MCC Canvas Tutorials & Articles

Canvas is available to faculty teaching courses at MiraCosta College. Use your MCC username and password to log in to

A collection of MCC specific tutorials & articles can be found below or search for a topic in the search box in the top right corner of this website.  Canvas Information & Resources.



Communication Tools


Google Docs


LTI Tools


Start / End of Semester



Return to Canvas Information & Resources

Canvas Information & Resources


MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard and Moodle to Canvas during 2016-17 and 2017-18. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes. If you are interested, see the details on the spring 2016 process that led to the selection of Canvas.



MiraCosta’s Canvas system may be accessed at – faculty and students log in with their SURF username and password. You’ll also find buttons to log into each of MiraCosta’s course management systems at .

One of MiraCosta’s early Canvas adopters, music professor Christy Coobatis, says this about using Canvas in spring 2017:

Has been an extremely successful semester because of it! 

Both students and I loved the program.

I have more and clearer communication than ever before!

Another, Adult High School professor Julie Cord, says:

I am in LOVE with Canvas and I truly feel it has helped support my students and my teaching already in very substantial ways.

See below for many great resources to help you learn to use Canvas, and earn MiraCosta Flex credit along the way.

MiraCosta Faculty Workshops

4-week online Introduction to Teaching with Canvas

MiraCosta faculty members from the Canvas Transition Team oversee 4-week online “Introduction to Teaching with Canvas” classes in two versions. The Facilitated class is designed to require about 10 hours per week and includes required discussion board participation, completion of practice work, and optional weekly live online meetings. The Self-Paced class has the same “assignments” but no required interaction, for an estimated 7.5 hours/week.

Participating faculty may claim Flex credit for the time they spend on this class, up to a maximum of 40 hours for Facilitated or 30 hours for Self-Paced. Record your Flex time in MyFlex in the Coursework category under Other Activities. Additionally, those who complete the class requirements satisfactorily will receive a Certificate of Completion.

This was offered 7 times in 2017 and we will offer 3 Self-Paced classes in spring 2018:

  • Feb. 19 – Mar. 16, led by Sean Davis and Billy Gunn
  • Mar. 26 – Apr. 20, led by Sean Davis and curry mitchell
  • Apr. 23 – May 18, led by Billy Gunn and curry mitchell

Go to the sign-up form to learn more and indicate your interest in participating.

Independent Study Introduction to Teaching with Canvas

MiraCosta faculty and staff can also join a completely independent version of the class described above. You’d be working on your own through the material without any feedback from instructors nor regular communication with fellow students, but it may be a helpful way to get up to speed on the basics of Canvas on your own.

Videos of Past MiraCosta Workshops

Flex Credit is available for viewing MiraCosta workshop videos. This is a pre-approved activity (in the Other Activities category Conferences and Presentations) – see this PDP presentation for details on how to record pre-approved activities.


Tour a MiraCosta Canvas Class!

What does a Canvas class look like? Well, there are a number of approaches to designing a class in Canvas. Check out some short videos by MiraCosta faculty. And then go behind the scenes – in Canvas – to learn more!

Gail Meinhold – Nutrition & Aging (4:45)
Explore some of Gail’s course and get tips from her – in Canvas!

Robert Kelley – Behavioral Stats (4:13)
Explore some of Robert’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!
Canvas Student Orientation – this open Canvas course can also be a good way for faculty to introduce themselves to Canvas from the student perspective. Faculty are also welcome to link directly to this resource within their own Canvas classes to help their students learn key features of Canvas.

curry mitchell – English 100 (6:02)
Explore some of curry’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!
Explore curry’s tips and code for Tabs, Accordions, Buttons, and Grids – in Canvas!

Billy Gunn – Film 111 (6:48)
Explore some of Billy’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!

Leola McClure – Group Communication (5:01)

Flex Credit is available for time spent engaging with any of the above resources. This is a pre-approved activity (in the Other Activities category Conferences and Presentations) – see this PDP presentation for details on how to record pre-approved activities.

Faculty Training Resources

Again, Flex Credit is available for time spent engaging with any of the above resources.

Blackboard to Canvas Transition Resources

  • Rebuilding a Blackboard Course in Canvas: What to Expect – notes from MiraCosta faculty member Robert Kelley
  • Guide from @One that shows the relationship between Canvas tools and Blackboard tools, and provides links to tutorials on the Canvas tools.
  • In many cases, it may be easier to re-create classes in Canvas rather than exporting a class from Blackboard and importing it into Canvas. However, you may wish to try exporting portions of Blackboard classes, or entire classes, and importing into Canvas. These resources may help:
    • Guide from Oregon State on which Blackboard tools/content import well to Canvas and which do not (currently unavailable).
    • Very detailed narrative with challenges and guidance when moving classes from Blackboard to Canvas.

Moodle to Canvas Transition Resources

  • Guide from @One that shows the relationship between Canvas tools and Moodle tools, and provides links to tutorials on the Canvas tools.

Canvas Faculty and Student Support

MiraCosta’s Online Education department provides support for faculty using Canvas, and MiraCosta’s Student Help Desk provides support for students in Canvas classes.

When local support is unavailable, including evenings and weekends, Canvas provides technical support for faculty and students at the following phone numbers.

