!

CANVAS is very user-friendly and an all-around excellent way to engage in continuing education and life-long learning. Personally, as an older student, I love using CANVAS.

Pros

While I am unsure of the College's side in using this software, for me, as a student, I love using CANVAS. I enjoy travelling and with an easy-to-use, school-issued/provided LMS (Learning Management System/Software), I can take many classes online from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The mobile application is robust and incredibly convenient, allowing 99% all-the-same functionality as the desktop version. Students can even take online quizzes and finals using their internet-connected mobile device (Smartphone). It is very user-friendly and an all-around excellent way to engage in continuing education and life-long learning as an older (personally, 42 years) college student.

Cons

The only drawbacks to CANVAS I experienced were a loss of data if the active internet connection broke while in the middle of completing/submitting assignments and quizzes. I know that CANVAS has since implemented an auto-save feature on the quizzes, so that part of the problem is resolved. Whether or not this is true of the assignment submissions, I honestly do not know at this time.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

The specific choice of LMS is made by the schools, not me. I was using Blackboard at the Art Institutes. I now use CANVAS at the MCCCD Colleges.

October 2020

User Profile Picture

Kyle from Kyle K Yim Films

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1 employee

Industry: Motion Pictures and Film

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2020

College on the Web

Canvas is an excellent learning tool for most colleges and universities. Not only does it allow for assignments to be turned in over the internet but it also allows students to take quizzes and attend lectures through ConferNow and Zoom. It will notify you through email for any work that is assigned, work that is due, etc. Although it can be a bit complicated to operate through compared to other programs such as Google Classroom, it has all the features you would need in order to run a class online especially during a pandemic.

Pros

With the rise of Coronavirus and online options for college classes, Canvas has been a staple tool for students taking online classes and even with online assignments. Canvas, similar to Google Classroom, is a program that allows teachers to assign work through the web instead of wasting time printing and wasting paper. It allows students to be notified of when assignments are due and even allows them to take quizzes and test online. With most of the world being forced to do everything digitally Canvas allows access to Zoom through ConferNow which allows for teachers to schedule lectures and meetings. Canvas also allows you to message other students if needed. Without Canvas, school online would be incredibly difficult, and although Google Classroom is a solid option for courses in elementary school through high school, Canvas has more features such as users being able to directly embed LTIs such as Flipgrid.

Cons

Although Canvas is better than Google Classroom in terms of the number of features, Google Classroom's interface is simpler and easier to understand than Canvas's. Google Classroom, being a Google program, also makes it slightly easier to turn in assignments using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. Canvas's user system can also use some work as well. Canvas may have the ability to allow you to see other students but it's obscure. There's no way to search for other people unless they're in your class and most people don't even know of the profile feature. Personally, I don't believe there are many problems with Canvas except that they should redo its design because to me it seems a bit bland and that they should make its interface a bit more simpler since it can be confusing to navigate through.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

Because at my highschool, the teachers use Google Classroom but at my community college they opt for using Canvas

March 2021

Kudzai from ITGCSI

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: E-Learning

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

3.0

March 2021

CANVAS - Easy e-learning Setup

It is easy and quick to set up even for no technical people. It is a reasonable cost depending on usage.

Pros

The first thing I noted about Canvas is that when creating content, the page looks like an MS Word document. This makes creating pages with content easy as the learning curse is very gentle. There is very little need to be technical. It is more a matter of formatting rather than getting to know the software platform itself. The dashboard is clean and modern with easy navigation on the left sidebar for courses, account information, calendar, inbox and help. Your default home is your published and unpublished courses. On the courses tabs, are announcement and conversation icons that notify if a course has issues you need to attend to in a specific course. The settings menu is straightforward with nothing cryptic even for non-technical people. Setting up courses is a breeze with a 'Course Setup Checklist' button available inside each course shell you create. There is a walkthrough for each element of a course from content to publishing your course. If you have an existing course you can simply import the course with several formats supported including but not limited to Blackboard, Moodle and zip. For educators at various institutions, they can just import and customize where the need arises for the different institutions. Assessment types include quizzes and assignments. It also integrates easily with other services like Google Drive, Office/Docs and others.

