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« • Try Canvas • How to choose an LMS • Will it get used? • Adoptable • Adaptable • Reliable • The Canvas experience

How to choose an LMS

There’s the old way

(Features, features, features!)

and there’s a new, better way.

And that way is to start by asking
one simple question:

You might think that this is where we get all touchy feely and employ a combination of convenient puffs of smoke and well-placed mirrors. But the truth is: there’s nothing we’d love more than to use some cold hard facts. Numbers, in fact.

(Yay! Infographics!)

Did you know that 85% of CIOs say “faculty view technology as a critical resource.”

But only 45% report that instructional technology investments are effective. That’s a steep dropoff.

No wonder 48% of campuses are engaged in an LMS review.

A lot of these campuses will try to choose an LMS the old way (features, features, features!), but, with all due respect, 1,001 of the most blazing hot features do nothing at all for the person who uses the LMS zero times. 0 x 1,001 still = 0.
Which is why we lean on the question:

Canvas will. Just look at these schools who chose Canvas. The gray is their adoption data (how long they had their previous LMS, how well-adopted it was) and the blue is their Canvas experience.

(Yay! Infographics!)

College 69% (10 Mo)
Michigan Tech University 80% (6 Mo)
University of
Mary Washington 82% (6 Mo)
South Puget Sound Community College 99% (15 Mo)
Clover Park
Technical Collge 45% (18 Mo)

48% (6 Yrs)

44% (8 Yrs)

55% (12 Yrs)

35% (3 Yrs)

14% (4 Yrs)

The fact is: Canvas is adopted faster
and deeper than any other LMS.

Why? Because Canvas answers the big question (Will it get used) with a resounding “Yes.”
And because we answer these six sub-questions the same way:

Will it
get used?

1. Is it easy
to use?

“Canvas is on the leading edge. The SpeedGrader, the ability to record audio/video while grading and the use of rubrics is worth the cost of the entire package! It saves me so much time grading.” Brenda Frieden Pitt State

2. Does it do
what teachers/
students need
it to?

“Canvas is way ahead of the curve on building a system that embraces today’s technology and knows where and how our students interact with that technology. My students love using Canvas, and refer to it as 'Facebook for my class.'” Brenda Frieden Pitt State

3. Does it provide
easy mobile access?

“I think what really set Canvas apart from the rest for our instructors was SpeedGrader. When our instructors saw SpeedGrader, you could feel the excitement in the room, and when we told them it could be accessed on their mobile device…well let’s just say it took a while for them to quiet down.” Ryan Gladysiewicz The College of New Jersey

4. Is it

“Our instructors have settled in to Canvas in just weeks after more than 10 years of using other LMS platforms. Our support calls have dropped to almost nothing and student/faculty engagement is at an all-time high…all for less than half of what we were paying the other guys. Thanks, Instructure!” Adam McGhee Coordinator, Distance Ed, Southern Union State Community College

5. Does it make
jobs easier?

“In fact, with how easy Canvas is to use, many faculty are exploring and using features and tools they've never used before, reshaping their pedagogical approach.” Tom Lewis UW

6. Does it
save time?

“I really like the flexibility and naturalness of Canvas. It seems very intuitive. I feel like Canvas is to our previous LMS as the iPhone is to an old rotary phone.” Brenda Frieden Pitt State

Choosing an LMS is not just about features. It’s about asking the right questions and getting the right answers. See for yourself why Canvas is adopted faster and deeper than any other LMS.

And while we’re asking questions,

(we’re so into the Socratic method like that)

here are two more important ones to consider as you choose your LMS.

Will it adapt to your needs?

Canvas is the 21st Century LMS. Flexible. Customizable. Grows with your institution. Molds to your needs. Adaptability is in its DNA.


Canvas is openness—from our open APIs to the openness of our security audits, from our open feature discussions and Canvas Studio to the open source software that is Canvas itself.


Canvas provides an extensive, open API that we publish to the world, making it easy for third-party apps to plug right into Canvas, pull from its data, and push data back in.

Pedagogical Flexibility

We built a whole app center just to make it even easier for institutions and instructors to experiment and adapt new technologies into their courses. Browse through loads of LTI apps and install them in a single click. No IT support necessary.


Who knows Canvas better than Canvas? Our in-house Canvas experts take the support burden off your hands, ensuring the speediest, most frictionless interactions.

Is it reliable?

As a mission-critical app, your LMS has to be reliable. Period. Is Canvas reliable.
Awesomely so.

What does awesomely reliable mean?

Native cloud, Amazon Web Service hosted

So what? So AWS processes more than a million requests per second, has more than 500,000 servers, and stores more than 2 trillion objects, adding more than 40,000 new objects every second.


Just how fast is Canvas? Well, like we said above, we’re hosted on the world’s most robust hosting platform (AWS), which is used by companies like Netflix that demand speed and reliability. Can you imagine your servers running all of Netflix? Definitely not with the speed or reliability of AWS. It’s as fast as you can get, which means–of course–that so is Canvas.


No other LMS has done so much to ensure their (and your) security. We conduct regular internal audits and even contract independent security specialists to perform and publish a public security audit.


With Canvas, capacity scales automatically with demand with automated peak load management. So when you need us most, we’re up and ready to go.


Since the very beginning, Canvas has featured a 99.9% guaranteed uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA) to all customers. That’s the highest guaranteed uptime in the industry.


Native cloud means no versions, no upgrades, no downloads, and no migrations. It all happens automatically, so there’s less risk, less to manage, and less downtime.

The Canvas Experience

How does Canvas make
teaching and learning easier? Don’t ask us.
Ask the people who use Canvas.

Rather than tell you how great, adaptable, adoptable, reliable, customizable, risk-free, headache-free, and otherwise totally awesome Canvas is (ok, maybe we just alluded to it the tiniest little bit), we’ve created a place where you can get a sampling (or heaping, if that’s more your thing) of the millions of users that enthusiastically use Canvas. You can find out who’s using Canvas, why they love Canvas, what they do with Canvas, how Canvas enhances their classroom, how they chose Canvas in the first place, and a whole lot more. It’s full of stories, videos, quotes, and–for the deepest diggers among you–case studies.

(Yay! Case studies!)

The details/nitty gritty

So you’re a deep sea diver. An information seeker. A white paper reader. Well, you’re in luck because this is the place where details meet both nit and grit.


Sure, we just told you that features aren’t the only reason to choose an LMS. But, trust us, we have some pretty amazing features. See them HERE.

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