Canvas Review

Salt Lake City, UT
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Canvas At A Glance

Good: Canvas can leverage Canvas Studio, a new-generation tool that makes educational videos more collaborative.
Bad: Canvas doesn't have built-in gamification features, but can integrate with third-party tools that allow gamification.
Bottom Line: An LMS created for educational institutions, Canvas was designed to better engage users in the teaching and learning processes.

Product Overview

Instructure is a software provider focusing on dynamic learning management systems (LMSs) that streamline teaching tasks for various settings. Its products include Canvas, Bridge and Arc. In this review, we will discuss the features and functionality of Canvas.

Canvas is a learning management solution created for educational institutions. Developed in 2011, Canvas was designed to better engage users in the teaching and learning processes.

Instructure has an integrated and inclusive video platform for online teaching called Canvas Studio. Canvas Studio provides the ability to easily upload and share videos to a digital classroom, as well as let students and instructors comment on videos to create conversations.


Canvas can be used for grades K-12 and higher education. With Canvas, teachers also have access to Arc. Features of Canvas include:

  • Outcomes – (aka standards or competencies) Outcomes describe what a learner should be able to do and are used to measure knowledge and ability.
  • MasteryPaths – This tool allows course content to automatically be released to a learner based on performance, providing differentiation to students.
  • Canvas Data – Canvas Data allows instructors to parse Canvas-generated data quickly.
  • Canvas Commons – Canvas Commons is a repository that lets users easily share content.
  • Speedgrader™ – With Speedgrader app for iOS and Android, teachers can preview student submissions, provide feedback and annotate homework submissions in a single frame.
  • Integrated Media Recorder – This tool allows users to record audio and video messages for the digital classroom.
  • Web conferencing – Set a meeting time for the whole class or one-on-one synchronous online discussions.
  • Mastery GradeBook – Helps instructors assess the Outcomes being used in Canvas courses and measure student learning for accreditation or standards-based grading.
  • Canvas on mobile – Native iOS and Android apps that allow students to take an entire course from their mobile device.
  • Canvas Parent – Canvas Parent allows parents to engage with their children’s education by reviewing upcoming or past assignments, checking grades and receiving course announcements.
  • Canvas Polls – A mobile app that gauges students’ comprehension of material without “clicker” devices.
  • MagicMarker – Track students’ Outcomes performance in real time.

Target Market

Instructure aims to help educational and corporate organizations bring rich content to their learners, no matter the size or industry.

  • Broward County School District in Florida
  • Washington State schools
  • The Utah Jazz
  • The state of North Carolina
  • California Community Colleges Open Education Initiative
  • Tesla
  • Clearlink
  • Sotheby’s
  • TIME, Inc.
  • State University System of Florida

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Instructure’s learning management platforms are cloud-based, making implementation a quick, simple process.

Customer Service & Support

Instructure has a support page where users can find their own answers, join community groups and share ideas.

The vendor’s customer service representatives are available via email and phone.


Instructure doesn’t publicly release pricing information. However, we’ve researched implementation costs and the vendor’s pricing model.

Please contact the vendor directly for a price quote.


Canvas doesn’t have gamification features built into its learning management solution. However, it can integrate with a variety of third party tools for users who want to use gamification in their teaching methods.


Instructure Screenshot 1
Instructure Screenshot 2
Instructure Screenshot 3


Instructure was founded in 2008 with the mission to create software that makes people smarter.

Building on this goal, the vendor launched Canvas in 2011, which is now used by over 5,000 universities, school districts and institutions globally. Bridge was launched in 2015 to change the way employees engage with training materials.

Canvas has been recognized as a robust learning platform numerous organizations, such as the 2020 EdTech Award in the LMS Category.

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