Canvas is the only LMS native to the cloud. Native cloud hosting means no versions, no upgrades, no migrations and no inconvenient down times. Canvas is automatically updated every three weeks without tedious downloads or patches. Your Canvas Cloud system is always up-to-date with the latest features, bug fixes and security enhancements. Heavy administrative burdens are a thing of the past.
Cloud hosting provides other benefits over traditional dedicated hosting, including exceptional speed, increased security, scalability, and more uptime. In fact, Canvas features a 99.9% guaranteed uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA). By being native to the cloud, Canvas delivers the significant advantages of cloud computing at a lower cost.
Automated Peak Load Management
A common complaint with most Learning Management Systems is that they go down right when they’re needed most. Heavy usage at the beginning of the term, at finals, or during other peak periods puts a severe strain on servers and brings the system to a halt. With automated peak load management on Canvas, additional server capacity is added automatically as activity increases, thus matching resource demands with additional resources. Problem solved.
Does it matter what’s under the hood of your LMS? While a user may never see the code underneath, they are most definitely affected by the inherent strengths and limitations of the programming language. Canvas is built using Ruby on Rails, the programming language for modern web applications. Using Ruby on Rails dramatically reduces programming time, allowing Canvas to be updated with new features and bug fixes faster and more often. Canvas takes advantage of Web 2.0 technology, HTML 5 and the latest programming methods to deliver a modern, open learning platform ideally suited to today’s educational environment.
With commercial closed-source applications the company controls the software and provides service and support for the product, but companies have often been criticized for being sluggish and tone-deaf to their customers’ needs. Community open source applications have freely available code and allow anyone to contribute, but are often developed without central support or a cohesive vision.
Instructure combines the accessibility benefits of open source software with the stability and support of a commercial organization. Canvas is open source software backed by the resources, support and customer service of Instructure.
The Canvas LMS was designed from the start to be an open, flexible platform for education. Canvas integrates seamlessly with innovative web technologies and learning resources. The Canvas API is openly published for ease of integration with third-party systems or for custom development and reporting.
Annual Open Security Audit
Every LMS claims their software is secure, but how can you be sure? With Canvas, you don’t have to wonder—we’ve contracted outside security audit specialists to thoroughly investigate Canvas and try to find vulnerabilities. Oh, and we invited a reporter along to observe and report on the entire process. Just another way we demonstrate our commitment to openness. We’re pretty sure no one else is doing this, but we invite them to give it a shot.
Standard LMS Functionality
The truth is that every LMS provides the basic feature set you would expect: assignments, quizzes, discussion groups, grading and course content tools. It’s usually not a matter of if a common feature is included, it’s a matter of how the feature is implemented. Fortunately, Canvas excels at delivering powerful functionality in a simple, intuitive way that users love. Canvas simply provides a better user experience than any other system.
Integrated Learning Outcomes
Learning outcomes align specific course activities with educational objectives. With Canvas, it couldn’t be simpler: create a learning outcome, align the outcome with a rubric and grade the assignment using the rubric in SpeedGrader. The student’s outcome achievements are automatically recorded and can be tracked for reporting purposes, to identify at-risk students, or for use in accreditation.
Canvas includes freely available mobile applications. We think your LMS should be available wherever you are, at your convenience, without paying extra for the privilege. Our SpeedGrader mobile app for the iPad lets instructors quickly and easily review and grade assignments, including the ability to submit video, audio, or text commentary back to the student. The Canvas for iOS app keeps course participants connected, with the ability to view grade notifications, class schedules, send and receive messages, participate in discussions, and post video and audio comments—right from your iPhone or iPad.
Education should be available to all students equally. Canvas was Gold-level certified by the National Federation of the Blind, faster than any other LMS. Canvas adheres to the latest ARIA specifications, avoids problematic content (like Flash) and even converts math equations to MathML automatically—making Canvas a highly accessible educational platform suitable for all learners and educators.