Cons

Video elements management needs improvement, the thumbnails are poor quality and very small. There is no option to edit them. To get a good visual of Office elements needs embedding the content hosted somewhere else. Natively on the platform PDF and PPT display poorly with just vertical scrolling. Exporting An exported courses from Canvas is in a custom format that is not compatible with other LMS platforms. This makes it hard to move between platforms. There not much customization of learning elements compared to other LMS available. Some of the support documentation is dated and needs updating.

Reasons for Choosing CANVAS

There was a need for something quick and easy to use for instructors without the need for having technical support on call all the time.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

A different vendor with different needs that best fit Canvas than Accord LMS.

February 2021

Dr. M Y from University of Hertfordshire

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

2.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

2.0

February 2021

Canvas for Online Learning, Teaching & Assessment: OK but...

Best valuable features: Share to Common, Import/export content i.e., transport/transfer files from past year or another course. It saves time, not reinventing the wheel. Assignment Due date is very cruel to learner as 1 second late submission may cause a heavy penalty. Recently due to COVID-19 my learners in UK and International faced difficulties. I suggest to add a feature giving some window instead of a fix hh.mm.ss timestamp.

Pros

Learning & Teaching: Various useful features, e.g., upload/download files, page creation, announcement and discussion and valuable apps containing ubiquitous tools, like MS Team meetings, Panopto, Vimeo, YouTube, Dropbox etc. Assessment: Huge variety of Quizzes, secured quizzes, quizzes SWOT statistics, lockdown browser, Assignments, anti-Plagiarism tools, Moderation, Marker Allocation, Grades, Research: Conferences, collaborations, Canvas digital forum support.

Cons

Assessment of students: sorting may not be sync'd with local university database. i.e., downloaded grades and university's marksheet contains names of students starting differently. Imaging if you have 300+ names! this causes sorting issues while assessing online. Quizzes are great but cannot create duplicate questions, some time academic need this feature. Also because quiz question can be an Essay therefore, this type of assessment must include anti-plagiarism tool (i.e., Turnitin etc), not available in Quizzes but only in Assignments. Reference Manager and Library tools are not available but can be added, e.g., Talis, StudyNet etc. These features are necessary for cognitive learning and cresting your own Library does help. I need to use either Endnotes or Mendeley as an external app on my desktop or on cloud. Its good to use integrated Email tool but its not linked to outlook or other email app. I cannot send email to other people outside my module, i.e., cannot do cc to manager, examiner etc but I need to permanently add in the list of people. Also cannot add images etc in text but can attach files. Also cannot format the text but just plaintext is allowed. You cannot add http link to a text.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

my University decided to use Canvas

April 2021

User Profile Picture

Ho'omana Nathan from Oklahoma State University

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Higher Education

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2021

The best LMS I've used so far (much better than Brightspace/D2L)

Overall, Canvas is the best I've used so far (1000x better than buggy/feature-impoverished D2L). It's generally nice to work with, plays well with most other online resources (especially Google Drive which I use a ton for teaching), it's fairly easy to explain to students, and it makes it easy to transfer materials between courses each semester.

Pros

One thing I love is that unlike Brightspace/D2L, Canvas has continued to develop and gain new features as long as I've used it. I also like how easy it is to transfer course materials from one course to another so that classes I teach each semester, or every other semester, can be easily copied over.

Cons

Some of the more advanced/useful features aren't always easy to use, and there isn't great documentation from Canvas. In fact, most of the documentation I've found has been from other university's websites.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

It was a decision made at a much higher level than me, but everyone I've talked to at my university was stoked when we switched to Canvas, and I think it's been a much better ROI.

