Review: Learning Suite or Canvas? : BYU’s toxic love triangle

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BYU uses Learning Suite and Canvas to organize classes. Both platforms have their pros, both have their flaws, and both have their die-hard fans, but there’s only one way out of this awkward mess: BYU has to pick a site and go there. (Abigail Gunderson)

Love triangles are a great way to spice up a coming-of-age movie. Why have just a vampire/human romance when you could add a sexy werewolf into the mix? What’s the point of a well-constructed dystopian world if there aren’t two eligible people vying for the main character’s affection?

If you need drama, a love triangle is a fail-safe. If you don’t want any more emotional outbursts, I won’t.

Let me introduce you to a love triangle for our day: Learning Suite, Canvas, and every student on the BYU campus.

The first is the childhood friend you didn’t think twice about until he suddenly turned cute during quarantine, but he does require some upkeep. The other is the new kid in town who’s totally hot but it’s unclear if you’re actually interested or if he’s just new.

Both platforms have their pros, both have their flaws, and both have their die-hard fans (Canvas all the way). There’s only one way out of this awkward mess: BYU has to choose a site and live with it.

My poor computer already has too many tabs and doesn’t need the added stress of constantly switching between two websites.

My poor brain (which also has too many tabs open at one time) is also overloaded.

With all my school resources spread across two websites, it’s hard to keep everything organized. When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I take all of my homework for the week and put it in a to-do list on Google Calendar. Having everything in one place with clearly marked deadlines does wonders for my grades and my sanity.

An original idea, isn’t it?

Both workspaces have fairly similar layouts, but each is different enough to take some getting used to and even practice. With the number of professors I’ve had who refuse to learn to use either, I’d say keeping everything on one platform would benefit students, professors, and their drowning assistants.

Navigating the Learning Suite and Canvas can be stressful for a freshman. New students are already too busy trying to figure out what a program is and don’t need the added pressure of learning how to find and read a program on two different sites.

Canvas has some great qualities: it puts all assignments on a color-coded timeline, it has a nifty checklist feature, and the message feature isn’t half bad. It can, however, be more difficult to navigate and requires a well-organized course to really perform at its best.

Like many of us, Learning Suite has really upped its game in 2020. The new look makes it easier to navigate, and the simulation calculator is a nice feature.

Speaking from personal experience, growing out your bangs and taking off your braces doesn’t magically make you less stupid: Learning Suite still has its awkward moments.

The Bible clearly says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will attach himself to one and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24)

Yet here we are, torn between the two masters of an online learning experience: Learning Suite and Canvas. As a Canvas fan, I think we should get rid of Learning Suite and switch to Canvas altogether. I wouldn’t be very upset if we stick with Learning Suite, as long as it’s only Learning suite.

In an episode of Hannah Montana that I think of often, Miley tries to choose between two equally great boys. She thinks she won’t be able to choose between Jesse and Jake, but when her mother appears in a dream and basically tells her to choose Jesse, she realizes that she wanted Jake all along.

Miley, like all of us, found herself in a love triangle with only one way out: a decision. BYU, some soul-searching may be needed and some hearts will break, but for the good of all of us, please choose a platform.

–Abigail Gunderson

Senior Reporter

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