• Chrome continues to be the dominant desktop browser for use with Canvas. However, we recommend having Firefox (Windows or Mac) or Safari (Mac) available as a second browser. There are many advantages to using Firefox or Safari including a built-in distraction free reader for web pages encumbered with ads.  
  • Satisfaction with Canvas is high: 75% rate it as very good or excellent and 94% good or better. However, there are several comments on quirks, limitations, and frustrations with Canvas and how it can be improved. You can read a sampling of comments on this page and all comments in the full survey report.
  • For those faculty who use Turnitin for Canvas assignments, the satisfaction is the lowest by far of any Canvas feature. 30% rate TII in Canvas as Fair or Poor. 
  • Faculty appreciate the assistance from Information Technology but have limited time to attend workshops. The need for quick assistance and tutorials are important. 
  • In response to the number of great comments Information Technology will write a list of FAQ’s.
Desktop web browsers: Chrome and Firefox 

Devices use 

Devices in order of most preferred use with Canvas (The sum of the percentages are > 100% because some instructors use more than one device). 

Overall Satisfaction with Canvas

Sampling of Comments

It does exactly what I want it to do, and when it does not I discover that I forgot the shortcuts.

Flexibility and functionality has been great. What an improvement over Angel! But, there are probably a few more things I could learn to do with Canvas and that's on me to make the time to play around with it more.

Overall it is fine but there are some frustrating quirks which I have mentioned before. When you come to certain pages you cannot get back to the main menu for that course without going completely out of the course and back in. An instructor should be able to access the course's main tabs from any page. There is no hyperlinking available in messaging. Also, I initially was losing my messages - they were not delivered and were not in my sent folder. It is not obvious how to use Turnitin in Canvas. In ANGEL it was automatic.

The interface is not intuitive. Home pages are too confusing to set up beyond basic features. Commons files are too abundant and mostly irrelevant - so they're like "noise" - and not useful. Also - some problems I've encountered are: Announcements are prioritized over Assignments (students have to dig and hunt for things). Files attached to Assignments set up with start/stop dates, or exam files, are viewable by students outside of the stop/start dates.

Relatively user friendly. The only problem I have had involves the quizzes feature; this feature is limited in its functions relative to my courses' needs.

I had a wonderful experience using CANVAS. I had the opportunity to use it last summer for a summer course before I used it for my fall courses--so I had the chance to navigate the site and figure out what I liked and didn't like. I like this a lot better than angel.

It is similar enough to Angel to make the transition easy, although time consuming. It has more features than Angel which will take time to fully understand and utilize, at which time I might have a more detailed explanation of my level of satisfaction.

Faculty Rating of Key Canvas Features

Sampling of Comments

1. does not allow multiple simultaneous file uploads 2. assignments and quizzes do not allow for partial points such as a reading quiz worth 2.5 pitons total 3. The discussion does not allow easy integration with hard drive or Google Drive, any images first need to be uploaded to Canvas then posted on Discussion board 4. Every time I want to add a new module I need to go back to the top of the module page, which by the end of the term is frustrating

I am afraid I did not really explore all of the options available, but those I did use were great. I plan on exploring the modules and discussions over the summer with a view to using them next year.

I wish the students would utilize discussions like I thought they would. I wish there was a way to know if students read the discussions that were assigned. I am assuming that I need to make this expectation clear . I really like speedgrader. I am on limited internet service so speedgrader is helpful in my ability to not have to download everything

Loading pages are easy. Assignments work very well - setting up and student submission Turnitin works better as a separate site where you can fully see the details of the originality report. Discussions are OK. Grading is annoying if you are allowing revisions and require opening separate windows to compare. Modules are a terrific way to organize the course. Quizzes need to have a way to pick and choose questions within the question bank not move which results in a delete. Also, its impossible to update a module and components from the Canvas app you need to get to a laptop or desktop - very annoying.

Turnitin is difficult to set up in Canvas. It is not intuitive and the instructions are not clear.

Quizzes are difficult to spell check. If you have more than 25 questions you can't see the full question to be able to spell check. Checking 56 words at a time is difficult.

