Canvas Requires a Built-In Conferencing Tool

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There are a lot of questions in the Canvas Community that ask which is the better conferencing tool to use with Canvas, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But the better question is "Why does Canvas not have a built-in conferencing tool like Blackboard's Collaborate Ultra. 

Zoom and Teams are meeting tools for industrial use.  Consequently, Zoom and Teams do not have an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent. Blackboard's Collaborate has both an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent. To add "insult to injury" Canvas allows Blackboard's Collaborate to be integrated into Canvas as an add-on LTI app. But to do this Collaborate integration Canvas customers must purchase a subscription to Blackboard's Collaborate on top of the subscription paid for Canvas.

Canvas allows the LTI app called "Conferences" to be integrated into Canvas. But "Conferences" is a FREE WATERED DOWN VERSION of BigBlueButton. "Conferences" is a very weak Blackboard Collaborate wannabee. Perhaps BigBlueButton has the educational features that is needed but here again after purchasing Canvas a Canvas customer would have to purchase an additional subscription for BigBlueButton.

Canvas customers should not have to pay extra for features that should already be built into Canvas which advertises itself as an educational LMS.

The COVID pandemic has made academia realize the importance of conferencing tools that support the needs of their education medium. Remote synchronous teaching is here to stay in one degree or another even after the COVID pandemic is finally over. Virtual office visits are also here to stay. Faculty agree that students are more apt to participate in an on-demand virtual office meeting any time of the day than to visit a professor's physical office as per a strict, non-flexible office visiting schedule.

So Canvas MUST create a viable built-in conferencing tool that supports both an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent.

4 Comments
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Moderating
 
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
 
jared
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

I work on Instructure’s higher ed product strategy and appreciate this input. It’s become increasingly clear that high-quality video conferencing is important for educational flexibility and access. 

In general, Instructure takes an open platform / open ecosystem approach.  This focuses on enabling a variety of third-party and homegrown tools to plug into Canvas, so that institutions (and users) can choose the right tool for their situation. As part of this strategy, most of our product work related to Conferences is focused on enabling deeper, more seamless integrations. We also put effort into collaborating with partners to address emerging needs from our Community (so your feedback on language is something we can share).

We do not have plans to develop our own video conferencing tool at this point in time, as we have seen broad satisfaction (at least across higher ed) with the partner options that are available. If we were to do so in the future, I expect it would have to be a paid product, as designing, developing, hosting, and maintaining a high-quality video conferencing tool is quite expensive, and trying to build that as part of our Canvas roadmap would either displace everything else we are working on, or be at odds with our intent to keep the price of Canvas LMS affordable and competitive.

KristinL
Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Archived

Thank you for sharing this idea with the Instructure Community!

The Product Team reviewed all feature proposals recently, and unfortunately, this thread was identified as one that they would not be able to include in their current or future plans. While we appreciate your proposal, we also want to be transparent about the likelihood of something like this making it to production.

Thank you for collaborating, and we hope that you submit another idea in the future!