Moodle Vs Canvas: Which Is the Better LMS?

Choosing the right LMS software for your company isn’t a simple decision. So, which on is it? Canvas or Moodle? This all-inclusive comparison guide can help you make the right decision for your business. So, let’s get right into it…


Moodle Dashboard Moodle is a widely used open-source learning platform that can be customized to meet the needs of businesses and educational institutions worldwide. It offers a free core version with additional plugins for various activities, workflows, and content, making it easy for instructors to create accessible course websites. Moodle provides a range of built-in features such as course planning, dashboards, calendars, SCORM compatibility, text editing, learning paths, reporting, and group management. The software is available in both server-based and cloud-based versions. The cloud-based version, known as "MoodleCloud," allows for seamless scalability and a quick and convenient implementation process. In addition, there is a version called "Moodle Workplace" specifically designed for professional learning and development. It supports activities such as onboarding, upskilling, compliance training, and social education, offering a tailored solution for the workplace.


Canvas, developed by Instructure, is a comprehensive platform that offers SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for course management, skill development, and online training/education. It encompasses various features such as mobile learning, advanced grading through SpeedGrader, content delivery, multimedia integration, portfolio management, flexible pedagogy, e-commerce functionality, and shareable data. Additionally, Canvas includes dynamic collaboration tools like video, audio, and chat. While primarily designed for educational institutions of all levels, Canvas also caters to the needs of businesses seeking a dynamic Learning Management System (LMS) for corporate education. It effectively streamlines teaching tasks and enables instructors to enhance student engagement. Thus, Canvas for Corporate Education serves as a valuable resource for organizations looking to fulfill their employee training requirements. While primarily designed for educational institutions of all levels, Canvas also caters to the needs of businesses seeking a dynamic Learning Management System (LMS) for corporate education. It effectively streamlines teaching tasks and enables instructors to enhance student engagement. Thus, Canvas for Corporate Education serves as a valuable resource for organizations looking to fulfill their employee training requirements.

Moodle Vs Canvas: Community Pulse

With support in over 100 languages, Moodle is the preferred system for personnel training and development among a majority of companies today. On the other hand, Canvas is rapidly emerging as the favored LMS solution for numerous businesses and educational institutions. It is the preferred LMS tool for teachers and highly appreciated by learners. Currently, Canvas boasts more than 30 million users across 4,000 institutions.

Canvas Vs Moodle: Standout Features

Let’s compare Moodle and Canvas functionalities now. This would help you zero in on what elements you want in your chosen LMS solution.

Content Development

An LMS tool is only as good as its content development mechanism. That’s why creating valuable and engaging learning material is one of the biggest challenges for users of different LMS platforms. Moodle addresses this predicament by assisting users in creating tailored lessons for both teams and individuals. In order to achieve this goal, Moodle offers a range of helpful plugins, which are listed below:

  • Quiz and feedback modules
  • Level Up (for gamification)
  • Specific course plans

These plugins not only enhance the learning experience but also simplify the process of saving created content. Furthermore, Moodle Workplace consolidates these features and allows users to easily attach files from Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. Additionally, integration with third-party content providers such as Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and OpenSesame is also possible. On the other hand, Canvas LMS introduces its own set of innovative features for personalized learning paths. One noteworthy feature is Mastery Paths, which enables teachers to provide customized content based on individual students’ learning abilities. Likewise, Canvas Studio allows users to record, upload, and share video content, and learners can even submit their assignments using videos. Moreover, instructors can organize the course structure using the Module feature, which facilitates the scheduling of assignments, quizzes, and other content under relevant subjects. Once the organization is complete on the dashboard, publishing and notifying students becomes a straightforward process.


Both LMS solutions offer similar content development features. However, Canvas falls short in terms of built-in content authoring tools, with Canvas Studio being its only option. Nonetheless, it does have the capability to integrate with other content development systems.

