Canvas Content Authoring Working Group Recommendation Report Update – Phase 2

The Learn@UW-Madison Executive Committee is sponsoring working groups to address two main functional gap areas in Canvas, as compared to Moodle and D2L. The gaps involve quizzing capabilities and content authoring tool functionality. The groups made recommendations at the end of 2016 with the plan to continue their research into the spring semester of 2017.

A number of UW-Madison courses use Case Scenario/Critical Reader Builder (CSCR), which is a campus-developed, content authoring tool designed to create case-based scenarios and encourage critical reading of texts. Faculty, instructors and instructional technologists have also used CSCR and other content authoring tools that integrate content, outcomes and assessments into the Moodle learning management system.

CSCR will no longer be a campus-supported tool. The Canvas Transition Team has identified potential alternatives for the basic CSCR gradebook reporting in D2L; however, the team is still investigating alternatives for the advanced reporting capabilities, such that are available with CSCR in Moodle.

The currently identified alternatives for the basic CSCR gradebook reporting are Canvas, Pressbooks, Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate. Selecting an alternate tool should be done with care as there are cost and support considerations for each. See below for more information regarding each tool. The Canvas Transition Team has contacted CSCR users who are using the basic reporting capabilities to inform them of the alternatives and to offer help in converting content.

Proposed alternatives for the advanced reporting capabilities will be piloted this fall. The pilot will include: Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline and Pressbooks (with H5P and Kaltura activities embedded). If you would like to participate in this pilot, please contact Marta Studnicka,, by June 30, 2017, and encourage other interested parties to do so as well.

Further research will be completed by early winter 2017, and more information will be made available at that time.

Recommended Alternatives for Basic CSCR Gradebook Reporting

  • Canvas
    • May be a good option; however, it would require restructuring your content
    • Supported by campus
    • No additional cost
  • Pressbooks
    • A good option for recreating critical readers
    • Not recommended for recreating case scenarios
    • Not support by campus at this time; however, there is an active user group on campus
    • No additional cost
  • Articulate Storyline
    • Best suited for recreating case scenarios, but may be used for recreating critical readers, as well
    • Not supported by campus; however, there is an active online community
    • Licensing cost is not covered centrally by campus. Local options such as departmental support would need to be identified.
  • Adobe Captivate

We wish to express our appreciation for the members of the Content Authoring Working Group: Dan LaValley (Co-Chair), Mike Pitterle (Co-Chair), Steel Wagstaff (Co-Chair), Nicole Olthafer (project manager), Blaire Bundy, Doug Graham, Mark Neufeld, Jeff Korab and Kristin Simon.