Feature Comparison

Students Collaborating

While there are differences in the look and feel between Blackboard and Canvas, the majority of the functionality remains the same. Take a look to see which features are available across both systems.

Course & System Functionality

Feature Blackboard Canvas Notes
24/7/365 Live Support Limited Yes Help is always available for Canvas via online chat, telephone, or email. Simply click the "Help" button within Canvas.
Content Yes Yes Files, attachments and text can all be entered into Canvas, just like Blackboard.
Content Organization Yes Yes Content is organized differently in Canvas; Canvas uses Modules, which helps group content by type, topics, or weeks.
Course Navigation Yes Limited Canvas offers less customization, which helps unify the user experience across courses. Instructors may still hide links they do not use.
Course Roster Yes Yes Easily see who is enrolled in the course.
Drag-and-Drop Interface No Yes Drag-and-drop files and items within Canvas to quickly and easily arrange content.
Open Source No Yes Canvas is open source, meaning code can be modified and applied for custom use cases.


Feature Blackboard Canvas Notes
Assignments Yes Yes Canvas's Assignments tool lets you both collect and access student work online and input external assignment grades.
Inline Grading Yes Yes Inline grading works in-browser or via their mobile grading application.
Grades Yes Yes Canvas can keep track of and calculate grades and display them to students.
Peer Review Yes Yes Assignments allows for peer review of submissions.
Plagiarism Detection Yes Yes Canvas does not have a built-in plagiarism detection software, but CWRU has contracted with Turnitin to provide plagiarism detection via Canvas. Turnitin is now available!
Rubrics Yes Yes Rubrics can be used when grading student submissions
Tests & Surveys Yes Yes Create and distribute online quizzes and surveys, choosing from a variety of question types.

Collaboration and Communication

Feature Blackboard Canvas Notes
Announcements Yes Yes Post announcements to students enrolled in your course.
Appointment Slots No Yes Canvas has a built-in Scheduler that works with Calendar, allowing for appointment sign-ups.
Blogging Yes No Canvas does not offer a built-in blogging tool, but other options exist.
Calendar Yes Yes Drag-and-drop functionality and multiple options make the Canvas Calendar a robust tool.
Discussion Board Yes Yes Both regular and post-first discussion boards are supported in Canvas.
Groups Yes Yes Groups can be created for student projects.
Media Recorder No Yes Easily record audio or video feedback and place it within your Canvas course.
Messages Yes Yes Easily send messages to students from within Canvas. By default, these go to their CWRU email address.
Notifications Yes Yes Canvas can send notifications via email, texts, and push notifications via their app.