Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Instructional / Course Design,  Remote Teaching

How does Canvas make learning accessible?

This is the second post in a series about how you can use Canvas to integrate the eight Learning Technology Ecosystem Principles. You can find more about these principles here, but in this post, we’ll be looking at the first principle.

  1. Accessible: Learning must be found easily at any time, and all learners and teachers have equitable access, regardless of culture, language, ability, etc. 

Accessible education gives everyone equal access to content and ensures that all learners have equitable access to course content regardless of their culture, language, age gender, preferred learning style or ability. Accessible courses remove barriers that may exist for some students and reduce the instructor’s need to make individual student accommodations.  

Accessible education has advantages for both students and instructors.   

Advantages for instructors Advantages for students
A course that is designed to be accessible for many students reduces the likelihood of instructors having to arrange individual or specialized accommodations for students  Students can determine when, where and how to access course information
An accessible course can improve student learning and show clearer evidence of that learning  Students can spend more time focusing on course content
An accessible course can improve student engagement and may have a positive effect on course evaluations More inclusive of students with different abilities and backgrounds

How does Canvas make learning accessible? 

Canvas has an Accessibility Checker that ensures any content created within the Rich Content Editor follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines  (WCAG 2.1). The Accessibility Checker ensures that text is easy to read, that tables include captions and header rows, and that images include alternative text describing their content. All of these features give students with disabilities equitable access to course content.   

Assessments are important to evaluate student learning and Canvas has several features that can accommodate student needs and personalize their learning experience. Mastery Paths  allow Instructors to customize student’s learning experiences based on their performance. Instructors can give students extra time to complete a quiz or allow them to try it multiple times. Instructors also have the option to customize assignment due dates for individual students.  

Canvas Mobile Apps are available for both Android and iOS devices and are designed to allow students and instructors to access their courses at anytime from anywhere they have Internet access. The Canvas student app allows students to do many things on the go, such as submit assignments and participate in discussions. The Canvas teacher app allows instructors the flexibility to grade assignments and communicate with students from their mobile devices. 


Read more about Canvas accessibility.