Flamethrowers vs the LMS

I love Canvas’s new commercial for Instructure—love they are having with this video. What’s more, their product is now open source, I mean really open source. Now if they could only use this aesthetic on their product web page 🙂

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8 Responses to Flamethrowers vs the LMS

  1. I’m confused. Do you not like the web site, or you just think it needs more flamethrowers?

  2. Alan Levine says:

    While I enjoy the homage to the original, which really was original, I’d give this parody at best a C-. It is merely a copy and adds nothing new besides a flamethrower. It even tiptoed around who really was on the screen when it could have been more head on (litigation! litigation! litigation!)

    I’m surprised that so many people I respect fawn over this video. I think it’s weak, like they turned it up to about 1.5 rather than 11. Your students can do better.

    • Reverend says:

      Aren’t you the badass, I agree about the ds106 crew 🙂 But at the same time this seemed a welcome departure from most marketing I have seen. I love simple reworks, maybe not entirely original, but it was fun and I can see why people would be digging it. But you have now put me in the awkward position of defending an LMS, so now I have to rethink who I am am….damn that dog!

  3. Alan Levine says:

    You are sucking up to the man? Sigh

  4. novak says:

    totally agree – the instructure page looks way too polished. plus those cheesy shadows under navigation. some flamethrowing on the homepage would help for sure.

  5. Pingback: Instructure Canvas Goes Open Source |

  6. Paul says:

    Wait until you try and use the product as an instructor though. It lacks so many features that were in WebCT, that it is an exercise in frustration to use. If you are as student, however, its has a nice interface. Every time I use canvas (many times per day) I am forced to wonder if the people at Instructure have taught a day in their lives because it is not designed with flexibility in mind. They want it to be simple, but the simplicity actually creates complexity by making simple things difficult to do.

    Some of the common gripes:
    1. The rich text editor is hardly rich at all. It does not even support subscript and superscript. The table editor is barely functional.
    2. What were they thinking when they created two quiz editors? One for quizzes and one for question banks, and then made the latter one lack even more functionality than the former. Why can you not add images to the answers without using Respondus? Why can you not create multiple choice questions that allow you to specify partial credit? The list goes on?
    3. Why can you not regrade all quizzes at one go when you make a change to the quiz? If you find an error and make a correction, you must then go to every student and change their scores. This might be OK in a small class, but I have 700 students!
    4. Why does Canvas have verbal diarrhea? The second you start doing something, it sends an email out, which triggers students to send you an email asking why something you just started doing (like entering grades) is not complete. It is insane how much email this things sends out.
    5. The gradebook is horrible to use. Every column has to be an assignment and you have very little control over the appearance of that column. There is a bright spot in the gradebook in that you can drop assignments, but that overshadowed by other problems such as the bizarre set of columns you must import and export to get material in. You cannot simply use the students username. It is ridiculous. You have no ability to really move columns around or hide them from students, and you have no ability to simply add a text or number column without creating an assignment. This means you have no ability to break down your gradebook by recitation or lab section, or input some other data that is not numeric such as the students major.

    These are just five of the literally dozens of problems. Josh Coates was on record at InstructureCon making fun of the “other” LMS, to which I have to say “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” Canvas is a beautiful looking product compared to the others, but it comes at the expense of missing functionality for the instructor.

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