Faculty: 1-833-345-2890

Students: 1-877-884-1673

Canvas has excellent “Getting Started” guides for faculty and for students. See above for more faculty training resources.

Faculty and students can also create a helpdesk ticket for support from within Canvas by clicking on the Help icon and then selecting Report a Problem.

You may also review recent and upcoming updates to the Canvas system, as well as submitting or voting on feature additions and changes you’d like.

Canvas Status Updates

Click the link below if you are experiencing Canvas errors – these may be due to temporary issues with the entire Canvas LMS service and not something we control locally.

Canvas Status Updates

LTI Tools Available in Canvas

  • Turnitin – originality checking, online grading and peer review
  • ConferNow – Live web conferencing using Zoom
  • Google Drive – enabling tighter integration between Google apps and Canvas
  • Various publisher tools – click to learn more
  • Many other LTI tools (“Apps”) are available – some have been made available institutionally and you can see those in the Navigation tab of Course Settings; others can be enabled by faculty individually; you can see those in the Apps tab of Course Settings. See the Canvas Guide on the App Center to learn more.


Canvas does not have a dedicated journaling tool like the one in Blackboard. However, it is possible to use Canvas tools to provide students with a place to submit their writings or reflections at various points throughout the semester. This is done by creating a series of assignments within the same assignment group.



Canvas now open to all MiraCosta faculty

All spring 2017 classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. (Faculty who wish to use Moodle for any classes should request those from Karen Korstad –

Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources if you wish to begin learning about Canvas. A number of MiraCosta faculty have been teaching Canvas pilot classes this fall, including the Canvas Transition Team of Billy Gunn, Curry Mitchell, Gail Meinhold, Leola McClure, and Robert Kelley. They are currently developing training resources to share with all faculty, and we will soon release a list of Canvas introduction/open lab sessions to be held this fall. We are also planning an all-day Canvas workshop for the first day of Flex week in January (Friday the 13th).

You may also be interested in the video of the fall Flex “Goodbye Blackboard and Moodle, Hello Canvas” webinar featuring Billy Gunn and Curry Mitchell.

Finally, if you have not seen the FA’s update on the Canvas transition, it is recommended reading.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
MiraCosta College

Blackboard Discussion Board Issue & Fix

The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.

Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable are no longer accessible by the instructor. If you have such discussion boards and you try to access them, you will get a message reading:

Access Denied

Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action.

The workaround is you need to edit the discussion board and change its setting to Available. Then you will be able to access it. Clearly, this is not ideal, and we hope that Blackboard will fix this soon.

Additional Workaround

Here’s an addition to the workaround that will keep students out while the discussion board is set to Available. It’s a lot of extra work, but if you absolutely do not want students to access a discussion board while it is available for you to work on, you can follow this procedure.

It relies on using the “manage” option for the discussion board, and changing all the users with role “Participant” to instead have the role “Blocked”. The blocked users will still see the forum listed in the discussions, but when selecting it they will get the access denied message. But unblocked users (i.e. the instructor) can enter it.

  1. Ensure that your Discussion Board forum is set to Available and is accessible to you.
  2. Hover your mouse over the title for the forum then click the “options menu” icon (the circle with a “v” in it) that appears.
  3. Select “Manage” to see a list of all the people who have access to the forum
  4. If you have a large class, click the option to “show all”.
  5. Click the checkbox in the column header to select everyone in the course.
  6. Deselect the checkbox for anyone that should have continued access.
  7. Select “Edit Role”
  8. Select “Blocked”

Remember if you block students using the additional workaround above, you will need to unblock them when you want them to be able to post and/or view the discussion board. Unblock by following the same procedure above, but in step 8 assign everyone the role “Participant”.

MiraCosta transitioning to Canvas


As you have likely heard, MiraCosta College will be transitioning to the Canvas course management system over the next two years. This decision was finalized on Friday by the College Council, concluding an in-depth and inclusive process this spring. The attached 6-page document summarizes the evaluation process and provides an overview of the transition timeline and support over the next two years

Some important highlights:

  • Blackboard and Moodle will continue to be available through spring 2018; only Canvas will be supported for MiraCosta classes starting in summer 2018.
  • MiraCosta’s Canvas system will be available to all faculty starting this November.
  • For fall semester instruction, we have a limited license for Canvas, allowing for 400 total users (faculty and students), meaning that we likely can have 10-15 instructors using Canvas for one class each in fall 2016.
  • Faculty who wish to try out Canvas prior to November but who are not part of the fall pilot group may access Canvas for free via
  • See the MiraCosta TIC site with many links for Canvas training and support.
    I am planning to soon send out a call for interest in being one of the 10-15 fall pilot faculty using Canvas for one class. The intent is that this group would be involved over several semesters, and thus this opportunity is open only to full-time faculty. The expectations and support of these faculty are to be negotiated by the district and Faculty Assembly, but if you would like to let me know of your interest in this opportunity, please feel free to let me know. Once the structure has been determined for the pilot group, I will send a message to all full-time faculty.

It is worth noting that over 70 other California Community Colleges have also made the decision to transition to Canvas, including several of our SDICCCA neighbors.

Finally, my thanks to the faculty, staff, students and administrators who participated on the CMS evaluation task force. They accomplished excellent work in a very tight timeframe, and MiraCosta should be confident in the quality of the decision-making process.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

1 2 3 4