Comparing best open source learning management systems , Moodle , Canvas and Ulearn


Moodle – It is an open-source learning management system designed to offer the best experience to learners that provides unprecedented data security. Users of Moodle LMS have the choice of installing their Moodle account on the cloud or server. The cloud-based platform called Moodle cloud can be set up in minutes, is scalable, and has a host of standard features available for instant use. Moodle is a free LMS and can be used in its vanilla version endlessly.

Canvas – This is another open-source LMS that is dependable, and had brought about a revolutionary change in the method of education. It is created for educational institutions, and the best thing about the canvas LMS is that the students can combine their canvas LMS account with social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter and indulge in what is called social learning.
Canvas LMS also provides a two-week trial account which includes course contents in-built. Second, there’s also a free account for teachers. Canvas LMS is capable of conveying information instinctively. Instructors and students can navigate through the site with ease.


Moodle hosts conferences called MoodleMoots that allow the user to network with Moodle developers and partners and learn new things about Moodle.
Canvas has its networking conference called InstructureCon in which users obtain new information about the canvas and education technology in general.
Both the LMSs offer networking conferences for users to exchange ideas. Moodle cloud users can contact only Moodle Partner, whereas canvas provides additional support in the form of email and phone.
Moodle and Canvas share a few similarities, but the main difference can be observed in content creation. Moodle offers a content authoring tool while canvas on the other fails to do so.
Moodle is free and allows the user to make changes to fit their learning.



Offline learning
Content Authoring tools
Custom user interface




Moodle: Moodle for School plans accommodate up to 500 users. This may be difficult for those who require a solution for more than 500 users.
Canvas: Canvas users have mentioned that Canvas LMS has limited customization capabilities.
Bottom line: In the Moodle vs Canvas tug of war, it is seen that Moodle is limited to a certain extent in terms of functionality they provide, whereas Canvas LMS does not have such limits. Moodle can be used for both schools and businesses, on the other hand, Canvas is only for educational institutions / K12 institutes. Instructure (Canvas) has other solutions for a business called ‘bridge’, which is the founding body for Canvas LMS.
In general, Canvas has far fewer distinct activities than Moodle. Instead, you organize everything using the Assignment "silo" or the Discussions "silo" or the Pages "silo" or the Quizzes "silo", and optionally organize individual items from those silos into Modules that are navigated sequentially (like Moodle's Lesson activity, but without the quiz features). The Modules also resemble Moodle's course sections in their combination of various course materials, but they don't have a summary (and are not "visual" at all -- no images allowed). Moodle is unique in the LMS world in its focus on discrete activities as the basis for course content.
Some things are definitely easier in Canvas, such as creating group assignments or discussions on the fly (you can create the groups on the assignment configuration page itself) and creating links to other course items in the text editor (you drag and drop the item's name from a list instead of having to type the exact name and turn on auto-linking). Canvas also hides some activity configuration settings until you need them, such as the group functionality mentioned above or assigning peer assessment. This makes the configuration page less daunting out of the box than in Moodle, where far more settings are always visible.

Overview of Moodle Features
All-in-one calendar
Bulk course creation and easy backup
Collaborative tools and activities
Convenient file management
Customization in site design and layout
Detailed reporting and logs
Embed external resources
Manage user roles and permissions
Multilingual capability
Multimedia integration
Multiple progress tracking options
Notifications and automatic alerts
Outcomes and rubrics
Peer and self-assessment
Personalized dashboard
Regular security updates
Secure authentication and mass enrolment
Simple add-ons and plugin management
Simple and intuitive text editor
Supports open standards

Overview of Canvas LMS Features
Collaborative workspace
Recording or uploading of audio and video
Integrated learning materials
Web-standard browser
Copy and paste links from a Web browser
LTI integrations
Customizable content
Customizable user profiles
Open API
Audio and video messages
Integrated tools
External service integrations
Shared resources
RSS support
Web conferencing tools
Canvas app center
Course notifications
Graphics analytics reporting engine
Mobile integration
Integrated media reporting
Open security

