Benefits and Insights

Why use Canvas?

Key differentiators & advantages of Canvas

  • Portfolios: Through Portfolium, it showcases the work of learners and has built-in analytics and assessment. Once this is complete, and the students’ skills are documented, it pairs with employers through the TalentMatch function.
  • E-Commerce: The Catalog option allows for the buying and selling of courses/training. It also centralizes personal development classes, handles certifications and creates landing pages.
  • Peer-to-Peer Video: Instructors and their classes can respond with video, give feedback along the timeline and share content with other learners. 
  • SSO: The single sign-on lets teachers access the system through other tech that they already access. 
  • Reliability: It offers a Service Level Agreement that is accessible through all in-network routing devices and IPs. They also guarantee a 99.9% uptime, less than an hour per month, for reseller hosting, shared hosting, and managed dedicated servers. 
  • SpeedGrader: It assesses the work of students, allows teachers to provide annotated feedback, automatically populates grade books and creates actionable reports. 
  • MOOC Hub: Classes can be offered as a massive open online course. It gives learners unlimited participation, access after the program ends and content that can be reused and shared without a license. 
  • Preferred Communications: Users can choose their favorite method of contact, whether that is text, email or push notification. They also choose if the notification comes instantly, daily, weekly or can opt-out altogether. 
  • Common Core: It automatically imports several Common Core standards. 

Industry Expertise

Security and reliability are important to Canvas. As mentioned above, it has an uptime of 99.9%. That’s an average of 44 minutes of downtime per month. It’s hosted on Amazon Web Services and SSL-protected. Other security measures include publishing yearly security audits, a robust quality assurance team and secure coding processes.

Key Features

  • Multimedia Capabilities: It allows students and instructors to share video, audio and images either as content or in response. Users can make annotations as well as creating a collaborative space. 
  • Open Source: The source code is open to everyone making it easier to customize or advance for those with very specific needs. 
  • Multiple Languages: It has 24 languages available, including English, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Maori, Russian and more. 
  • Shareable Data: Teachers and administrators can easily trade data and create reports to better assess their pedagogy, quizzes and more. 
  • Blended Learning: It combines online learning with face-to-face lessons. 
  • Consulting Services: Through different support packages, it offers consulting services for implementation, content strategy, product training, education strategy and custom technical issues. 
  • Integrations: It allows integrations with programs that manage calendars, course imports/cartridges, web services, social media, education modules, multimedia and collaboration functions. 
  • Flexible Pedagogy: Instructors can design classes around their preferred learning methods. That could mean standards-based grading, traditional grading, flipped learning, project-based learning or another method.
  • Skill Gaps: It gives teachers automatic notifications and methods to deal with at-risk populations.
  • Employee Performance & Development: Through Instructure’s Bridge, many capabilities are also available for the corporate world. This includes management for engagement, peer-to-peer connections, education, performance, career development and manager engagement.
  • Mobile: In addition to its responsive design, its app allows for use across multiple devices.

Suite Support

Help for users is directed through the institution, which may have tier 1 help desk IT support depending on the plan purchased. This could be available to administrators, faculty or students themselves. All users can access the dashboard help option where, depending on their permissions, they can reach instructors, search guides, report problems, submit ideas or access training videos and courses.

While there are general phone numbers listed by region, it seems that going through email or the help button on the dashboard is the preferred method. There is also a community help website and an overview question and answer section.

mail_outlineEmail: Many admins can directly interact with their designated Customer Success Manager. Otherwise, the general support email is [email protected] Users can also go through the Canvas dashboard to the “Help” button.
phonePhone: Administrators or institutions that have purchased support will be given a phone number and possibly even life chats. Otherwise, there are general phone numbers on the Contact Us page for Salt Lake City/North America at (800) 203-6755; Sydney, Australia at (1300) 956-763 and Outside Australia at (61) 2-8038-5069; London/UK at (0800) 358-4330; and Hong Kong at (800) 906-129.
schoolTraining: It offers training services to instructors, faculty, designers and systems administrators in how to deliver, design and manage courses.
local_offerTickets & Live Chat: Admins have access to submit to a ticket system or through a webform and some other users can email tickets. Chat support may be available depending on the issue. Again, the help menu on the dashboard is an option.

Canvas Reviews

Average customer reviews & user sentiment summary:

2817 reviews


of users would recommend this product

Synopsis of User Ratings and Reviews

Based on an aggregate of reviews taken from the sources above, the following pros & cons have been curated by a SelectHub Market Analyst.


  • Powerful Grading: Whether student or instructor, just under 90% of users who discussed grading said it was easy to send, receive and understand their final scores.
  • Easy Assignment Turn-In: More than 80% of reviewers that mentioned course work felt it was easy to share and download assignments.
  • Excellent Functionality: In general, users who discussed the features were pleased in 80% of reviews. They specifically appreciated the communication tools, multimedia options and organizational benefits.
  • Affordable: Over 80% of reviewers who mentioned price felt they got a good value for the money.
  • Strong Customer Support: When reviewers discussed customer service, they reported good experiences 80% of the time.
  • Easy to Use: Over 70% who discussed the useability said the system was easy to navigate and use.


  • Occasional Glitches: More than 70% of users who mentioned the program’s reliability said they ran into issues with bugs in the program.
  • Issues with Discussion Boards: While many users like the communications tools, over 60% of reviews that mentioned discussion boards disliked the feature.

Researcher's Summary:

Canvas is an e-learning solution used for online, in-person and hybrid learning in a variety of educational settings. It’s well-reviewed across most sites. Users found the system easy to use and navigate and were happy with the features. They were especially happy with the grading, assignments, assessment tools and felt that integrations worked well. Most reported the price as being well worth it and had positive experiences with customer service.

On the downside, users said they ran into bugs and glitches in the program which was frustrating. They also disliked the layout of the discussion board, while they did like the communications tools overall. This is a good solution for small, medium and some large educational institutions. Instructure offers Bridge, an enterprise training option. Corporations looking for training solutions likely won’t find what they need in Canvas.

User Sentiment i

Based on 2817 reviews:

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