I'm getting a substantial amount of students complaining about not getting their assignments to submit when Iuse Turnitin so Ihave about 1/4 of all my students submit their assignments via email. I wish that wasn't the case.

Using Rubrics with Speed Grader works great, but it is sometimes difficult to create the rubric. Turnitin is not very intuitive to use with Canvas. Sometimes it works and some times it does not!

Rating of Canvas Services

Sampling of Comments

Crocodoc sucks. Also would like to be able to batch load files. Question numbering in quizzes needs to be fixed The good: tons of it--

I am busy enough so that taking a bite out of my schedule to attend training sessions is problematic. The Help facility is like a lot of help facilities, aimed at a younger audience than me.

When I use the support help, often my initial questions have no answer, so I have to keep changing my keywords. It is easier if I have an experienced Canvas user at my side.

I don't understand why we wouldn't have subscribed to Blackboard - to keep us in the game. It seems we are always so out of touch and out of date. Even better, why wouldn't we consider Chromebooks or tablets for students and faculty with appropriate, practical training in and from Google, for instance?


Below are activity statistics (by page views) for the Winter 2017 term. General refers to the course home page, people page, and syllabus page. Other refers to page views that are not recognized by Canvas.

Activity as measured by the number of Canvas page views: 

Activity as measured by the number of logon sessions

Google Analytics for operating systems. Note! the mobile data below if for mobile web browsing (e.g. Safari on an iPhone or iPad) and does not include Canvas mobile app usage, which Instructure currently does not provide for data collection. 

Students continue to prefer iOS as their mobile device by a large margin. 


You can read the full survey results in this PDF report 🔗


  • Generally, students who responded to the survey are pleased with Canvas and appreciate its substantial advantages over ANGEL (for those who used ANGEL for their courses in previous years). The many positive comments reflect the high 93% satisfaction rate: good, very good, or excellent. 65% rated Canvas as excellent or very good. 
  • One of Canvas strengths is the flexibility for instructors to organize and display course content in different ways. However, such flexibility presents challenges as effective and consistent course organization is important to students to reduce confusion and frustration in course navigation. ("The system can be set up a lot of ways which can make it confusing at times!”) Student feedback on the need to improve course organization will be shared with faculty. 
  • Students commented on the value of having their grades readily available in Canvas Grades and would like more instructors to include them online. 
  • Virtually all students (144 out of 145) chose a desktop or laptop browser as their number one device to interact with Canvas. 
  • However, 142 out 145 students also use their smartphone with Canvas and 1/3 of students use a tablet or other touch device. IT will survey students in the Fall to determine the extent of mobile usage in Canvas and specific interactions using these devices.


The distribution of survey respondents by full-time and part-time status. 

The distribution of students by the number of courses taken in Canvas.

Students listed the devices they own in order of most preferred use with Canvas (The sum of the percentages are > 100% because some students use more than one device).

Google Chrome is the most popular browser among students followed by Safari, which is pre-installed on Macintosh computers. We recommended that you have installed at least two web browsers. Firefox is an excellent browser to consider with Chrome or Safari. Please note that Internet Explorer is not supported in Canvas. 

65% of students taking the survey rate their satisfaction with Canvas as Excellent or Very Good and 93% of students responded to the survey rated Canvas at least good or better. 

Sampling of comments on rating satisfaction with Canvas

Canvas helps me stay up to date on my assignments and grades. I appreciate being able to stay in touch with everything that has to get done for my classes. Sometimes, however, I don't get emails when an announcement is made, or a discussion is posted, which can be annoying. Overall, Canvas is very useful for me.

Canvas is more user friendly than blackboard. It was easy to find my assignments and grades. Unfortunately, some teachers didn't know how to use Canvas and that was a setback. Also, I often experienced problems with drop boxes when submitting assignments.

I am able to mostly understand canvas. Sometimes it confuses me because professors don't always upload material in the same area (files, modules) so I either can't find it or don't know it's there.