Canvas LMS is committed to the refinement of the educational experiences shared by its users on its platform. It has been partnering with leading innovations to help teachers and students succeed. It currently leads in LTI integrations among LMS vendors but the company is still making more moves to improve its services overall. Here are some key benefits that clients enjoy today:
Comprehensive with No-Limit Integrations. Canvas LMS is perfect for blended learning programs. Learning institutions enjoy Canvas’ comprehensive features and how they are contained in just a single platform. Canvas LMS has helped set up a 1:1 initiative with Chromebooks and iPads for more than fifty thousand users and integrate its comprehensive educational tools plus their existing student information system. Thanks to its open architecture the possibilities of its integrations are limitless. These types of programs are what Canvas continues to support and create. With Canvas, you can provide a consistent learning experience, especially for K-20 learners.
Curate learning pathways. Learning is done differently today and, at many times, in different settings and devices. Students also learn via projects and internships. A bubble sheet is not enough to assess these types of learning. With Canvas LMS, learning here can be showcased via Portfolium, an e-portfolio where students’ education can be mapped out and curated. Achievements can be compiled including non-traditional evidence of learning that is shareable to future schools, colleges, and even prospective employers. Used right, this can give teachers a conducive path to lead and assess their students’ development. Also, this gives students more opportunities for advancement that they clearly deserve.
Reliable Connectivity. Canvas LMS has a cloud-based architecture that supports reliable connectivity and real-time data updates. In this way, educators can gather formative data to guide individual instruction. With MasteryConnect, this data can be analyzed and gathered with top-of-the-line assessment tools. Also, connectivity is further enhanced by Canvas Catalog where you can publish courses to reach more learners. Together with the Blueprints feature, institutions such as districts, schools, and universities can lock aspects of their curriculums or published courses. This enables you to standardize practice and guarantee high-quality education connecting generations. This connectivity is also very reliable. Canvas offers a 99.9% uptime as per SLA. As it is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), this cloud-based LMS functions with great speed and precision.

What Problems Will Canvas LMS Solve?

Problem #1: Need for full-fledged LMS
Solution: Canvas LMS provides users with comprehensive learning and teaching tools that can integrate seamlessly with their existing systems. The platform can also scale according to your needs. Data can be accessed in a timely manner where educators can use it to personalize training and instruction. This allows them to guide learners individually and curate their learning experiences. Furthermore, non-traditional learning and internships can be documented and shared for further education or employment purposes. This gives both teachers and students a chance to succeed in their roles.
Problem #2: Can’t Access Timely Data Gathering
Solution: Many educational institutions do not lack the right data. What this misses are the right tools to gather data in a timely manner. Canvas LMS’s MasteryConnect is an innovative assessment tool that helps educators gather and organize timely information. It then enables educators to improve the quality of their instructions and even personalize student learning. You can also use the tool to collaborate with professional learning communities and align the learning initiatives of your institution.
Problem #3: One-Dimensional Learning Limitation
Solution: Learning experiences are not just from classrooms anymore. Students learn from internships and on-the-job training. They may take e-courses or even volunteer for some charity. These learning experiences cannot be assessed by traditional tests alone. With Canvas, you can compile achievements and non-traditional learning experiences in an easy-to-use online portfolio. With Canvas’ ePortfolio, Portfolium, you can curate learning pathways and various evidence for learning for more accurate and authentic assessment. This compilation can be shared with prospective employers or future schools allowing students to be better represented.


Ulearn LMS provides out-of-the-box communication features which help Students, Tutors, and administrators to get timely notifications and assignment and GLS alerts.
Out of the box Edexcel assessment
Ulearn LMS provides an out-of-the-box Edexcel assessment system. Tutors can grade students based on Assessment Criteria and Learning Outcomes. Grade descriptors can be applied to the RFQ units and Grades like P1, P2, P3, Merit, Distinction and Refer can be awarded at the AC level and also at the Unit level.
Easy Communication
ULearn provides students and tutors of different groups to communicate within the group using Individual chat, group chat, Group Learning Space (forum).
Tutors and administrators can filter students based on their submissions, intake, semester or unit and can send then group SMS messages or emails from the Ulearn Communication tool and also keep the history of the communication.
Reliable and 100% Uptime
Ulearn LMS is a very reliable system (Certified by IMS Global for LTI interoperability). It has a benchmark uptime record of close to 100%, which means our servers are up and running all the time and even upgrades are managed seamlessly without making the server down.
Rich Content and XAPI
Ulearn LMS provides a way to upload content of major file formats like Word, pdf, movie file, an audio file, youtube link, ppt, excel. It also allows providing links to youtube or any external link.
Ulearn LMS is compliant with the XAPI store and we help deliver Scorm content with embedded quizzes to our clients.
Manage Semester Units Groups Intake and Courses
Administrators can manage (create and view) Semesters, Unit, Groups, Intakes, and courses and allocate Tutors and Internal verifier to each of the groups. Internal Verifier helps in the quality assurance of the various processes and assessments. Students can be allocated to these groups and assigned courses and their content.

Ulearn is a learning management system that helps education providers to plan, implement, and assess the learning processes. The system facilitates the users to create content, monitor student participation, track performance, and deliver educational courses. This is a student-centered system that simplifies the learning process, students can review their personal performance and enhance their classroom or distance learning. The Ulearn LMS eLearning solution enables end-to-end facilitation, administration, and reporting of any program or course online.

Ulearn Communication Features

Group SMS | Group Emails | Group Chat | Group Learning Space | Notifications
Tutor Modules
Assignments | Notes | Rich Content | Webinars | Assessments | Reports | Announcements | Dashboards
Student Modules
Study Skills | Dashboard | Webinars | Notes | Statistics | Quizzes | Assignments | Timetable | Learning Map

Final Remarks

Moodle is the best option, it is feature-rich, mature, and deployed all over the world, It has community and better support options