Today’s learning management systems offer more types of classes as the teaching landscape evolves. Technology has helped deliver new teaching methods, including blended learning and its benefits. E-learning’s benefits include:
  • Less expense for teachers to deliver quality content
  • More flexibility in terms of availability of course content
  • Supportive of face-to-face teaching approaches
  • Reduction in isolation for students
  • More opportunities for collaboration
  • Increased student interest and ownership
This Canvas vs. NEO LMS comparison examines two popular learning management platforms, some of their common features, and a few differences in their offering. There are hundreds of products to compare, but our Product Selection Tool can get you a short list of recommendations to help you find the right LMS quickly.


Canvas is a product of Instructure, Inc., a publicly traded company with a head office in Salt Lake City. It was founded in 2008 by two college graduate students, Brian Whitmer and Devlin Daley. The company formally launched the LMS in 2011. Today, it has several offices in the US and internationally. Canvas is a learning management platform made up of integrated products that build a digital learning environment for teachers and students. Depending on the targeted audience, whether for K-12 or for higher education, the LMS is combined with other products that provide you a comprehensive solution. This may include assessment tools, video learning, e-commerce, practice space, or social profiles. Some of its clients are The University of Utah, Tacoma Community College, and Science Leadership Academy.


NEO LMS is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a privately held company based in San Francisco. It was founded in 2009 by Graham Glass. When Graham became a teacher, he taught computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas. He then started to receive offers to teach at tech companies, which gave him the idea to build a company that offers LMS. Today, CYPHER LEARNING offers e-learning products for the academic, business, and individual sectors. It has offices in several countries. NEO LMS is a learning platform for schools and universities. It lets you build online classes, assess students, enhance collaboration, and track achievement. You can use it for K-12, higher education, and for classes using differentiated instruction. The system supports competency-based learning, and includes tools to track student progress, give them assignments, and log their grades. You can enable/disable features, include games, automate tasks, and generate reports for each course. Some of its customers are San Diego University, STI College, and Santa Barbara Unified.

Features comparison of Canvas vs. NEO LMS

Class creation and management

Canvas LMS is easy to use and flexible. The intuitive interface lets teachers create engaging and effective courses. You can build courses that support different types of content delivery, including blended learning. The built-in tools also simplify administrative tasks, so you can spend more time on teaching and learning tasks. The software also has Modules, which are organizational features that let you control the flow of the course. You can organize course content by weeks, units, and other structures. You can put files, assignments, quizzes, and other learning materials within each module. NEO LMS has a built-in content authoring tool that lets you easily create a variety of class styles like instructor-led, blended, self-paced, or micro learning. Each class has features based on its style. It comes with a graphical class catalog, and each class contains an overview page with a class description, ratings, reviews, and outline. Time-saving features include a class sync to push changes to multiple classes, class templates that can be stored and reused, and resources catalog that you can manage and share across the school or district. The platform allows you to build Learning Paths, where you can create a sequence of classes that students can take to achieve a goal. You can reward students with points, badges, and a certificate of completion at the end. Read also: What Is eLearning? How eLearning Can Help Your Business

Evaluation and tracking

Canvas supports traditional, standards-based, and other types of grading with its SpeedGrader feature. It’s an accurate and efficient grading tool for assignments and quizzes. It lets teachers provide feedback to their students with annotations, and the software includes the option to use a device’s camera or webcam to provide video feedback. With the grading feature, you can use a rubric for scoring and give individual scores on learning outcomes. It automatically populates the gradebook, and also lets you create reports to show where students are strong and where they need help. NEO LMS gives you the option to choose from 12 types of assignments including quizzes, essays, debate, team, Dropbox discussion, and survey. When creating quizzes, you can choose from seven different types of questions or choose randomly from question banks. The software supports timed quizzes that can give instant feedback to show results immediately. You can grade assignments quickly using rubrics, and view all grades, add results, or make changes with the centralized gradebook. It also supports competency-based learning graded on preloaded US standards or your own. A mastery grid shows how your students understand the concepts, and recommendations can be sent to students automatically when they drop below a threshold.


Canvas includes collaboration tools so teachers can communicate with individual students, groups of students, the whole class, or parents. Teachers and admins can also share content, assessments, and courses through the Commons digital repository. They can discuss with a large and active community of users. NEO LMS has bidirectional email integration, so you can receive and respond to messages using your email. You can instantly chat with other online users within the software. Students can add connections within the academic community they can chat with and collaborate on projects. Teachers and students can create wikis, and they can discuss topics on forums. The platform also supports personal blogs, class blogs, group blogs, and school blogs.

Takeaways: Canvas vs. NEO LMS?

If you have an existing student information system or assessment management system, Canvas can integrate with it and with other education tools and apps. It also supports SSO if you use Google for Education or Office 365. It provides an extensive, open API for third-party tools. NEO LMS is a comprehensive learning platform with a graphical class catalog, visitor portal, and e-commerce tools included already. It integrates with many apps and tools like G Suite, Office 365, and Zapier. The App center lets you enable and disable features. You can use the API to get information from other systems or build your own custom integrations with other third-party tools. Both Canvas and NEO LMS can be used for K-12 and higher education. With Canvas, you can start with the LMS product and add other products as needed. NEO LMS gives you ready access to a comprehensive set of features, including gamification and e-commerce built in that you can enable or disable as needed. It also offers a free plan for schools up to 400 students. If you need more options, use our free Product Selection Tool to get a list of recommended vendors that meet your requirements.