January 2021

User Profile Picture

James from Freelancer

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1 employee

Industry: E-Learning

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2021

My favorite academic LMS

Pros

There are so many great things about Canvas LMS. It's about fit of course, so I would never use it for corporate L&D... but as an academic LMS, it ranks at the top. I love the community forums (you can find help for literally anything), and the numerous tools that are 1) either provided by Canvas, or, 2) integrate nicely with Canvas. I also like the ease of use. It might seem overwhelming at first, but learning to build and administer courses on Canvas becomes easier by the day. So at first it may seem tough, but stick with it! It gets much easier - quickly!

Cons

In order to upgrade the look and feel of it, without hiring a team of graphic designers, you need to use design service that integrates with Canvas.

Reasons for Choosing CANVAS

I started using Canvas as a student! Way back. When I became an eLearning developer, I already had the familiarity of it from university :)

January 2021

Sasha from CodeWithMe

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: E-Learning

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

January 2021

Canvas Makes Online College Possible

Canvas has made online college so much easier. Covid19 brought a lot of uncertainty but Canvas made sure our classes stayed the same, even better. It has helped us stay organized and connected.

Pros

I love having an interactive syllabus with the "Modules" feature. Online classes are so much more accessible with canvas, thank you for all you do!

Cons

I honestly do not have anything negative to say about Canvas. I use it daily and would recommend it to others over Moodle any day. One thing I would like to see is the "Discussions" being more of a live chat style!

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

My school decided that canvas is more useful and has more features, they are right. When students have an option I recommend canvas!

February 2021

Munetaka from University Of Delaware

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2021

Great LMS

I have used many learning management systems both as an instructor and a student and Canvas is by far the easiest to navigate and organize as a beginner.

Pros

It is very user friendly. While it has a lot of options and features, it isn't overwhelming or confusing like a lot of other learning management systems.

Cons

Discussion board that are meant to be long term places to communicate (not one-off assignments) seem to get lost easily.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

Blackboard was not user friendly and was missing a lot of features that made instruction with an LMS manageable, such as creating assignments that did not need to be collected but could still use a rubric (for in class activities).

February 2021

Anushreya from NJIT

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Industry: Telecommunications

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2021

Canvas Review

Useful to have all courses at one place. Lot of different file types accepted/available. Course ordering should be reverse-chronological with latest courses on top.

Pros

It is very easy to use. I have all my courses listed in one place. Moving through all options within a course is simple.

Cons

For instructors, files and assignment uploads are missed as they need to be posted AND published separately. Courses are available in chronological order with latest courses being at the bottom. To access current courses, I have to scroll all the way to the bottom and this is not an adjustable feature.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

Institution made the switch and it was not optional.

December 2020

Gaurav from Arizona State University

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2020

Great LMS for any kind of team

Perfect. I loved using it.

Pros

I worked for ASU online and worked at all the levels for Canvas as a user or developer. I loved the myriad number of features along with the ease of use.

Cons

Sometimes it creates issues while attaching video files to the assignments. I guess external file uploaing can be made more intuitive.

Reasons for Choosing CANVAS

Cost-efficient

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

It was an organizational decision. Maybe because of the cost.

March 2021

Louisa from University of Pennsylvania

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1 employee

Industry: Marketing and Advertising

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2021

Canvas in three words: reliable, convenient, and innovative.

My overall experience with Canvas has been incredible. From my days using the platform at my large public high school to my current use of Canvas at the University of Pennsylvania, I have found it to be extremely instrumental in fostering my learning. The landing page for each of my courses presents the necessary information, such as grades or quizzes, in a way that is consistent across the platform, yet also enables professors to customize what different links to information appear in order to allow them to design a page which best fits the scope of their course and its associated assignments. I have loved using Canvas, and look forward to doing so throughout the rest of my college career!

