Student poll: Favorite Canvas features

by | Mar 29, 2016 | Faculty, Staff, and Student Stories | 0 comments

headshot of marilee mulvey

By Marilee Mulvey

For me, the user experience is an important part of any new software venture. Ease of use for faculty is absolutely essential as well, but how the LMS facilitates student learning is of the highest importance for me. So I asked my class – What features do you like in Canvas? Which help you to meet your course requirements? What would you change if you could?

The responses from my students all were in favor of Canvas. They liked the interface, thought it was easier to browse to their content, and they liked that the notifications can be sent to email or cell phone number. Mobile compatibility is a definite plus with the students.

Another feature mentioned by more than one student was the course calendar and the assignment listing. Let’s take a look at those.

The Calendar

All Canvas courses appear on the same calendar, and it dynamically updates with changes made to any class connected to it. You can also sync the calendar to other calendars like Google Calendar and Outlook using the Calendar Feed link that appears under the list of Calendars.

image -- screen shot of calendar page

image -- screen shot of calendar in an agenda view


Students can also view their assignments by using the Assignments menu item on the left. This allows the students to see all of the assignments for the course arranged by Date or by Type. When viewing by Date, assignments are organized into the following categories: Overdue Assignments and Upcoming Assignments.

Assignments by Date

image -- screen shot of assignments sorted by date

Assignments by Type

image -- screen shot of assignments sorted by type

By having these different views of course assignments, students can choose their preference for managing their assignment due dates. Almost all of the students in my informal poll mentioned they liked the calendar feature and the ability to synchronize their course content on the calendar of their choosing. And that’s one of the strategies for academic success that a student can take advantage of in the Canvas Learning Management System.