Learning Management Systems are very important in this day and age. LMS’s save a lot of time, money and in general are much more efficient than the traditional pen and paper only classroom. The Learning Management Systems market is dominated by Blackboard and Moodle. Moodle being the most widely used self-hosted free Learning Management System (LMS) and Blackboard being the market leader for paid LMS services. Canvas is definitely looking to disrupt the market place and their product and is proving to be a hit in the marketplace with some institutions already migrating their data over to the Canvas by Instructure platform.
Canvas by Instructure
Canvas LMS is definitely looking to disrupt the market place and their product and is proving to be a hit in the marketplace with some institutions already migrating their data over to the Canvas by Instructure platform. This is a great product that could potentially lower the cost of administering courses.
What is Canvas by Instructure?
Canvas is an easy to use Opensource Learning Management System geared primary for educational institutions. However, this platform can be used by any organization that needs an online collaboration space. The navigation is similar to what you will find on popular social networking sites. If you are familiar with other LMS's such as Desire2Learn, Moodle, or Blackboard you will find yourself at home with Canvas by Instructure because of its ease of use and intuitive navigation. Also, they have a free Ipad App in the AppStore.
What are the Key Features of Instructure?
Some of the main features of Canvas include, but are not limited to, the following:
Connections: Canvas makes it very easy to share your current social media profiles within your learning community. Teachers and students are able to join and create groups so that they can participate in classroom and course discussions.
Notifications: Configurable notification settings allowing you to choose whether you want to be notified via email or text messages (SMS).
Assignments/ Tests: Teachers/instructors can create assignments and quizzes and students can turn in and complete assignments and quizzes right through the Canvas interface. Built in rubrics creation allows for easy grading of assignments and tests.
Instant Messages: Members of classes or groups can communicate instantaneously using Tiny Chat's IM platform built into Canvas.
Analytics: Administrators are able to access usage statistics or analytics on the account and have super admin priviledges over all users.
Canvas is free for individual teachers/ instructors, however, schools, districts and other organizations will have to contact Instructure for more details. It is important to note that Canvas is running Ruby on Rails, therefore, expertise in that area will be necessary to effectively run the platform if you are going for the self-hosted education package. Individual teachers can just create an account and get started.
Canvas by Instructure is definitely a Learning Management System to watch out for and I would urge you to give it a try if you looking for an online home for your course or courses. If I were Blackboard, I would be shaking in my boots. Canvas may not affect Moodle as much, because it is totally free and well supported. However, for organizations subscribed to (Blackboard or Desire2Learn) would definitely want to take a look at Canvas by Instructure.
What do you think about Canvas' Learning Management System?