Searching for a LMS site? Let’s “Canvas” the area!

Welcome, this is without a doubt my best title yet, if I do say so myself.

Today’s discussion will focus on the choice of service for our major project this semester.  After some deliberation, Nicole Brown and I have decided to forge ahead with Canvas.  While I am certainly new to this website and to Learning Management Systems as a whole, I wanted to highlight three (3!)




Three Key Features:

Multiple Choice Questions allow for formative feedback.

Multiple Choice Questions allow for further feedbackI wanted to learn about how the quiz questions

worked so I created a couple questions from Act I of Macbeth and inserted them into program.  Early on, I realized that under each possible answer I could leave a comment.  Traditionally, Multiple Choice questions are seen as low level memorization questions.  However, the format that Canvas offers allows me to use each question as a learning/reinforcement opportunity.

Outcomes are clearly displayed

A current major focus with Regina Catholic Schools right now is the emphasis of clear outcomes and indicators from the Saskatchewan Curriculum. The Canvas website allows you to post your outcomes for all to see, as well as any extra explanation you want to give in order to enhance the understanding of your students.



Discussion Threads

discussionThe final Canvas aspect that I want to highlight in my (admittedly brief) time on the site is possibility of discussion threads.  In the picture, you can see that one of the great aspects is that students must reply to the prompt before they can see the replies of their classmates.  This ensures that everyone is coming to their own conclusion instead of simply copying.  Once the students have replied, they are free to comment on each other’s posts and create a collegial atmosphere on the website.


Important Question Yet to be Discovered:

The most important question so far is the one that I am still unable to answer, and that is, how effectively can this site be used by the students?

My main priority when choosing a major project topic was to pick something that I was not only passionate about, but also something that I could integrate into my classrooms to enhance the learning of the students.

As I proceed further in the project, I hope to test out the site with some of my students and get their feedback on what they do and do not like.  These decisions will help shape whether I continue to use Canvas for years to come or if I leave in search of a new Learning Management System

Final Verdict: To Be Determined…

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am only in the initial stages of planning our major project.  While I am happy with the opportunities that the Canvas Learning Management System provides, I cannot provide a decisive verdict until the project is complete and I am totally comfortable with the site’s capabilities.

Until then, I would love to hear what you, my colleagues, think of the site (if you chose to use it) and what are some of your favorite options, as well as your perceived drawbacks to the site.

Thanks again, and I’ll see you in the comments.



19 thoughts on “Searching for a LMS site? Let’s “Canvas” the area!

  1. Those are great features of Canvas. It took me forever to try and post something, though! I wasn’t sure if it should be a discussion or an assignment or what a group discussion meant. It definitely has a learning curve to it.
    Good luck with this! I’m excited to see how this will work for your Macbeth unit!


  2. First of all, yes, I couldn’t agree more – best title ever. Immediately drew me in to your blog. Then your content kept me reading – I appreciated your review of those three elements of Canvas. Honestly (now I don’t know if I should admit this) I didn’t realize I could attach outcomes, because it was shaded a light grey so I never even tried to click on it. That would have been embarrassing had I written about that in my blog post! Thanks for sparing me that embarrassment, and for making a solid review of Canvas!


  3. I didn’t realize I could attach outcomes either! Thanks for sharing that Kyle. Guess I need to explore things in a little more depth in the next few days here. Although I know that there will still be little bits and pieces that I don’t know about even after working with it to develop a course, but that’s the joy of learning something new. There’s always more to learn.


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  5. Thanks for sharing Kyle! I haven’t had time to play with the quizzes feature of canvas yet, but feel more comfortable with it after reading your blog. I look forward to learning new features throughout the course and will be checking out your blog to see if I am missing anything.


  6. I love the features that you discussed and feel the same about them but am also excited about the ability to organize by module, allowing my students (but really, allowing me) to easily find the information that they are looking for/need in order to move forward in the course.


  7. Great analysis of the features to get students sharing, particularly with the Discussion feature. I’m feeling a little envious of your use of Canvas!


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