Virtual Learning

Moodle offers flexible integration with various third-party applications such as Adobe Connect, Classe365, ClickMeeting, FACTS, Lessonspace, and more. This integration allows for virtual classes and meetings, enabling instructors to share audio and video content, annotate a whiteboard, and create real-time breakout rooms. Learners can engage in chat individually or in groups. Moreover, institutions seeking a third-party virtual solution can integrate software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet through a plugin. On the other hand, Canvas LMS features “Canvas Conferences” that seamlessly integrate with various third-party virtual learning solutions. This functionality empowers teachers to conduct virtual classes, be available for office hours, and offer opportunities for students to practice their presentations. Instructors can also connect with fellow educators for professional development, record classes, and make them accessible for viewing.


Canvas and Moodle both work efficiently with BigBlueButton, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. So, there’s really not much separating them when it comes to virtual learning.

Mobile Learning

The dedicated Moodle app allows learners to access course content, send messages, and receive push notifications, even when offline. The app is available for free, but there are additional Pro and Premium plan features that require an extra cost. The open-source version is free on MoodleCloud and when an organization collaborates with a Moodle Partner. The Pro plan offers features such as QR code login, multimedia push notifications, and customized search results. On the other hand, the Premium plan includes basic custom branding. Schools with multiple sites have the option to choose a fully branded Moodle app that provides unlimited access and advanced features, including a separate notifications server, Google Analytics integration, mobile app support via email, and full app branding. Canvas also provides a specialized mobile app designed specifically for Android and iPhone/iOS users. Through this app, teachers can manage courses, grade assignments, edit content, and communicate with students via messages. Students can stay updated on announcements, check their grades, and message their teachers as well. Additionally, there is a Canvas Parent app available, which allows parents to view their child’s assignments.


Moodle provides users with optional advanced features including QR code while Canvas LMS does not. Additionally, while Moodle enables parents to access their child’s assignments, it does not offer a dedicated app targeted at parents like Canvas LMS does.


Moodle provides a variety of collaboration tools. Initially, learners have the ability to send messages to teachers or peers and engage in forum discussions. Furthermore, the Workshop feature allows learners to submit their work for peer reviews, and the Blogs tool enables them to create, publish, and share blog posts. Additional collaboration features include a calendar and notifications. With Canvas LMS, teachers can communicate with students or the entire class through various means, such as messages, chats, or video. They can also collaborate on shared documents. The Collaborations feature allows students to work together simultaneously on the same document. Moreover, Canvas supports LTI integration with Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365, enabling students to collaborate directly on Google or Microsoft docs within the software.


If you’re looking for a way for students to work simultaneously on a document in Moodle, you’ll need to integrate it with either Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365, as Moodle doesn’t offer this feature natively. Canvas, on the other hand, comes with this feature right out of the box.

Canvas Vs Moodle: Integrations

Canvas LMS can be integrated with a plethora of apps and platforms such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Blackboard Collaborate. On the other hand, Moodle has a variety of pre-selected integrations that optimize its functionalities. These include Bongo, Intelliboard, BigBlueButton, SimCheck, and GO1 among others.

Canvas And Moodle Comparison: The Pricing

Canvas-vs-Moodle-Pricing Both LMS tools provide a range of pricing bundles and billing options. Additionally, customized quotes are available depending on the plugins, features, integrations, and other aspects of your chosen software. To access detailed pricing information for Moodle and Canvas, simply click on Get Pricing in our vendor profiles. This will provide you with further insight into the pricing plans offered by each platform.

Use Case Comparison

Now that you’re familiar with the primary features of Moodle and Canvas, time to assess how they match up against one another in terms of user experience…


Teachers using Moodle can develop a complete course curriculum easily by utilizing the platform’s support for various content authoring tools. Furthermore, once the teacher or admin has made them available, parents can access their child’s grades. Moodle provides features such as attendance tracking, videoconferencing with BigBlueButton, gamification modules, and tools for gamifying tests and quizzes. To ensure learners stay engaged and to improve overall retention and student success rates, it’s advisable to keep up with participant trends and data. Additionally, the Reports tab in the Course Management panel empowers instructors to modify dates and groups for resources and activities. They can also generate course activity reports across different levels. On the other hand, Canvas offers multiple ways for students to communicate, which can sometimes be overwhelming. They may receive numerous messages from comments on assignments, quizzes, discussions, and other sources, including email. However, it’s not possible to set the frequency for messages per discussion board. Nevertheless, Canvas has a user-friendly system that provides significant advantages. Once logged in, students can easily access their courses from the Dashboard and obtain an organized overview of all their classes without the need for searching. Moreover, the student dashboard in Canvas separates courses by semester/segments, making navigation more straightforward. Other staff members can also explore the entire program and effortlessly access assignments and grades. Students can communicate with teachers through the inbox with just a few clicks, eliminating the need for an external email server. The course information is presented clearly and requires minimal clicks to follow.