It is miles ahead of what our previous portal was. It is user-friendly and teachers use it more efficiently than they did in Angel. It does not work on my mobile device, so I have to use my computer though.

The interface is kind of confusing, as it is modular. Having both a "files" tab and a "modules" tab available can get confusing. Also, the dropboxes are glitched, and cannot see the entire drop box. Additionally, it is a hastle when only some professors keep it updated and others do not

i like canvas much better than Angel like we had the previous 2 years. i have never had any issues with Canvas and i like how it has the to-do, calendar, and grades for all of the courses right on the side of the home screen

Canvas services

Sampling of Comments on rating Canvas uptime and support

Canvas was shut down once this semester, but it was Amazon's issue and not Elmira College's. I have not had to ask IT for help on Canvas.

Canvas is always up and running. I cannot recall any issues relating to unscheduled maintanence. I've never had to call IT for Canvas.

I have only experienced problems with Canvas being down a few times. Of course, those times were when I was submitting an assignment at 11:30pm that was due at 12, and Canvas just conveniently decided to go down in that time. However, I take responsibility for that as well.

There were only a few times that Canvas was down but it was at a time where I had a paper due. That said, however, the professor was aware of it, due to emails sent by IT and made us aware also. Other arrangements were made for deadlines, etc.

The mobile version (iOS) of canvas is buggy at times, slow to refresh and lacking the features of the web browser based version. I typically loving through a web browser on mobile so as to retain full functionality.

Sampling of comments on what to improve in Canvas

I'd like to be able to add assignments in the "Grades" section. Sort of like the "what if" scores, but on steroids. Some professors don't put in all assignments: it would be cool to be able to add my own "whit if" assignments to calculate grades. 

The system can be set up a lot of ways which can make it confusing at times!


You can read the full survey results in this PDF report
The distribution of survey respondents by full-time and part-time status. 

The distribution of students by the number of courses taken in Canvas. 

Students listed the devices they own in order of most preferred use with Canvas (The sum of the percentages are > 100% because some students use more than one device). 

Google Chrome is the most popular browser among students followed by Safari, which is pre-installed on Macintosh computers. Please note that Internet Explorer is not supported in Canvas. 

67% of students taking the survey rate their satisfaction with Canvas as Excellent or Very Good and 9 out of 10 students rated Canvas at least good or better. 

SAMPLING OF COMMENTS (full results attached as a PDF)

I am new at Elmira College so Canvas was brand new for me. It took me a moment to learn my way around it and I am still currently learning it. It is not bad, I like that I can go check on my assignments and I also know a head of time what we will be doing for class.

Canvas is miles ahead of Angel. The dashboard is user friendly, the course information is easily accessible, and I have no problem submitting assignments. I am so glad we switched.

I feel that submitting assignments on Canvas is much easier than ANGEL. However, I feel that finding files and assignments to complete is more difficult that necessary (though this could be as a result of how my professors organize their pages).

Canvas works well. I have not had any issues with it and it has some nice functions, like the calendar for assignments. I like that it notifies you when teachers put in grades so that you can go check it and that you can put in grades to see how it would affect your grade.

I love everything about Canvas. I like how organized it is (Ex, files, modules, grades). The only issues I sometimes have are where the professors place things under the courses. I enjoy seeing the class average, highest and lowest grades of the class and seeing where I placed with my assignments. At first I didn't like Canvas because it was so different from Angel, but these past 7 weeks I have really grown to enjoy it.

I really like Canvas and all of its features. However it doesn't help when professors don't use it properly and each professor uses it differently. It's hard to keep track of each professor and where they keep their assignments, whether they use discussion boards, or how they are grading

  • Generally, students who responded to the survey are pleased with Canvas and appreciate its many advantages over ANGEL (for those who used ANGEL for their courses in previous years). The many positive comments reflect the 67% satisfaction rate (excellent or very good)
  • Students recognize the challenges for their professors in using and organizing courses in Canvas especially for first-time Canvas Teachers and have suggestions to help students navigate courses (see full comments)
  • Mobile is important to students based on their choice of secondary device (iPhone, Android phone, iPad, Android tablet) after a desktop/laptop with web browser. In a subsequent survey IT will be asking students how frequently they use their mobile devices in Canvas to more accurately predict mobile usage trends. 
  • As a follow-up we in Information Technology will be responding to student comments/questions in the survey such as effective use of mobile devices, notifications, navigation, and access to their submissions from previous courses


Highlights of the Survey

Like Internet Explorer years ago Chrome is the dominant web browser for students (82%) and faculty. 

