People Like Canvas!

If you’ve been feeling growing pains in your relationship with Carmen, you’re not alone. Nearly a year ago the search began to find the best learning management system (LMS) to upgrade CarmenCourses. One solution rising above the rest is Canvas. During autumn 2015 Ohio State underwent a rigorous pilot of Canvas to test if it could be a viable alternative to the current CarmenCourses LMS, D2L.


After one semester of use, 93% of faculty surveyed preferred Canvas to D2L. Freshmen and Sophomores preferred Canvas. Juniors and Seniors preferred D2L. While students initially preferred D2L, their opinion of Canvas improved over time. By the end of the semester, 49% of students indicated their opinion of Canvas had changed, and of these, 89% stated that their opinion was now better than at the start of the semester.


Graphs showing increased preference for Canvas over D2L by faculty and students



Faculty appreciated the simplicity of the Canvas interface to build courses, as well as the flexibility in course set up. Canvas’ video and recording features made it easier for them to produce videos for content or to provide feedback to students. They also liked how the SpeedGrader app saved time and provided better feedback to students.

“The look, feel, and set up are very clean and easy to use.”

“Ease of use. All of the functionality is easy to find and easy to configure. The default options seem to make sense. SpeedGrader is fantastic. The mobile apps are nice to use.”

“The messaging system. I love being able to communicate straight through Canvas rather than emails.”

“Once my students and I got used to it, we liked the streamlined design and the ability to navigate in several ways. I grew to appreciate both SpeedGrader and the ability to provide comments, attach documents, and other options for responding to students' work. And the students appreciated comments that were longer and more specific, as well as more timely.”


Students liked the ability to use Canvas on a smartphone or tablet. The calendar feature made it easier for them to stay on top of assignments and readings. They enjoyed the ability to check grades in a simple, straightforward way, and the meeting and collaboration tools simplified group project work.

“It works well on mobile.”

“My favorite part is the grading section. Being able to include hypothetical grades and see your percentage as you go is extremely convenient in seeing how you are doing. Also, having the easy to view calendar with all of your class assignments, the to-do, and recently graded tabs are very convenient.”

“I enjoyed actually having a profile, so that I can better connect to my peers.”


A second pilot is currently underway to dig deeper into what Canvas has to offer. And don’t worry, if Canvas is chosen as the official Ohio State LMS, you won’t have to break up with Carmen. You’ll still be able to access your courses at

Are you interested in the Canvas evaluation? View all info on the Canvas news feed and stay tuned for more on the LMS update!