Platforms, browsers, hardware & Canvas

Close up of generic Internet browser stock photo

Why should I be concerned about platforms or hardware?

Not every student will have access to the same tools and instruments. Accessibility should also be thought about in terms of income and inequality. Courses should be built so that students can receive an equal course experience no matter what device they are using to access it.

Increasingly, students are moving to mobile devices as they become more affordable. But mobile access is not equal and can vary greatly depending on factors like income, location and availability.

Best practices

Think about the potential audience. How will they access this information? Will they have access to high-speed Wi-Fi? This could determine the amount of graphics, videos, or other interactivity used in the course.

Laptops / Desktops vs. Mobile Devices: Courses that are built for laptops/desktops aren’t always made with mobile users in mind. Avoid using non-responsive tools and designs.

Make sure your design is mobile responsive. And avoid anything that cannot quickly and effectively load on a smartphone.

Avoid linking to anything that requires special software to view — it could be costly or might not run on a smartphone.

Canvas vs. Canvas App: The user experience varies greatly depending on how the user is accessing it. If a course is made to be experienced with a browser (accessing Canvas), or if a course is made to be used with the Canvas App, it’s best to provide that information to students.

Not all browsers are the same. Currently, Safari browsers will not load embedded images or graphics within Canvas courses unless the user changes their privacy settings. Google Chrome is the most popular browser, but it’s not the only one. It’s best to communicate to students which browser is best to access their course.