By The Star Critic
I have been using Canvas for about a year now and it's been very helpful! Although the initial switch from Google Classroom to Canvas in my school district was hard, I have now gotten used to the apps interface and how it works. I like how organized everything is in the app, I can see all my classes laid out when I open it. If I click on one of my classes, I can easily open modules to find my assignments. I can also keep track of my assignments with the todos tab and inbox which shows messages from my teachers. Turning items in is also an easy process (depending on which format). You can turn in with audio, website URL, media recording, file upload, or text submission (depending on what the teacher chooses as submission process). Another great aspect is that all of your assignments are sorted by unit in the modules making it very easy to find your needed assignments. Overall Canvas is a good app, I only gave it 4 stars because on several occasions my teachers have made the app more difficult by allowing only a certain type of submission/ locking material by mistake, etc. I do have one recommendation, and that is when you film an in app video submission, there should be a pause button, I have experienced times when I was not able to pause and I wanted to.
Great in most ways, except one MAJOR flaw
By Gavin Apollo
The Canvas student app is really responsive and high functioning, almost easier to use sometimes than the actual desktop site. It makes doing school work while on the go a total breeze.
HOWEVER, I knocked a star off because there is just one MAJOR issue that I hope they can fix in a future update. I’ve noticed that whenever I navigate away from the app and then return (for example, checking a module for an assignment due date, navigating away to my calendar app, then navigating back to canvas to read further) the app backs out from where I was and returns to the main screen. This is really ANNOYING and I wish it would be fixed. I don’t close the app, I simply switch to a different one, but when I return I have to navigate all the way back to where I was, often needing to click through multiple menu bars to get back to my place. It’s really aggravating when trying to multitask (as all students usually are), especially when phones these days are trying to make multitasking more intuitive and easier to manage.
Hopefully that can be fixed because otherwise this is a really successful app.
It's improving! Getting closer!
I'm getting much happier with the new updates that have rolled out recently. Most of the functionality is intact, which makes it really good for getting a forum post or two done during down time somewhere.
Some things that are still a bit difficult are picking up discussion conversations that you have posted in. There is no way to quickly find or jump to posts that you have already made, which makes it difficult in larger classes with protracted discussions. Perhaps tagging people in a Facebook name type format and then being able to jump to that particular point in the discussions would help this?
The only other major problem that I've found (and this may just be an IOS problem) is that if I switch to another app to copy and paste some material or even just the web page url itself, the app closes itself and I lost my entire post. Like I said, this may just be an IOS thing with memory management but it is still a major pain in the rear to lose a long post that was typed on a mobile keyboard.
Overall it works well for me and I'm pretty happy with it! Keep up the improvements, it's about there!
Missing Online Features for Submission
In general, this app is good. I can easily submit files of many types when I need to and for any class, and I can track grades, upcoming events, discussions, and more. I love the ability to watch videos in-app and track what I still need to do. There have been some issues with my To-Do list in the past and it’s been hard to find some of my assignments, but after investigating I realized that this was due to faulty organization and uploads by my instructors, not because of the app itself. The only problem I have with this app right now is that it is missing some of the features available online. In my online Canvas account, which I use on a PC, I can submit Google Drive or OneDrive files directly to Canvas. On my iPad, which is what I use with the app, I only have the ability to make a text entry or upload a file from my iPad itself, which means I have to go through the trouble of moving Microsoft files from OneDrive to my iPad’s regular storage. If you could add support for this on both the online version and app, then I’d be grateful. I’d also appreciate full-screen support for videos.
From the beginning, the app was fine. I enjoyed using it and it was a good way of keeping up with my grades (assuming my professors uploaded them in the first place), but this recent update, as of April 16, is annoying to say the least. If your class are heavily discussion based, good luck. You now have to scroll though everyone’s posts and comments to finally reach your own. It gets hard to tell which one is a post and which one is a comment because there’s no real indicator except for a very thin gray line. If you want to edit a previous comment or past that you made? Tough luck, you’ll just have to replay again and add to the madness that is already this discussion board. Not only that but the scrolling never loads everything and often gets stuck when it reaches the bottom and has to load more also causing the app to crash. It was so much more efficient when all of the comments were in folders under the original post. Not only that but the notifications are still broken in the sense of, when you get a notification and you click on it, it still doesn’t take you to the right page.
