Third-Party Tools

In addition to the robust features included in Canvas, JHU uses a wide variety of third-party instructional technology tools. The tools that exist in the Blackboard environment will be migrated to the Canvas platform using a phased approach.  

University-Wide Tools Guides

  • Ally – automatically check course content and files uploaded by instructors for accessibility issues and allow students to download content in different formats to meet their unique needs.
  • AEFIS (Assessment, Evaluation, Feedback & Intervention System) is an assessment management platform that includes solutions for syllabus management, curriculum mapping, course/program learning outcome(s) assessment, and more.
  • Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKit) – captures and analyzes student feedback integrated directly in participating Canvas courses.
  • eReserves – Deliver course materials in electronic format to enrolled students in a stable environment
  • Microsoft OneDrive – create collaborations and assignments with OneDrive content
  • Microsoft Teams Classes – chat-based collaboration, file sharing, and online class meetings
  • NameCoach Recording Tool – used to voice record the preferred pronunciation of names
  • Starfish (coming soon)
  • Turnitin – Check assignments to promote academic integrity
  • VoiceThread – Collaborate and share interactively 

Tools that Span Multiple Divisions

  • Gradescope – guide coming soon
  • Kaltura – Create and manage video content depending on your division 
  • Panopto – Video content management service integrated with Canvas in many divisions
  • Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor – Respondus provides two tools to help faculty remotely proctor tests published in Canvas


Many tools require that faculty and students’ browsers have third-party cookies enabled to work properly.
  • Some tools are available throughout the university, and others may be school-specific. 
  • SafeAssign, for plagiarism detection, is not available in Canvas since it is a Blackboard-specific tool. Most divisions will be utilizing Turnitin instead.  
  • Canvas Studio is not available in our instance of Canvas since schools have existing contracts with Panopto or Kaltura.  
  • Canvas does have a portfolio tool called Portfolium Folios. JHU has the free version (not Premium Portfolium). 

How does Canvas differ from Blackboard? 

Generally, third-party tools are not unique to Canvas or Blackboard.  They are external tools that have been integrated into the Learning Management System.  Although some tools apply across most of the university, some are school-specific. In some cases, the method of launching or using the tool may differ in Canvas. In these cases, guidance will be provided.  

Best Practices and Accessibility 

The university has vetted the current tools for compliance with accessibility and privacy standards.  

Requesting a 3rd Party Tool 

The initial focus will be on migrating the large number of existing tools that instructors and schools currently use. In the future, there is the possibility of adding additional tools to Canvas. We encourage those interested to wait until after Fall 2022 launch and then reach out to your division’s teaching and learning center. All 3rd party tools will need to be supported by a divisional or departmental budget, complete an IT data security risk evaluation, and demonstrate compliance with accessibility standards.