“For something that is supposed to make classes easier, Canvas just makes things more complicated,” says Salt Lake Community College student McKay Romney.
Canvas is an open-sourced learning tool that students and instructors use in and out of the classroom. On Canvas, students can look up their current grades, message their instructor and fellow classmates, look up assignment information and get a calendar to see when assignments are due and what the next class discussion will be.
“Some teachers don’t use it and some teachers do,” says Jade Ford, a freshman at SLCC. “Not every class you have is on there. It would be nice to have everything in one place.”
Not only do some students find Canvas to be a problem, but some instructors do as well.
“I like to use my own website because I have more control over it: what can go in there, how it can look, and I can change it more easily,” says math professor Dale K. Nelson.
Nelson says that he had to supply all of his projects for his classes to one person so that they could post them on Canvas for him before the semester started. He supplied them with what they needed to post, but said that he found a few mistakes in some of his assignments.
“I saw a couple of mistakes and asked, ‘Can I give you the change?’ And she said, ‘No, it’s too hard to change. We’re just going to live with it and tell them about the mistakes,’” says Nelson.
Instructors like Nelson have found alternative ways to stay connected with students that seem to work.
There are also some instructors who have utilized Canvas.
“At LDS Business College, all teachers used the school’s version of Canvas and it worked really well,” says Zach Frazier, a sophomore at SLCC. “They correlate calendars and assignments really well, and it is very well organized.”
Frazier says that he hopes SLCC teachers use Canvas, so there could be more organization throughout the school.
“Assignments are easy to access when teachers post them. It can be really nice when it’s all organized,” says Ford.