Both Moodle and Canvas are capable of supporting multiple languages and running on various devices. However, it’s worth noting that unlike Moodle, Canvas does not offer offline learning and lacks authoring tool support. In Canvas, you won’t be able to manage local discussion boards and can expect to receive daily notifications for all posts in all courses, whereas Moodle provides better control over these aspects. While Canvas does have a user-friendly interface, handling complex uploads can be a challenge. Furthermore, direct access to live video resources is not available, but there is an alternative program that can be utilized instead.

Security and Compliance

Moodle prioritizes the protection and privacy of user data by implementing strong security and compliance measures. The system employs multiple layers of security to safeguard sensitive information and utilizes secure authentication protocols, such as password encryption and single sign-on support, to prevent unauthorized access. Canvas-vs-Moodle-Security In addition, Moodle offers granular access controls that allow administrators to assign specific roles and permissions to different user groups. This feature helps in managing data access and reducing the risk of data breaches. Regarding compliance, Moodle supports various international data protection standards, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Administrators can manage user data consent, export, and delete data, and track user consent through the software’s privacy features. Similarly, Canvas has established a security program that adheres to leading industry standards such as ISO 27001, NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework, AICPA’s Trust Services Principles and Criteria, and SANS’ CIS Critical Security Controls. Canvas also develops applications in accordance with OWASP’s Top 10 guidelines. To mitigate risks that may affect data, people, systems, operations, and products, Canvas implements a range of preventive and detective measures. This involves layering processes, controls, and tools. Data security is ensured by encrypting it during transit and while at rest, using robust cryptographic protocols and ciphers. Canvas also remains updated with security best practices by producing SOC2 Type 2 reports on an annual basis

Customer Support

Giving prompt and effective customer support is crucial to ensuring satisfied clients. If users don’t receive the right assistance, the LMS will become pointless. That’s why Canvas and Moodle prioritize timely and effective customer support in their own unique ways. Moodle offers a user site where you can learn about product upgrades, download the latest release, access documentation on software features, and join other users in the forum. For extra support, MoodleCloud users can get in touch with their designated Moodle partner. The software also hosts user conferences called “MoodleMoot,” which offer networking opportunities with Moodle developers and partners along with fresh insights into using the system. Throughout the year, there are various MoodleMoots held in diverse locations. On the other hand, Canvas begins its layers of customer support with a Help button on its Dashboard. This leads to a Community portal with troubleshooting guides, a product roadmap, and a Question Forum. Note that for technical help, teachers or students should contact their school’s IT administrator for support. Canvas LMS provides standard support to IT administrators with paid subscriptions, including a ticketing system and phone support during business hours. Response time is typically no longer than two business days. In addition, Canvas offers three optional support plans:

  • 24/7 Support

This is for administrators with an initial response time of 12 hours.

  • 24/7 & Faculty Tier-1 Support

This one has a targeted initial response time of one hour for web/email tickets and five minutes for phone calls and live chats.

  • 24/7 & Tier-1 Support

This is provided to all users including students. Initial response time is the same as in the previous plan.


Both vendors provide a community forum for users to meet and share ideas. However, Moodle is limited to designated partners for additional support, whereas Canvas provides phone and email support.

The Outcome

In conclusion, this guide has compared the notable features of Moodle and Canvas, highlighting the pros and cons of each LMS. The ultimate choice of a better platform depends on your unique academic or business requirements. For a comprehensive evaluation, be sure to explore the use case comparison section. We trust that this article has equipped you with valuable insights to make an informed decision. Your feedback is highly valued, so please share your thoughts in the comments section. We appreciate suggestions for improvement, so keep them coming. If you have any further questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 661-384-7070. Until next time, take care and make the best choice for your needs!