Canvas - Moodle to Canvas Conversion Chart (UW-Madison)

This chart is a side by side comparisons of the naming conventions and similar features used in Moodle and Canvas.

Moodle to Canvas Conversion Chart

The following chart outlines differences in LMS language and function.  Some terminology is the same, but the tool may not function in exactly the same way.  See for more information.





Key Characteristics within Canvas

Personal & Course Settings

Course start Date

Publish Course

Canvas courses exist in three states:  unpublished, published and concluded course becomes read-only

Administration Block

Two setting options:  Global Settings or Course Settings

Includes:  Course Details, Set-up course navigation, Student view, Course Statistics, Copy Course, Important Content, Export Course Content, Reset Course content (course becomes blank)

·      Backup

·      Restore

·      Import from Archives

·      Import (current site)

Copy Course, Export Course Content

Copy or import course content and Export course content functionality available within Settings

Notifications Block


Includes:  Weekly option for notifications, applies to all your courses in Canvas.  Notifications via Twitter and other social media options

Edit Profile


Includes: Update personal information, biographical information.  Create links to your social media accounts and personal sites.  Users can reply to Inbox communications from any email address self-added to the Profile section. 

Help Link


Get chat or phone help immediately.  Link to documentation. Report a problem, or Submit a Feature idea.

Switch role to…

Student view

Student View allows instructors a full student experience as a “test student.”  Instructors can upload materials, take quizzes, and navigate the course functionality as a student.  “Test student” also appears in the Gradebook for assessment when instructors leave the Student View.





Key Characteristics within Canvas

Content Availability

Restrict access

·      Activity Completion

·      Date

·      Grade

·      Group

·      Grouping

·      User Profile

·      Restriction Set (complex logic)

·      Unpublish

·      Restricted Access

·      Availability Dates

·      Prerequisites

·      Restricted Access available for course files.

·      Quizzes and Discussions can include Availability dates.

·      Prerequisites can be set on the module level (unlocking module) but not at the assignment level.





Key Characteristics within Canvas




Includes:  Tracking interactions between student and instructor, last course access and total time, link to Student Analytics, Grades, Access Report, Outcome


Conversations (inbox)

·      Functions more like Facebook wall than an email inbox.

·      Receive notifications via social web services, text, etc.

·      Send email messages to individuals or entire class from the Global Inbox. Messages are delivered to each user’s registered email address.  Users can reply-to messages.



·      Create Group Sets within People section

·      Ability to drag/drop student into groups, allow self-assign, or randomize

·      Can assign a group leaver

·      A group workspace is created where students can create pages, announcements, collaborations, discussions, calendar events, and chat in real-time.

Reports (Core)

·      Today’s logs

·      All logs

·      Outline Report

·      Complete Report

·      Browser Sessions

·      Grade

View Student Progress

·      Instructors can view student progress for required content within modules.

Calendar Block


·      Global for all enrolled courses

·      Look and feel more like Google Calendar.

·      Drag and drop to make changes

·      Assignment due date changes made in your calendar are automatically updated everywhere else in the course

·      Copy calendar feed link to view Canvas calendar in apps like Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc. 





Key Characteristics within Canvas




·      Choose whether pages are editable only by instructors, both instructors and students, or by everyone

·      Link to course assignment when in the HTML Editor by using the content tools in the sidebar

·      Can use a page as a course homepage



·      There are two levels to Discussions in Canvas:  create a topic and reply to a topic.  Replies are then threaded within the topic.  You can reply to the main topic post or an individual’s comment.

·      By default, students can only reply to a given topic and cannot create new topics.  Instructors can change the default to allow students to create topics.

Course File Block (Although, this may not be an option in a UW-Madison course)


·      Course-related files can be made accessible to students via a tab/page

·      Files on the course navigation display only course-related files.

·      Files within the Account section display all files for a course and personal files.

Two options:

·      Latest news Block

·      News forum


·      By default, unless you change the setting, students can reply to announcements.





Key features within Canvas


Activities Block


·      Assignments can be submitted online through text entry, file uploads, media recordings, or URL’s

·      Easily set-up peer review assignments

·      Combine assignments to include %of total grade for weighting

·      Gradebook setup happens when creating an assignment

·      Includes all graded items

·      Ungraded assignments create a deadline in the calendar and syllabus, but do not create a column in the gradebook.



·      Can also be created in Assignments

·      There are four quiz types to choose from: practice quiz, graded quiz, graded survey, and ungraded survey


Quiz type

Surveys are one of the four quiz types

Question Bank

Question Banks

·      Question banks are a place where large imports of questions from a third party or library of questions are stored. However, there is no single repository for questions.

·      Question banks have to be added to each course you want to use the questions in.  There is no global option.

·      If you change or update a question in your question bank it does not change in the quizzes that the question is being used in. Those question will need to be replaced by the updated question.

Categories, within the Question Bank tool

Question Groups

·      Ability to pick a certain number of questions from a Question Bank.

·      Must use a Question Groups for randomizing quiz questions


Choose “Rubric” from a dropdown in the advanced grading area of an Assignment.


·      Are used for grade or feedback

·      Simply click to add columns




·      Faculty can enter grades and comments directly from here, but if the assignment was turned in to Canvas, the best way to grade is using Speedgrader

·      Gradebook is automatically populated from the grade items in the Assignments list.

·      Student can figure hypothetical “what if” grades

·      Filter columns

·      Student submissions are highlighted in red if the submission was turned in late.

No equivalent


·      Displays submitted assignment, grading rubric, and media comment option all on one page.

·      Add comments directly to students’ assignments from within Canvas (Word, PDF, Excel and PowerPoint).

·      Add audio of video comments directly to assignments from within Canvas.  All you need a microphone or webcam.

·      Option to use Speedgrader iPad and Android apps to grade (include touch controls of rubrics and audio/video comments)


See Also:

Keywords:Canvas, Moodle, Conversion, Migration, Migrate   Doc ID:66351
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2016-08-23 09:59 CDTUpdated:2017-03-16 13:01 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW-Madison, UW-Madison Canvas
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