Canvas Free-Online Course: Is this for You?

Name: Canvas


Overall: 85/100


Canvas has become one of unique MOOC platforms for more than 18 million higher ed, K-12 workforce users, and worldwide. The service sets out to make learning simpler for both professors and students alike and teaching. It does so by joining teachers, pupils, and institutions in a clear and powerful means – allowing each party to attain their goals linked to private and professional development.

Unlike other MOOCs, Canvas differentiates itself by allowing full autonomy over how the course is taught to content associated, how grades are allocated, instructional material, and cost. What this means is each class is unique and distinct from every other course on the network.

This point is illustrated by the official statement from the business’s website under…


“Canvas Network allows institutions to define the structure of their courses and the approach to teaching that makes the most sense to them – some institutions have chosen to pursue a massive open online course format (MOOC), and some have chosen to pursue a smaller online course format with more interaction.”


One of the drawbacks of Canvas is they literally partner with every university organization and any although you’ll have access to a wide variety of classes – some of these courses may actually be fairly horrible out there – meaning. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be receiving the best in online instruction since there’s no form of quality control.


What’s more, since the classes are left at the discretion of the institution and teacher – is, you don’t truly understand what you’re getting yourself into. Each class changes in arrangement, learning style, and cost – so whereas other classes may run contrary to your preferred learning style, some lessons may be a great fit for you.


Nonetheless, Canvas distinguishes itself from other MOOCs by including courses that are considerably more relevant and suited to user desires. For example, the website recently leveraged the popularity of “The Walking Dead” to create a course on society, science, and survival.


Since the site started in 2013, it’s administered over 400 open online classes that were created by over 150 universities (keep in mind – over 200 of these classes were free).


The main areas of focus are:

Arts & Humanities
Education & Training
Health & Medicine
Science & Technology

Some specific cases of lessons can be seen below:

Canvas Review



Canvas is quite a unique supplier of MOOCs – “it is developed and supported by Instructure, an education technology company that partners with educators, associations, and technologists to build open educational resources and break down barriers to learning” (taken from the business’s site).


What this ultimately means is Canvas merely supplies the infrastructure for learning to take place. There less so a course provider, and more so a learning management system. The awful side to all this is the courses taught using Canvas can either be extremely awesome or flat out terrible. There doesn’t appear to be that much of a middle ground. What’s more is the way where the courses are managed tends to vary drastically between courses since there are no quality standards set in place.


Class structure and whether the classes come equipped with the certificate is contingent on teacher preferences too. This finally means that if you’re looking to use Canvas to foster your employment opportunities this may not be the best MOOC for you, considering you may not receive any certificates after finishing a course.

Although the structure of each course differs quite otherwise – the courses are largely scheduled and self-paced. Significance you’ve got complete liberty over when and how you execute the respective course.

As far as the procedure to enrolling in a class – it’s simple and rather straightforward. It starts with you and the website just seeing and browsing through the course catalog. After you locate a course you like, click the class name to view more information. You can register by clicking the enroll button that is blue on the course details page if you enjoy what you see –.



Out of the 400 courses offered on the website, over 200 have been educated free of charge. With that said, most of the courses listed on the site are free for registration. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that some classes may request that you buy additional items for successful completion of the class.



The advantages of taking a class on Canvas are rather subjective. Some people have expressed great satisfaction with the network, whereas others view it as ineffective.


Whether or not the network is worth anything depends on your demands and desires. – Canvas is a fantastic resource for you to check out if you’re looking to teach a course or learn in unique and engaging manners.


Some reasons why you should check the site out are jotted below:

Varied classes – Canvas associates with a variety of different universities and institutions, meaning you can expect to find a varied variety of classes – arrangement wise and theme wise. If you’re looking for specialized classes, the site may only have what you’re looking for.


Professors have greater autonomy – The service seems to be bringing a lot more institutions and professors – this is n’t astonishing since the website gives them greater control over their content and teaching style.


The infrastructure is very user-friendly – Everything you must shine in your class is exemplified in a clear and straightforward manner. You won’t have to subject yourself to hours of frustration sorting through course material, instead, it’s grouped by classes, making it very simple to follow.


Like with any MOOC – Canvas suffers from its fair share of issues.

Not lots of classes to pick from – The total number of courses offered is rather little relative to other MOOCs although Canvas offers rather a diverse range of classes. This is the situation because the site remains quite new.

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Applied limits on pupil enrollment – Most of the lessons enforce a limit on student enrollment, meaning if you’re not fast to sign up for a course – you will miss out.

The procedure seems quite subjective and on a case by case basis, meaning you’re not guaranteed the finest when it comes to quality.

Lack of program – Since the structure of classes is left at the discretion of professors, you likely to discover courses with no curriculums – making it really difficult for you to follow along and remain on track.



The site is open to anyone keen to learn. The only thing required to enroll in any of their courses is an active e-mail account.




It truly is clear that Canvas has its fair share of issues, from lack of quality control to a few classes to select from. Despite the dilemmas, the network does an adequate job at administering and creating classes that are exceptional.


With that said, if you starting your journey out in on-line education – you want to examine costs and the advantages before deciding to enroll in the service of using Canvas rather closely. Quite honestly, if you’re just starting to take online courses, you’re likely better off choosing another MOOC – you’ll have a larger database of high-quality courses to select from.


If on the other hand, you need to experiment with your learning style and you’re keen on taking a very particular kind of course – Canvas may simply be the best bet for you.

Wilson Tavarez

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