• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

NEO vs. Canvas


NEO is a word-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between students and teachers/faculty. NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

Canvas is an LMS for K-12 and Higher Ed institutions, owned by Instructure.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface has a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, teachers and administrators, a graphical class catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation.

Many features can be enabled or disabled to suit young children through to college students. NEO provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize lesson material. NEO offers native mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows.

The Canvas interface is not as graphical as NEO's. For example, there is no tile-based dashboard and to gain access to important customization features such as a graphical visitor catalog, users must pay for Canvas Catalog - an extension.

The interface does not support mobile browsing and it is recommended for users to install the Canvas apps to use it on their mobile devices. A big minus is that the applications do not offer the full range of the LMS’s features. Canvas provides mobile apps for iOS and Android.

NEO Student dashboard

Ease of use

NEO is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. NEO also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.

Canvas is easy to understand and use. The company offers a help guide, a community and a support forum, and contact via phone for administrators.

NEO Help center


NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, self-paced, and micro learning), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, mastery and competencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, collaboration tools, resources catalog, a customizable portal, and more.

NEO supports many important industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, QTI and LDAP. We also integrate with a wide variety of systems, including Google Drive, G Suite, Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and more.

Canvas provides a similar feature set, with the main difference being that the features are not as visually attractive, and are a little harder to configure and use. For example, users must install and pay extra for the Canvas Catalog extension to be able to showcase their courses in a graphical catalog, sell them and create visitor portals.

In addition, here is a list of the features included in NEO that are not supported by Canvas:

User interface

  • Graphical dashboards
  • Customizable terminology
  • Graphical dashboards
  • Support for more than 40 languages
  • Windows native app
  • Automatic translation of messages and forum posts
  • Branded mobile apps


  • Automation
  • Drip content
  • Micro learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Compliance
  • Class ratings and reviews
  • Printable certificates
  • Prerequisite certificates

Assessment and analytics

  • Custom reports
  • Scheduled reports


  • Teams
  • Organizations
  • Public blog
  • Social networking


  • Integration with your own email server
  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • xAPI
  • Skype for Business
  • GoToMeeting
  • GoToTraining
  • Zoom
  • CometChat
  • MailChimp
  • PayPal
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • PayUbiz
  • PayU Latam


  • Teaching assistant and monitor account types
  • SEO features
  • Terms and conditions
  • Archiving students

NEO Class catalog


NEO costs about $6 per student per year for its Small school plan and $7 per student per year for its Enterprise plan. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

We have heard anecdotally that Canvas costs $12 per student per year and requires a significant setup payment.

NEO Class page


This presents a comparison of the most important features between NEO and Canvas.

NEO is a more modern, powerful, and intuitive LMS than Canvas offering a larger set of features suitable for both K-12 and Higher Education clients. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us at contact us.


This comparison paper was written in April 2018 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.

Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.