Understanding the difference between Canvas and Moodle is essential for people considering using either of these tools. In researching them, it took me a long time to figure out the similarities and differences. Don’t be like me — know the difference!
Let’s explore both in detail and understand which suits your needs better.
Canvas is a Learning Management System ( LMS) that helps educators create a favorable learning environment for students and helps students to interact and engage with their teachers. It also facilitates parents to monitor their children’s performance and engage with teachers. It was founded in 2008 by Brian Whitmer and Devlin Daley. The company is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Canvas currently has more than 6000 global customers and is being used by over 30 million people worldwide. Also known as Instructure, Canvas is a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Canvas LMS Features
Canvas promotes itself as a Learning Management System for students of K-12, Higher Education, and working professionals. Canvas allows for creating assignments and quizzes and grading them, all in one place. Students can interact with educators as well as their peers via Canvas. It supports In-person, Online as well as Blended learning. Canvas LMS ensures that both instructors and students have everything they need in one place to teach and be taught. It facilitates the upload and sharing of course information in several ways. It allows Educators to use Blueprints to push curriculum throughout the institution. Canvas facilitates learning through mobile apps and computers. It allows for integrations with tools like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Adobe, etc. Canvas LMS has mobile apps for teachers as well as students.
Teachers can engage with students through native mobile notifications and Canvas apps that are secure and accessible. Teachers can communicate with individual students or groups or the entire class through messaging, audio notes, and video. Students can also communicate through chat groups, videos, and messaging. Canvas allows teachers to add video and audio to their lessons and keep up face-to-face interactions inside the Canvas LMS. Instructors can provide targeted feedback with annotations, use rubrics for scoring, share comments via video, add grades to the grade book and quickly create robust, actionable reports about student progress. There is no limit to the file size of audio or video content used with Canvas. The Course Analytics feature provides data and insights into how students interact with course materials. Canvas guarantees a 99.9 percent uptime of its system.
Other Products from Canvas
1. Canvas Studio
Canvas Studio is a video learning platform that facilitates inclusive, engaging classroom discussions. It is a video education platform for higher education teaching and learning. It allows educators to create, deliver, host, and organize video content in all major formats.
2. Canvas Catalog
Canvas Catalog is an online course catalog that allows institutions to showcase their offerings. The catalog will enable institutions to centralize their educational programs or professional development offerings in an attractive online marketplace.
3. Canvas Student Pathways
Canvas Student Pathways helps students in their academic and co-curricular journeys and provides them with a roadmap to acquire the necessary skills. It shows them exactly where they are in their learning process, what they’re working to accomplish, and how each step along the way contributes to their goal.
4. Impact by Instructure
Impact by Instructure helps institutions improve technology adoption and evaluate the effects of educational technology while helping faculty and students navigate new platforms. It provides insightful dashboards and dynamic reporting, which provide a bird’s eye view of how well students and faculty are engaging with available edtech tools.
Canvas offers custom pricing options to educators and institutions that vary with their requirements.
Moodle is a free online Learning Management System or VLE ( virtual learning environment). Martin Dougiamas founded it in 2002. The word MOODLE is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is built using PHP. Moodle is used by over 312 million users worldwide for academic and enterprise-level learning. Moodle is created by the Moodle project, led and coordinated by Moodle HQ. Moodle HQ is financially supported by over 80 Moodle Partner companies worldwide. It currently supports over 40 million courses across 180,000 websites in 243 countries.
Moodle Technical Specifications
Moodle can be installed on any computer that runs PHP and supports an SQL-type database. It can be run on Windows and Macintosh operating systems and many flavors of Linux. Moodle can also be deployed on a private, secure cloud or server.
Moodle is a free Open Source software. Anyone can adapt, extend or modify Moodle for commercial and non-commercial projects without any licensing fees. It is being translated into more than 120 languages by the Moodle community, so it has a global reach. Being open-source software, it is possible to customize Moodle as per the end-user’s requirements. It also supports additional features through hundreds of plugins developed by the Moodle Community. Several Moodle Partners across the globe can help educators and institutions with hosting and customization of Moodle for a fee. If you are not a programmer and don’t want to use the services of a Moodle partner, you can opt for Moodlecloud, which is a paid LMS platform from Moodle. It is a ready-to-use platform for educators ( like Canvas) who don’t want to invest in hosting and customization, which is usually required for Moodle.
Moodle is a highly scalable, robust, and secure platform with bug fixes and major new releases every six months. It is web-based, with a mobile-compatible interface and cross-browser compatibility, which allows it to be used anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Moodle is supported by easily accessible documentation and a strong community of global users and partners. Moodle is an all-in-one learning platform that supports blended learning and 100 percent online learning.
Both Canvas and Moodle are excellent Learning Management Systems that Schools and Universities are widely using across the globe. Canvas is a ready-to-go solution for educators, whereas Moodle requires hosting and customization. Canvas is built, marketed, distributed, and supported by Instructure, which owns the LMS. In its raw format, Moodle is freely downloadable but requires extensive support for hosting, customization, and maintenance, which has to be acquired from a Moodle Partner. Before selecting which LMS would be best for your institution, it is recommended that you discuss your requirements with Instructure and the local Moodle Partner and get a better picture of the features being offered and the cost involved. If budget is not a constraint for your organization, you will be in better company with Canvas.
Also, understand the difference between Canvas and Acrylic Prints.