This is a detailed comparison between NEO and Canvas, taking into consideration the features, functionality, and cost of each platform.
NEO is a world-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between students and teachers/faculty.
Canvas is an learning management system for K-12 and Higher Ed institutions, owned by Instructure.
NEO has an intuitive, responsive design, that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. The platform offers tile-based dashboards for teachers, students, administrators and parents, a graphical resources catalog, as well as a Users catalog. NEO also has a unique “activity display” feature that indicates the level of activity within classes and groups using a pulsing indicator on their tiles together with real-time widgets that scroll through the latest activities.
Canvas has a graphical interface although the tile-based design is limited to classes. The tiles offer just a basic set of information and customization options. The platform doesn't have a graphical catalog for storing and sharing resources or a graphical Users catalog. NEO also offers customizable dashboard widgets that show the most important data about the site, custom report widgets, and HTML widgets.
NEO is easy to use and offers a simple pop-out navigation, with many shortcuts that limit the number of clicks needed to add or delete classes, sections, assignments, and more. It’s simple to navigate to the main areas of the site and easily perform tasks without having to leave the main dashboard. For example, to add a new group or class, the user can simply go to the left menu and click on the “Add” button.
Canvas is harder to navigate since there is limited pop-out functionality, especially at the dashboard level. For example, in NEO users can access important notifications and messages through a single drop-down menu. In Canvas, users have to go to the main dashboard menu to click on their Inbox that loads another page to read their messages. If teachers want to delete multiple content pages or files, they have to click delete for each one of them as there is no option to delete all.
The NEO class layout is tile-based and users have the choice to switch to a row view. Class tiles show important information such as the number of students, a link to the class calendar, news area, and assignments to grade. Each lesson in a class shows the number of sections in the lessons, the badges and points awarded, and certificates associated with the lesson. Students can also easily see progress icons for each class and lesson, making it easy to know which lessons have to be started or resumed and which ones are completed.
The Canvas class layout is less attractive as it displays mostly text-based information about each lesson. It also looks a bit outdated compared to NEO and the listing shows only limited information.
The NEO interface is 100% responsive and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. The Canvas mobile interface is harder to navigate and it is less intuitive. Users are recommended to install the Canvas apps to use the platform on their mobile devices and the mobile apps do not provide the full range of LMS features. NEO also offers branded apps for schools, while Canvas does not offer this option for their clients.
NEO is more accessible to users, offering 40+ languages, including Right to Left languages. Compared to this, Canvas provides 30+ languages.
Ease of use
NEO is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. NEO also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.
Canvas is easy to use. The company offers a help guide, a community and a support forum, and contact via phone for administrators.
NEO and Canvas have a similar feature set, with the main difference being that NEO offers a larger feature set that help teachers save time and make learning more engaging for students such as automation, adaptive learning, gamification and learning paths.
Using NEO, teachers can create instructor-led, blended and self-paced classes, as well as micro classes. NEO also offers learning paths, which allow teachers to set up classes and certificates as learning goals that students must complete one by one.
Canvas offers instructor-led, blended and self-paced classes and does not provide a learning paths feature. In addition, NEO has more options for content creation, such as adding files or URLs as resources at the end of a content page. Also, the built-in HTML editor has more options on NEO. For example, users can create HTML text templates that can be saved in the Resource Catalog and can be reused in any content area across the site
In NEO teachers can choose from 15 types of assignments such as quizzes, essays, debates, team, Dropbox, Turnitin, discussion and survey. Canvas is missing assignment types such as essays and debates. The platform does not support point grading scales, does not have an easy way of exporting attendance data, and does not support printable attendance forms.
NEO provides support for competency-based learning that allows teachers to track how well students are understanding the taught concepts based on their mastery of skills or subjects. Measuring student performance is easy and teachers can get instant insights using extensive analytics, built-in reports, and custom reports. You can add custom reports to the admin dashboard widgets and class widgets.
Canvas also has a mastery feature, but there is no option to trigger actions when students achieve certain mastery levels or drop below a threshold for a competency. Teachers can see analytics for mastery, lessons and assignments, but there are no custom reports.
Communication and collaboration
NEO offers many ways for teachers and students to communicate through chat, messages, groups, teams, social networking, wikis, blogs, public profiles, and more.
Canvas also has many communication tools, but there are some limitations to their functionality. For example, NEO has community, school, private, and district-level groups. Canvas has class groups that limit users to class collaboration.
Personalization and engagement
NEO helps teachers save time through automation, which allows them to set up actions that should be performed when students complete tasks. Rules can be added in many areas of the platform such as classes, learning paths, groups, accounts, e-commerce, inactivity, compliance, and mastery. NEO also has a powerful gamification feature, through which students earn points and badges, and they can also see a leaderboard with their results.
There is no automation feature available in Canvas and no support for gamification, only the option to award badges to students.
In NEO, schools can customize many aspects of the platform including the theme, fonts, terminology, custom CSS, and more. They can also create a visitor portal with their own logo, portal images, panels, carousel, custom HTML, and more.
To access similar features, Canvas users will have to pay extra for Canvas Catalog, an extension that allows them to showcase classes and sell their classes online.
Here is a list of the features included in NEO that are not supported by Canvas:
- Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
- Customizable terminology
- Support for more than 40 languages
- Branded mobile apps
- Micro learning
- Learning paths
- Drip content
- Class ratings and reviews
- Printable certificates
- Prerequisite certificates
- Subscription plans
- Digital media
- Class bundles
- Offline mode
- Custom reports
- Scheduled reports
- Custom report widgets
- Public blog
- Social networking
- Public profiles
- Integration with your own email server
- Integration with 1,500+ apps via Zapier
- Safe Exam Browser
- PayU Latam
- Terms and conditions
- Archiving students
- SEO features
- Purchase orders
- Activity display
NEO has a Free plan with a comprehensive set of essential LMS features and a Premium plan for schools that need more powerful functionality. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.
We have heard anecdotally that Canvas requires an implementation fee of around $1,000 - 3,000 depending on the number of students. Support can also cost a school an extra of $2,000 - 3,000 per year. Depending on what your school needs, the costs can be even higher. For example, if you require e-commerce and a customizable portal to showcase classes you have to pay for the Canvas Catalog extension.
This was a comparison of the most important feature differences between NEO and Canvas.
NEO is a more powerful and intuitive LMS than Canvas offering a larger set of features that are suitable for both K-12 and Higher Ed institutions. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, as well as features that make teaching easier and learning more engaging.
If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us.
This comparison paper was written in August 2020 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.
Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.