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IT Knowledge Base > General > Canvas - Scholar Tool Comparison
Canvas - Scholar Tool Comparison
Article: KB0010634 Published: 09-18-2017 Last modified: 09-18-2017 Views: 19

Canvas - Comparing Scholar and Canvas Tools

What Tools Does Canvas Have? How Do Scholar and Canvas Tools Compare?

The table below shows features in Scholar, comparable features in Canvas, and how they differ.

Click on the Canvas tools for a description from the Canvas Guides.



 How is Canvas Different?

 My Workspace &



  • Dashboard shows you the activity in all of your courses and provides you with a “To do” list and Recent Feedback
  • VT Canvas Message of the Day
  • User Settings allow you to edit your profile, register Web Services, edit and add other contact methods, etc.

 Course Home

 Course Activity Stream

The Canvas Home screen defaults to the Course Activity Stream, but can also display Syllabus, Pages, Modules, and more



Students can reply to announcements by default



The term “assignments” covers any submission - graded or non-graded.  Creating a Group in Assignments creates a category in the Gradebook



  • Drag and drop to make changes
  • Assignment due date changes made in your Calendar are automatically updated everywhere else in the course
  • View up to 10 classes at once with color-coded global Calendar view
  • Copy Calendar feed link into any app like Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc.

 Chat Room


Canvas Chat doesn't have settings for creating a private chat room or deleting messages

 Drop Box


Assignments can be set up to work similarly to Dropbox



 Email Archive


  • Canvas does not have a listserv feature - you must be logged into Canvas to email course participants
  • When composing a message, Canvas has a drop-down list for selecting a course
  • Canvas can also archive all Messages

 Enter Student View

 Student View

Student view provides an almost fully-functional test student



ePortfolios in Canvas run on a different platform;  TLOS is looking at various platforms to replace the existing ePortfolio tool (TBD)



Students can create new topics by default



  • You must enable a grading scheme in course Settings
  • Assignments automatically create columns in Grades
  • Attendance automatically creates columns in Grades
  • You can import a .csv file to Grades
  • Learning Mastery Gradebook can be used to measure course outcomes
  • SpeedGraderTM can be used for grading and annotating documents
  • Columns cannot be entered directly into Grades - graded items must be created in Assignments, Roll Call, or imported



  • Instructors can create student groups for collaboration
  • Student groups are created and accessed through People
  • Students can create groups by default



Canvas help is provided by Instructure, not Virginia Tech



All Canvas sites have the iClicker tool, but you need to enable it in Settings, Navigation


 Pages and Modules

  • Pages is similar to Text in the Lessons and to the Wiki tool
  • Modules allow you to organize your content to help control the flow of your course



Canvas has an email relay, and messages are called “Conversations”



Use drag and drop to organize content, define prerequisites, and link to most other Canvas content


 No equivalent

 You can enable podcast feeds in Discussions and Announcements


 No equivalent

 Speedgrader allows you to provide feedback on submissions


 Quizzes - Ungraded Survey

 Poll App 

  • An “ungraded survey” type Quiz can act like a poll
  • A Poll App can be added to your student's phones that integrates with Canvas and works for quick in-class polls

Question Pools

 Question Banks



  • Files are read-only accessible to students by default
  • Files cannot be locked down to certain groups or sections

 Rich Text Editor

 Rich Content Editor

Canvas Rich Content Editor does not have a back/undo arrow, however Page History lets you restore previous versions



People allows you to add participants, send Messages, see group info and user details

 Sign Up


Scheduler is part of the Calendar

 Site Info


Course Settings act as your course command center and can be found by clicking "All Courses" at the bottom of the course navigation menu



Analytics include four main areas: student activity, submissions, grades, and student analytics



The Syllabus in Canvas communicates course requirements to students in chronological order

 Test Scoring Services (TSS) Import


This tool can be used to upload digital files created from automatically-graded bubble sheets

Tests & Quizzes


Canvas Quizzes can pull questions randomly into Question Groups, similar to how Scholar pulls questions randomly into quiz Parts

 Web Content


The Redirect tool is an app accessible in course Settings in the Apps tab and allows you to customize the course navigation menu



Also called Wiki Pages and Content Pages, designed to link to course content


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The Following Canvas Tools and Features Are Not Available in Scholar



 How is Canvas Different?

 No equivalent


  • Assignments is an index of all student work, including quizzes and discussions
  • Gradebook set-up happens here - to add a graded item, you add an Assignment

 No equivalent


  • Using Google Docs and their VT Gmail accounts, students can work together on the same document at the same time
  • Canvas links to shared documents

 No equivalent


Access and share learning materials with a community of Canvas users

 No equivalent


  • Conferences allows you to broadcast real-time audio/video using BigBlueButton
  • Will accommodate about 50 users at one time
  • Files and chats are removed when the last attendee leaves

 No equivalent

 Crocodoc, part of SpeedGrader App

  • Grade many submission types in Canvas without having to download
  • Annotate documents with Crocodoc
  • Add notes, audio, and video comments to submissions

 No equivalent

 Learning Mastery Gradebook

  • Designed to integrate with Outcomes and Rubrics
  • This is an opt-in feature. Enable the Learning Mastery Gradebook in course Settings through Feature Options

 No equivalent


  • Notification Preferences allow users to select how they want to be notified when various events occur within a course
  • Notification Preferences are applied globally (all courses)
  • Notifications Preferences are sent out by “Instructure Canvas”

 No equivalent


  • Course outcomes can be added to rubrics and used to align assessments
  • Can link to Learning Mastery Gradebook to track individual student progress

 No equivalent

 Roll Call

Roll Call allows you to take attendance, create a seating chart, and link attendance to Grades

 No equivalent


Create rubrics, which can be linked to SpeedGrader

 No equivalent


Grading app links to Grades and lets you preview submissions, grade, and add audio/video feedback and notes


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