Web browsers: Chrome and Firefox 

11% use Firefox
89% use Google Chrome

Overall Satisfaction with the transition

89% of faculty rate the overall Canvas transition as Excellent or Very Good.  

Satisfaction with each of the transition services

Most of the transition services were rated excellent or very good > 80% of the time. The exception is Turnitin, which is a separate transition in and of itself. 8 of 23 faculty rated the Turnitin integration no better than good (see red-boxed section below). Please also refer to CONCLUSIONS below. 

Sampling of Comments

Canvas blows Angel out of the water. You've all done an excellent job providing us with resources to make Canvas that much better. Thank you!

Would like to see what other faculty are doing. Not how they did it but what they are doing.

Issues with compatibility between Canvas and Turnitin. Speedgrader sometimes doesn't register submissions, though they are listed in Canvas and Turnitin.

Overall I think the information and support we've received has been excellent. I still need to take some time to understand a few features better, but I have the resources to do that when I make the time.

  • Based on faculty feedback Information Technology will continue with offering transition services such as in-person training, responsive Help Desk, email and phone support, Canvas blogs/web pages, and communication such as Teaching with Canvas newsletters.
  • Although not surprising, the new Turnitin integration in Canvas is challenging based on poor UX to set up, bugs, and features not yet fully implemented. IT will continue to work closely and proactively with  Canvas and Turnitin integration teams and provide updates to frequently asked questions. As an indication of the depth of the integration there are almost 500 comments on the Canvas Community Page
  • Before the full transition the LMS Committee recommended a faculty brown bag or other forum to allow faculty to present how they effectively use Canvas for their teaching. We will follow up on providing such a forum. 
  • Information Technology will follow closely mobile usage by students to assist faculty in their course design
  • A FAQ newsletter will be written to address survey feedback questions on Canvas usage 
  • Looking ahead to the Winter Term Information Technology has developed assessment goals for 2016-2017 that include expanding the use of Canvas for enhanced teaching, assessment, and online learning. These will be shared soon with faculty.


Highlights from the Student Canvas Satisfaction Survey
  • 218 students responded out of the 866 who were enrolled in Canvas courses for the Fall 2015 term.
  • More than half of students took only 1 course in Canvas so the majority of students worked with two systems (ANGEL and Canvas) for their academic work.
  • Students preferred devices in order were desktop or laptop (98%), iPhone 34%, Android phone (16%), and iPad (6%).
  • By a large margin almost 3 out of 4 (73%) students primarily interact with Canvas using Google Chrome. Safari (12%), Internet Explorer (9%), and Firefox (6%) were far behind. For best results Information Technology recommends Chrome or Firefox.
  • More than 3 out of 4 students rated Canvas as Excellent or Very Good (76%). 6% rated Canvas as fair or poor. In March 59% of students rated ANGEL as excellent or very good.

Students provided much feedback in their comments, which are summarized below by category. Information Technology will soon respond to comments that will assist students in more effectively using Canvas.


Highlights from the Faculty Canvas Satisfaction Survey
  • 18 of 32 faculty responded to the survey
  • Faculty preferred devices in order were desktop or laptop (100%), iPad (33%) iPhone (17%), and Android phone (11%).
  • 72% faculty prefer Chrome as their primary web browser and 22% prefer Firefox.
  • 78% of faculty rate Canvas as excellent or very good and the remaining 22% responded with good.
  • Faculty chose a variety of different areas for improvement -- no one tool stood alone in need of enhancement. The full survey includes comments at the end of question 6.