This app made the studying process so much easier. They did a great job on how everything functioning but I removed one star because of their recent design changes. The app icon appears to be red with white logo on it, which made it very hard to see new notifications (since they also appear red in apple devices). I don’t usually write reviews but this really became uncomfortable for me personally. For example, I don’t get notifications on my locked screen, and my banners are also turned off when I get a notifications. When I unlock my phone I could still see that little red circle in the upper right corner of the app icon (that would tell me that I have a message or something). However, now the app is red, and I don’t notice a new notifications because two same colors blend together... I hope this review is helpful. I like the app in general. To all their team, thank you for your hard work.
More accessible and easy to use than the computer
I enjoy using this instead of having to log on every time on a web browser and having to boot up my computer, it’s also wherever I am. I do have a couple of occasional issues though, sometimes the app doesn’t load, it just keeps showing the canvas logo rotating forever (I think it may have something to do with having do not disturb on, I don’t know if it’s exclusive to my 2017 model iPad Pro 10.5 or if it could be a generic issue). Also, when writing a long reply on a discussion, the letters sometimes can start to fall behind, even to the point of a full second delay and then it will start back spacing if you made a mistake and won’t stop for a minute. This problem may have been fixed just this week with a canvas update (not the app, just canvas in general). The only thing I would like added is the option to edit a post/reply in discussions, I really wish I could do this without having to log on online and just use the app. But overall all, this is a great app to use.
Great for faculty only, calendar is useless
By Steak Haus
Nothing auto uploads to the calendar. If I have to personally check 10 sources to make sure Im on schedule, this is basically a very complicated syllabus with a forum attached to it. The format allows and inadvertently causes faculty to make busy work for the student by uploading more and more materials with more deadlines to keep track of, but since it does little to organize or enhance workflow, it has essentially made it more work for the student as you are looking through 50 pages of materials to make sure you’ve covered all the bases. I’d rather have a paper syllabus and take home handouts as needed, then have to keep track of hundreds of files, notifications, emails, forms and dates throughout the term. Its idea of a solution inadvertently creates a bigger problem. You’d think everyone having remote access to something would make the workflow more efficient. Instead it just opens floodgates to 40 people at a time thinking “Oh, I’ll just say or add this one more thing...” At least add a global search tool.
Unable to Use
For years, I have had this app downloaded on my phone, because all of my classes now require canvas (a stupid decision in my opinion, every student I know absolutely hates using this interface). However, I have not ONCE been able to log in to my account, because it won’t let me find my school. When you open the app, it has a page that says “find my school,” or something to that effect, but every time I type in the name of my school, it says it can’t find it. Which is ridiculous, because every class in my school uses Canvas, so please explain to me how an entire school just went missing. On top of that, the website is completely confusing for students, it took me about 3 months just to get my bearings. I feel like an old woman trying to use this website because I just can’t get a feel for the technology. 0/10 would not recommend. If you’re a teacher and considering using Canvas as your main interface between you and your students, please do them a favor and look elsewhere. I would recommend Google Classroom. That site is super user friendly and easy to understand. I have no idea why my school system ever switched.
Great App, but Needs a Few Minor Tweaks
By Samuel Haskins
First off, I want to say I love this app. Very easy for students to stay up to date on their schoolwork. I have used other programs such as My Big Campus and Blackboard Learn, but this app puts both of them to shape in terms of how easy it is to navigate. I could barely use their apps because everything was a mess, so good job with the creation of this app. However, I would like to make a few suggestions. As soon as something is posted to Canvas, it should you should IMMEDIATELY get a push notification and/or email. Sometimes, it takes several hours even though a grade, post, or assignment was posted a day ago, so make the notifications faster and more efficient. If I view a notification on the Canvas app, it should view as read on the desktop version. I notice when I view a notification on the app, it will show I have not viewed it on the desktop version. Also, find a way to allow users to do the “What-If?” grade scenarios on the app.