Pros

I first used Canvas long before I ever even entered college as a high school student. However, throughout the years the platform has always remained extremely easy to use and provided me stable and secure access to my course content. With the advent of online learning brought on by the pandemic, I began to use Canvas even more this past year as a current junior in college. Reflecting on my increased use of the platform over the past year, I can appreciate how Canvas has remained not only reliable and convenient to use, but also innovative in that they have continued rolling out updates which make the platform even better, such a the "like" feature which enables students to engage more with their classmates' responses on discussion posts.

Cons

The one feature which could be improved on Canvas would be more clear instructions on how to update your profile photo! One of my professors requested that we change our profile photos to a picture of ourselves last week, and while I was eventually able to do so successfully, it took me a little but to figure out where to take this action.

February 2019

Burcu from Northern Clinical School

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: Less than 12 months

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.

April 2021

Miguel from Miami Cancer Institute

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: GetApp


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2021

Canvas does an excellent job at providing resources and tools for education purposes

I used this software during my last two years of undergraduate school after my university transferred from Blackboard to Canvas. Canvas is very user friendly and getting acquaintance with the software was very easy as well. The overall experience during my last two years of undergraduate school was very pleasant and I sincerely hope that I encountered this software again in graduate school.

Pros

Canvas provides several features that allow students like me with a full 18 credit load to organize, access grades and assignments and keep track of the class process. One of my favorite and most used tool provided by Canvas has been the grade calculator tool; this tool allowed me to estimate my final grade in the class to measure the grade I had to obtain in the final exam to achieve a competitive average. Moreover, the software does a great job at notifying the due date for each assignment and also, letting you know when the professor posted the grade for the exams. Another one of my favorite features is the side bar with all the updates on gradebooks, notification and direct messages that allowed me to access all the features in a fast manner.

Cons

One of the features that needs improvement is the email notification tool. This tool sent large amount of double notifications anytime there was an update to the gradebook. Also, some browsers were not compatible with the Canvas software and would automatically cause troubleshooting of the different features offered by the software.

October 2020

Amanda from Hcps

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Higher Education

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2020

CANVAS is amazing for teachers and students.

My overall experience with Canvas has been great. It is very easy to use and my students can easily use this software. I love it.

Pros

CANVAS is very easy to navigate. All assignments and discussions are in one area. I don't have to go searching in multiple places looking for something. I can give an assignment and it just pops up on the main screen. I can make folders for each subject so things do not get mixed up. It is wonderful and easily used by my students. Parents love this program over the ones we have used in the past.

Cons

CANVAS is used by many schools, even before COVID. Some mornings the software doesn't want to load and can be glitchy. Some assignments will show not loaded but actually are, so I have to refresh multiple times.

Reasons for Choosing CANVAS

We have talked to other schools and the software they have used. CANVAS was brought up by the school board and how they have had much success with this program.

Reasons for Switching to CANVAS

We had a lot of issues with Edsby. This school year we decided to switch to CANVAS and it has been working great.

March 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2019

Customizable Automation for education

The student and teacher relationship is strengthened and there is less barriers to seek assistance, improving student performance and teacher morale with less time grading things that have the capability of being automated. This allows for professors to spend more time helping their students versus doing "busy work".

Pros

Students and teachers can communicate with in Canvas. There is even an option to set in the login page for your institution to show your institutions logo and branding. Multiple choice quizzes can be assigned and tests and be graded automatically to allow the teachers to spend more time with student interaction instead of grading multiple choice exams. Students have expressed delight in the feature of chatting or giving feedback with their professor or classmates for a specific assignment. The easy partnering with Turnitin to check for plagiarism and integration of Pearson and McGraw-Hill makes it possible to cover bases within just Canvas.

Cons

Customer service can be slow to respond. There should be more options for the teachers to write personal notes on assignments that can be chosen to view for just the teacher, or shared with the teacher and student. The mobile app has complaints of not being very smooth.

