Buzz around Campus - What students say about Canvas

February 1, 2023

Early this semester, I had a chance to step out of the new Academic Innovation Center and meet with students during Spring ‘23’s UTSA Day. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work happening to ensure that the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) is ready for primetime for Fall 2023. However, students are already excited about UTSA’s move to Canvas – and I wanted to get their feedback first-hand. 

So far, we have received positive feedback from faculty, staff and other UTSA employees. It’s pretty easy to see why: Canvas offers student-focused tools that make both teaching and learning easier. I wanted to hear more about the students' perspective on this transition, so I asked them! Watch below:


The students I chatted with had an overwhelmingly positive outlook on Canvas and the transition. I learned that many students had previous experience with Canvas—either from high school or from another institution, like Alamo Community Colleges (UTSA has a high rate of transfer students, around 44%). This tracks with what we learned during our LMS Satisfaction Survey in 2022.

Overall, 77% of student respondents stated they’d previously used the Canvas LMS and wanted to bring it to UTSA.   

Our 2021 satisfaction survey had similar themes. Here’s some of the other responses we got  about students' experience in our current LMS:  

  • This app needs to be more user friendly just like the Alamo College “Canvas App” 
  • Desktop/web versions are fine enough but I quickly gave up on using the app  
  • Needs to be more mobile friendly.  
  • Calendar needs to check off assignments that have a submission.  
  • The mobile platform is horrendous… the course messaging system is too buried, it is not easily visible and the whole process should be more like texting and it isn't. 
  • Please add a To-Do List feature like CANVAS.   

The features  students value in an LMS date back to our 2019 survey! They said that mobile accessibility, modern tools like progress tracking for grades and course progression, and an intuitive user interface were among the most important features they sought in an LMS. In fact, these features have become even more important to them over the last few years.    

Of course, some students had concerns and felt hesitant about the change, too. However, after talking with them more, I heard that most of them were first-year students who felt overwhelmed by adding one more thing to their unofficial “learning how to college” syllabus. Academic Innovation and Teaching, Learning & Digital Transformation is working hard to ensure that our transition to Canvas feels seamless and that the intuitive LMS can be easily picked up by any student at any point in their academic career.   

Overall, I’m glad that both faculty and students are excited for this transition!   

As UTSA continues with this transition, I’ll be creating resources on helpful hints about Canvas and looking for more students to chat with to keep up with the thoughts and feelings of our Roadrunner community. Maybe next time I’ll catch you on the Paseo!