Am I next-gen enough to use Canvas Instructure?

Are you like me, one of the 80% of faculty that are satisfied with SSU’s current LMS, Moodle? Surprised that we are rushing to adopt Canvas Instructure, the next-gen LMS, when you don’t even know what next-gen means in this context?

A bit of background, in Nov 2017, I suspected that I might already be last-gen since I’d never heard of Canvas Instructure. I researched whether I could fit in with the next-geners. I looked into Instructure’s financial condition and whether I could import my last-gen courses into next-gen Canvas. The results of this research set off alarm bells. The company’s financial condition looked dire and my course content couldn’t be imported into Canvas.

Next, I took my concerns to the committee charged with assessing whether we should switch to Canvas, the Academic Technology and Instructional Spaces Subcommittee (ATISS). Armed with my research, I thought that the members would share my concerns. At the Dec 5, 2017 ATISS meeting, the chair helped me understand that I had been naive to invest thousands of hours creating content (cloze questions) that is only compatible with Moodle, a last-gen feature packed LMS. As all Canvas devotees know FEATURES, FEATURES, FEATURES! are so last-gen.

I decided to take another look at Canvas to see if the Higher Ed customers highlighted in its Investor Presentation were using it.

It seemed odd that if Canvas is Used by 7 Ivy League Schools that two of the five logos (Stanford and Indiana University) presented are not in the Ivy League. Maybe Canvas wants to highlight these customers because of their high levels of satisfaction. Let’s take a look at the highlighted Universities’ websites.

I started with Stanford. Surely, if Stanford is highlighted; they must love it. On the Stanford site, I was surprised to find a list of features that Canvas was missing that had been in its last-gen LMS, CourseWork. Apparently, there are some last-gen professors with large classes complaining about features.

If you are last-gen and want to see the list of features you will not have with Canvas, click here.

On to Indiana University. I now understand why Canvas highlighted it. Users there give it an overall rating of 3 out of 5.

Description User Reviews

I was discouraged by most of the comments, especially the Professor’s. Obviously, another last-gen Professor looking for features in their LMS. I held out hope and filtered by the most helpful review. Phew….I was getting worried. Canvas will solve all my problems.

I now aspire to be like Joe S who solved for love because he is next-gen, AWESOME and able to Learn with Canvas (Tech).

love = (AWESOME - Learning) / Tech

Source: Instructure

Source: Instructure

I look forward to a perfect life with Canvas. However, I’m a bit slow to embrace change. If we do adopt Canvas, I hope we have a User Reviews page like IU so while I’m trying to be more like Joe S, I can commiserate with other last-geners like the Professor.

Feature users prepare to be crushed