Canvas by Instructure is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that emerged in 2008. It is a rapidly growing company that is the clear frontrunner in the race of LMS platforms. I have extensive experience using Blackboard and Canvas in a university setting, and between the two, Canvas is by far a better user experience for faculty, students and system administrators. In short, Canvas is simple to use and just works.
Below are some of my favorite Canvas features:
99.9% GUARANTEED UPTIME
Canvas has a 99.9% guaranteed uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) to all customers.
Canvas has a very clean and intuitive interface that faculty and students have responded well to. Course information and items are easy to find in a few simple clicks.
FEWER USER TECHNICAL ISSUES
Since switching from Blackboard to Canvas, I have noticed a steep decline in LMS-related technical support tickets submitted by faculty and students.
ANNOTATIONS ON ASSIGNMENTS
Assignments submitted in most common file types, such as Word, PowerPoint and PDF, are automatically converted and display directly in the browser window. You no longer have to download files to your computer to review and mark them up. Canvas utilizes Crocodoc, which allows you to easily add annotations when grading. In addition to the standard text-based feedback, you can highlight, strikeout, and freehand draw on student work.
Canvas has a built-in media recorder that easily allows you to record just audio or audio and video using your webcam. All you need is a computer or mobile device with a microphone and camera. This feature is great to use for a course discussion where students record their responses rather than typing them. You can also record your feedback when grading rather than typing it. Doing so enables students and faculty to “meet” each other, and thus lessens social isolation common in online courses. According to Canvas, “…multimedia messages can be attached to personal messages, assignments, discussions and even graded work.”
Canvas has built-in notification preferences that easily allow each user to be notified however they want and easily stay connected by email, text message or social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Users can choose how to they want to be notified for announcements, due date changes, discussion replies, and much more. Changing your notification preferences is quick and easy.
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
Visit Instructure’s website to learn more: http://www.instructure.com