For more information on the available tools in Canvas, click the embedded links or go to the Canvas Community to search the Canvas Guides.

ICON (D2L 10.3) to Canvas Conversion Chart


Log in with your hawkID and password to access a detailed tool comparison for ICON (D2L 10.3) and Canvas. The chart provided below is a high level outline of the differences in terminology and function.

Personal/Course Settings

D2L 10.3 Canvas Key characteristics in Canvas
Personal/Course Settings
Activate Course Publish Course
  • Canvas courses exist in three states: unpublished, published and concluded.
Course Offering Information Course Settings
  • Includes: Course Details, Course navigation, Student view, Course Statistics, Copy Course, Import/Export Content into this course
Copy Course Components Functionality available in Course Settings
  • Copy or import course content and export course content available within (Course) Settings
Notifications Notifications
  • Daily/Weekly/ASAP option for notifications
  • Applies to all courses within Canvas
  • Notifications via SMS and social media available
Profile Profile
  • Create links to your social media accounts
  • Email address is the user's UIowa email address.
Help Help
  • Report a Problem Button will create a ITS Help Desk ticket.
  • Submit a Feature Idea or Search the Canvas Guides
Role Switch Student View
  • Student view allows a full student experience as a “Test Student”. Upload materials, take quizzes and navigate the course.
  • Test Student also appears in Gradebook when instructor leaves Student View.
Dates and Restrictions

Restricted Access
Availability Dates

Release Conditions
Classlist People
Event Log
Email Conversations (Inbox)
  • Send email to individuals or entire class from the Inbox. Messages are delivered to each user’s registered email address.
Groups Groups
  • Create Group Sets within People
  • Drag / drop students into groups, allow self-assign, randomize, assign a group leader
  • Group workspace is created; students can create and share content.
User Progress View Student Progress
  • Instructors can view student progress for required content within modules.
Calendar Calendar
  • Drag & drop to make changes
  • Assignment due date changes made in calendar automatically update everywhere else in course.
  • Copy calendar feed link to view Canvas calendar in Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, etc.
Content Modules
  • Cleaner design
  • Fewer options
Course Overview Syllabus
  • Automatically syncs with Calendar to display assignment dates.
  • Can be displayed as Course Home Page
Create a File (HTML page) Pages
  • Choose whether pages are editable only by instructors or by instructors and students.
  • Link to course Assignments using the content tools in the sidebar.
  • Can use a Page as Course Home Page.
Discussions Discussions
  • Reply to the main topic post or an individual's comment. Use threaded discussions for more granularity.
  • Instructors choose whether students can only reply or are able to create their own topics.
Manage Files Files
  • Course-related files are accessible to students via a tab by default. Edit this in course navigation.
  • Files in the Account section display all files for all courses and personal files.
News Announcements
  • By default unless you change the setting, students can reply to announcements.

Includes functionality of: Dropbox

  • Grading
  • Discussions
  • Quizzes
  • Includes all graded items (e.g., graded discussions, quizzes, submitted items, etc.)
  • Create assignment for every graded item; can also use for online submission
  • Gradebook setup happens here. Use Assignments Groups to weight grades, similar to D2L “Categories."
  • Ungraded assignments create a deadline in the calendar and syllabus, but do not create a column in the gradebook.
Quizzes Quizzes
  • When you create a quiz, you can choose one of four quiz types: practice quiz, graded quiz, graded survey and ungraded survey.
  • Quiz Statistics include student and item analysis.
Survey Quiz type
Question Library Question Banks
  • Add Question Banks to each course you want to use the questions in.
Question Sections/Randomize Question Groups
  • Pick a certain number of questions from a Question Bank.
  • Must use Question Groups to randomize the order of questions.
Rubrics Rubrics
  • Can be used for grading and/or feedback. 
  • Click to insert columns.
Gradebook Grades
  • Faculty can enter grades and comments directly in Grades. Use Speedgrader for Dropbox assignments.
  • Gradebook is automatically populated from the items in the Assignments list.
  • Students can figure hypothetical "what-if" grades.
  • Sort columns in one click by due date or assignment category.
  • Student submissions are highlighted in red if the submission was turned in late.
  • Displays submitted assignment, grading rubric and media comment options all on one page.
  • Add comments directly to students' assignments (Word, PDF, Excel, & PowerPoint) within Canvas.
  • Add comments directly to assignments from within Canvas.
  • Option to use Speedgrader iPad and Android apps to grade


Article number: 
Last updated: 
March 21, 2016