Opinion: 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 perks, both have their flaws and both have their die-hard fans but there’s only one way to get out of this awkward mess: BYU needs to choose one site and go with it. (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 throw a hot werewolf into the mix? What’s the point of a well-built 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 failsafe. If you don’t want any more emotional crises, I’d steer clear. 

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

The first one is the childhood friend who you hadn’t thought twice about until they suddenly turned cute during quarantine, but they’re a little high maintenance. The other one is the new kid in town who is totally hot but it’s unclear if you actually are interested or if they’re just new.

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

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

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

With all of my school resources split between two websites, it’s hard to keep everything organized. When I’m feeling especially ambitious, I’ll take all of my assignments for the week and put them 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.

A novel idea, isn’t it?

Both workspaces have fairly similar layouts but each is different enough that it may take some getting used to and even some training. With the amount of professors I’ve had who refuse to learn how to use either, I’d say keeping everything in one platform would benefit students, professors and their drowning TAs.

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

Canvas has some great qualities: It puts all assignments on a color-coded calendar, it has a nifty checklist feature and the message feature isn’t half bad. It can be harder to navigate though, and takes a well-organized course to really work at its best.

Like many of us, Learning Suite really upped its game during 2020. The new look makes it much easier to navigate and the what-if calculator is a beautiful feature.

Speaking from personal experience, growing out your bangs and getting your braces off doesn’t magically make you less dorky: 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 else he will hold to the 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 move completely to Canvas. I wouldn’t be terribly upset if we stayed with Learning Suite, though, as long as it’s only Learning Suite.

In an episode of Hannah Montana I think about frequently, Miley is trying to choose between two equally great boys. She thinks she won’t be able to choose between Jesse and Jake, but when her mom appears in a dream and basically tells her to choose Jesse, she realizes 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 required and some hearts are going to break, but for all of our sakes, please, pick a platform.

–Abigail Gunderson

Senior Reporter

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