March 2021

Rachel from Temple University

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Industry: Higher Education

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2021

Useful platform for managing course requirements

CANVAS is really useful for managing higher education courses and engaging students in the age of remote learning.

Pros

There are many versatile features that allow for zoom links, syllabi, course modules, links to voice threads / video recording, grades, quizzes, and more. There is a lot of flexibility with the various features and the platforms is pretty straightforward to navigate. It is organized well.

Cons

Now that most courses are online, there is a need for greater storage for video content. In one of my courses, we ran out of space for video recordings and had to link to an outside software platform in order to access content.

February 2019

Jessica from University of South Florida

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Mental Health Care

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2019

Canvas Review

I used Canvas throughout my undergrad and graduate programs. With all of the stress I was under during these years and with my busy college student schedule, it was nice to know that I could always rely on canvas for my class information.

Pros

This software is very user friendly and easily accessible for a busy college student. I was able to download the app on my phone or use it on my computer when needing to access information about my classes. The software has a variety of features that are perfect for college class settings, including posting assignments, discussion boards, files, grades, and videos/lectures. This software also has a feature that allows students to take quizzes or exams online. Additionally, it is a great way to stay connected with other students and professors with quick messages.

Cons

On some occasions, the grading feature in Canvas would not show correct or accurate grades. However, this could be solved with a quick message to the professor, in order to correct the percentage mistake.

April 2021

Julie from Howe-Manning Elementary School

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Education Management

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2021

Canvas Design

Pros

There are many features of Canvas that are easy to use and student-friendly. Having Modules that students have to work through in order, with set requirements, is very easy for the teacher and students to follow. The announcement feature is extremely helpful for older students and reminders about upcoming due dates. I also enjoy the fact that other programs (i.e Zoom, MyLab etc.) can all be integrated in one spot. That way students don't need other websites or links in lots of different spots. It's nice to have homework, grades, assignemtns, exams all in one spot.

Cons

I find the design features (or lack thereof) on Cavas to really be a downside to the platform. In order to make it streamlined and student-friendly, I had to create my own buttons and layout to then save as images in Canvas to then upload. It feels like there should be set buttons or layouts that are a little more student-friendly than the blank slate used. I also don't like how when you set a time for something to be available to students you also have to make sure the file is set to that as well. This can be challenging when scheduling exams and ensure students don't have early access if they go to the files and find the exam.

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

Needs a few tweaks

Canvas is the option that my school provides for viewing all classes, both in person and online only classes. The forum discussion posts and video streaming work quite well, and I've never had a problem with viewing grades or understanding assignments. However, I think the user interface could definitely be tweaked to allow for faster viewing and access to files and assignments. Sometimes the interface takes a while to load, which is frustrating when deadlines are up to the minute! However, it's been mainly a good experience.

Pros

I like the parts of the user interface that allow for viewing multiple due dates and assignments for different courses in one week. It has a great system for reminders within Canvas and email reminders. It allows for many multiple courses to be compiled in one week.

Cons

The setup for the syllabi and viewing uploaded documents is often very confusing and formats oddly, causing confusion on assignments. I've had trouble understanding when I've uploaded or submitted a document and struggle to double check it afterwards.

February 2019

Aaron from MX

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Banking

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2019

Great way to organize school work

Without this software, my School work would be very hard to manage as I'm a Web Developer major and all my work depends on the internet. Canvas makes it easy to submit my work and keep my schedule organized.

Pros

I liked how easy it was to organize my school work. It would show you what you needed "To-do" in the right corner and displayed it from overdue to the next due date in the physical calendar. The built-in messaging was awesome to be able to contact professors and to collaborate with other students for school projects. It also was easy to set up class chats about the chapter we had read or questions other students have posted.

Cons

It logged you out due to inactivity too quick. I would be typing a response on submission through Canvas and after finishing the response on the built-in text editor it had logged me out and all my text was lost. I would then have to type in Microsoft word from then on to ensure my text would not be lost.