Canvas VS Blackboard

I have been taking ITIQ Web Publishing (A&S 100-205) which uses Canvas a system that is similar to Blackboard but in my opinion it functions much better.  One of the first things that I noticed about Canvas was that the login page took you straight to your course, where BB (Blackboard) takes you to another landing page where you have to select your course from a list.  Another thing that Canvas does better than BB was the way that you can switch between courses, there is a drop down at the top of the page that you just select a different course.  This is much better than having to go back to the BB landing page, wait for it to load and then select another course from the list. 

Canvas is much faster and everything on a page loads very quickly.  There are two sections on the BB landing page that I don’t know what they are about because they never load, which doesn’t matter because all I want are my courses anyways. 

Canvas does not have extra external things clogging up the work area.  Instead, on the homepage, it has a menu that is easily navigable (unlike BB where things can be buried under other things in the menu), as well as a “To Do” list on the other side.  This is much easier for finding things that you actually want and need. 

Something else that I really liked was the grade system on Canvas, you can see when assignments are submitted, rubrics for the submitted assignments and then grades and comments about the grade all in one place.  However, there is a feature that I really love, which is the “What-if” scores feature, where you can change any score to see what your overall grade would be if that was your actual score.  So, if you did not want to do an assignment and wanted to see how it would affect your overall grade, you can use this feature to do so.

One thing in Canvas that I did not like very much was the way that a student could post a comment to an assignment.  Usually announcements are not meant to be interactive and if there were question or problems specifically that a student was experiencing then they could just post it as a comment.  This allowed the entire class to be able to read what they had posted.  I think that in some instances, students did not realize that this was public and posted things that I’m not sure they wanted other students to see, such as grades, specific questions to their project or excuses for turning in assignments late.

Something that I think BB does better is the messaging system, I like the layout of Canvas better but BB’s seems to be much more functional and you can send the message just on BB or you can send it to people on BB and to their emails as well.  This is a feature that I really liked but I did not get to try much with Canvas. 

Another thing that I like about BB is the fact that they have an Android app and their system works well with most mobile browsers (excluding Blackberry) whereas Canvas does not.  Canvas does not even have an Android app which means that I had to do all my work at a computer.  I couldn’t even write a message on Canvas with my phone it; since it worked so terrible with my phone.  I know they have an iPhone app but since I don't have an iPhone I could not try it out.  This is probably the most major thing that I like better about BB.

Overall, I think that Canvas is a much better option for courses and I liked working with it better than I ever have with BB even with their newest updates and redesign.  Even though there are some things that could be improved and made better on Canvas, like their mobile apps and support, I still prefer the entire system over Blackboard.

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