The highs and lows of using Canvas

Trevor Knabach

As the first week of the second semester continues, students and faculty are using Canvas more frequently.

Blackboard access officially ended on Jan. 4 and many Iowa State students are getting acquainted with Canvas for the first time.

Here’s a look into students’ favorite and least favorite aspects of Canvas:

“I like the more modern feel it has, and I like that the calendar is live. I just wish the change wasn’t in the middle of the year,” said Abby Ellerman, freshman in civil engineering.

“My favorite thing about Canvas is that it has your notifications already there and what assignments are due that day or week on the home page,” said MicCah Mohorne, junior in public relations. “My least favorite thing is that I keep getting lost in my classes between all the different menu options (Modules, Assignments, etc.). I wish it was more simple and organized like Blackboard was.” 

“My favorite thing is that it doesn’t close out of Canvas whenever I close my device. My least favorite thing is that I have to learn a new layout, but all in all it’s pretty good, better than Blackboard in my opinion,” said Nate Munn, sophomore in chemical engineering.

“My favorite aspect is that everything is in one place and up to date. My least favorite is that some professors haven’t mastered it yet and it can be difficult to find assignments,” said Matthew Jacob, junior in civil engineering. 

“My single most favorite thing about Canvas is the layout and that I can find my courses and announcements easier. I dislike how the homework is set up, because it can be hard to tell when things are due,” said Caleb Woods, sophomore in public relations.

“I think that it’s easy to use with Google Drive and I think it looks more organized. However, most professors aren’t very accustomed to it yet so I don’t think they’re using it to its full potential,” said Alicia Hauglie, freshman in advertising.

Faculty of Iowa State have had to make some changes as well. As with all transitions, there may be a learning curve that needs to be overcome.

“I like that I am able to combine multiple sections of my courses into one Canvas shell. That is going to save me a lot of time as I won’t have to update separate course shells every time I change something in my class. I will just do it once and it will apply across all sections. Something I am struggling with so far is how to organize my overall course design. Again, that is mostly because I had something that worked well in Blackboard and it doesn’t translate easily to Canvas,” said Amy Popillion, senior lecturer in human development and family studies.

If you are someone who is struggling with the transition, be sure to check out “The ins and outs of working Canvas.”