Canvas - Considerations Before Transitioning to Canvas (UW-Madison)

    Not all features and tools available within D2L and Moodle currently have a similar counterpart within Canvas. Thus some instructors have found their courses do not work as desired when migrating to the new Learning Management System. However, new functionalities are being added regularly, and Canvas' limitations as compared to D2L and Moodle are decreasing. 

    If you use any of the following features in your current Learning Management System (D2L or Moodle), please review their current status within Canvas below. If you are concerned that Canvas will not meet your needs, please visit with a Canvas Consultant before migrating your course. (To schedule an appointment with a Canvas Consultant, please e-mail

    Canvas and Scantron

    Scantrons are now exportable into Canvas via a service from UW-Madison's Testing & Evaluation Services. Instructors first submit exams to T&E for scoring. The scores are then exported into a file format that is compatible with Canvas' gradebook and sent back to instructors to be uploaded. Detailed instructions explaining the process are available in this KB document: Canvas - Importing Scantron Test Scores into the Gradebook.

    Canvas and Top Hat

    Top Hat courses can be linked with Canvas courses. This allows instructors to invite students from their Canvas course to their Top Hat course course, and easily sync grades from Top Hat to Canvas. For detailed instructions, navigate to the following KB document: Top Hat - Syncing Rosters and Grades with Canvas (UW-Madison).

    Canvas and Kaltura

    When an instructor uses the "Student View" function in Canvas to view a Page or Quiz with Kaltura media embedded using the Kaltura/Canvas integration, the instructor is presented with the message "Access Denied" or a blank space where the media should be. The Kaltura/Canvas integration refers to inserting media in a Canvas Page using the starburst Kaltura icon (Kaltura MediaSpace starburst icon) in the rich text editor. Even though the instructor can't see the media using the "Student View" function the students will still be able to see the media. A workaround is to enroll a co-worker as a student in your course and have them preview the Kaltura media. For more information, please consult this KB.document.
    Kaltura Interactive Video Quizzes (IVQ) inserted in a Canvas course (using the integration or as an assignment) also experience issues. When a student reviews an IVQ in Canvas, students will not be able to see which questions were correct (or incorrect), their answers, or the correct answers. IVQs were disabled for Canvas assignments on 8/1/17 by Learn@UW because of these concerns. For more information regarding Kaltura known issues please see Kaltura Known Issues List or the Known Issue - Kaltura interactive video quizzes do not display KB document.

    Large Course Considerations

    While SpeedGrader makes most grading easier and quicker, it currently does not allow users to search or filter students. Instead, users will need to select a specific course section and then scroll through the students in that section. Additionally, SpeedGrader also has no unique identifiers associated with students. The student name is the only identifier, so if there are students with the same name in the same course, it can be difficult to determine one student from the other. One workaround is to ask students to include additional information to help identify the individual student in their assignment document. For example if the students are submitting Word documents, ask the students to include their name with middle initial in the document itself.

    Additionally, cross-listed courses in Canvas organize students according to the area/topic they registered in. For example, in a Math and Computer Science cross-listed course, students who registered for Math Section 2 are listed separately from students who registered for Computer Science Section 2. So, even though cross-listed students all meet together in the same section, they will be listed in two separate sections with two different rosters.

    Graded Discussions

    If you plan to use graded discussions in Canvas please be aware that discussions are graded in SpeedGrader, not in the discussion tool itself. This means discussion posts will be graded outside of the context of the discussion string. Instructors may need to read the discussion first within the discussion tool, then open SpeedGrader. In addition, SpeedGrader does not recognize groups. SpeedGrader displays the students in alphabetical order. Therefore instructors must read a group discussion in the tool, then open SpeedGrader, find individual students, and enter each student's grade for that discussion.

    Canvas and Case Scenario Critical Reader (CSCR) Modules

    CSCR is no longer a campus-supported tool. The Canvas Transition Team has identified alternatives to replace the CSCR basic gradebook reporting that was available within Moodle. Please see Advanced Content Authoring and Reporting - CSCR Alternative Tools (UW-Madison) for more information.

    SCORM / Learning Object Activity Report 

    While SCORM and other learning objects can be loaded into Canvas courses, and grades can be passed to the Canvas gradebook, Canvas does not provide an activity report for SCORM / learning objects that displays data on student interaction with the content. For example, there is no reporting on how long students spent on a slide. For more information please see the following KB documents: SCORM and Canvas

    Advanced Quizzing 

    The quizzing tool in Canvas does not have as robust functionality as the quizzing tools in D2L and Moodle. For example, Canvas does not provide submission view controls and it does not support a number of quiz question types that are available in the other two LMSs. Canvas intends to role out a replacement for their current grading program in the medium future (Spring 2018), though it is currently unavailable. As of December 2016, the following quiz question types are not available in Canvas:

    • Ordering
    • Arithmetic
    • Significant Figures
    • Free Body Diagram
    • Graph Sketching
    • Variable Numeric Set
    • Calculated Simple
    • Calculated Multichoice
    • Calculated Format
    • Clickable Image
    • Drag and Drop into Text
    • Drag and Drop onto Image
    • Drag and Drop Markers
    • Pattern Match
    • Embedded Answers (Cloze)
    • Random short-answer matching
    • STACK

    Keywords:canvas, issues, challenges, considerations, migration, transition, scantron, top hat, kaltura, ivq, large, course, cscr, case, scenario, critical, reader,scorm, quiz, advanced,known,   Doc ID:67877
    Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
    Created:2016-10-19 10:54 CDTUpdated:2018-06-05 15:27 CDT
    Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison, UW-Madison Canvas
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