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.



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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.



MiraCosta Canvas Updates for Canvas Instructors Spring 2017

Hello! You are among over 130 faculty who have published courses in MiraCosta’s Canvas system. I hope the semester is starting well for you and your students, and just wanted to reach out to you with a few items.

Faculty Support Resources

Hopefully you are well aware of all the resources linked at In particular, our Canvas Transition Team faculty are making themselves available in the TIC multiple times over the first few weeks of the semester – check out their schedule at the top of the TIC Canvas page. Feel free to drop in and chat about any questions/challenges you may have.

We’re also hearing good things about the 24×7 Canvas support available at 1-877-884-1673. Remember, this comes directly from Canvas, so they don’t necessarily have all the answers when it comes to MiraCosta-specific questions (such as how students get added to your class). But they are great for any general questions and guidance about the use of Canvas.

Student Support Resources

Please recommend the Student Help Desk to your students. They can provide live support that is very MiraCosta-specific. When the Student Help Desk is not available, students may also use the 24×7 Canvas support number. Also, please reinforce with your students the ease of access to these resources simply by clicking the Help item at the bottom of the main Canvas menu (the blue menu at far left once logged into Canvas). There are also two more Canvas-specific MiraCosta student success workshops this semester:

  • Today (Feb. 2), 5-6 pm in CLC 133 – Student Help Desk introduction to Canvas (by Jesse Leon)
  • Monday, Feb. 6, 12-1 pm in OC 1201 – Student Orientation to Online Learning in Canvas (by Jim Julius)

Student Names in Canvas

Please note that unlike Blackboard and Moodle, students are not able to customize their first name from within Canvas. If a student wishes to have a different first name displayed in Canvas for any reason, they just need to stop by A&R and fill out a “Preferred Name Change” request.

Your Feedback

As you are among the first MiraCosta faculty to use Canvas for a class, your feedback is very valuable – as is your students’. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any feedback you may have about Canvas – positive, negative, or anything in-between! I’m especially interested to hear what support resources have been of greatest value to you as you’ve been learning to use Canvas, and what suggestions you have for adding to/improving MiraCosta’s workshops and support offerings.

Thanks and best wishes for the semester,

Jim Julius, Ed.D.

Faculty Director, Online Education


Dec. 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use

Can you believe the semester is almost over?

Spring Classes – Blackboard & Canvas

All spring classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. Remember, MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources including workshop schedules (two coming up on 12/9 and 12/13, and many planned for Flex week), recordings of previous workshops, and links to much more. Also, if you have not seen the FA’s position on the Canvas transition, it is recommended reading – negotiations are ongoing.

Online Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this spring, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. This is especially important over the next few semesters as students will be wondering which course management system to find each class in. You can provide that and other important information there to help students prepare for success in your class.

Spring Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer twelve online learning orientation sessions this spring. Please share the schedule (not updated for spring yet, but will be soon) with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. I will offer a few that are based in Canvas; most will continue to be in Blackboard. Online instructors can pull a report from SURF of the students who have completed this orientation.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you create your spring syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class!

Blackboard Quiz/Test Bug

As finals approach, if you give Blackboard quizzes or tests that include open-ended questions, and that present all questions at once, please review the details about a problem with students using Internet Explorer 11 to take your quiz or test.

Blackboard Archive Access

Access to the Blackboard archive server, which contains courses from spring 2015 and earlier, is now restricted to AIS helpdesk staff. You may view directions for requesting an export of courses from spring 2015 or earlier if you need to copy in an old course to update for spring.

Interested in Open Educational Resources (OER)?

College of the Canyons is hosting a free OER summit on January 31st. Visit the website to learn more and register.

Online Teaching Conference

After a few years in San Diego, the CCC Online Teaching Conference will be held in Anaheim June 19-21. The call for presentations has been extended until January 31, and the Office of Online Education will fund travel costs for all MiraCostans who have presentations accepted at the conference.

More Professional Learning Opportunities

Best wishes for a great break!

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

December & Flex Week Canvas workshops


The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering three more Canvas workshops before break. Sign up for these via MyFlex:

Workshop: All Hands on Canvas

This workshop is designed to give you open time to work with Canvas in a supported environment. A faculty member who has taught with Canvas will provide a very brief overview of Canvas in the first 10-15 minutes, and from there the time is open for you to become more proficient in your use of Canvas, and to work on developing a class in Canvas, with the support of experienced Canvas users. In addition, attendees may benefit from exploring Canvas resources found at .

Date / Time / Location / Facilitator(s):

Tuesday 12/6 – 2:30-4 pm – OC 4612 – Gail Meinhold
Friday 12/9 – 1:30-3 pm – OC 4611 – Billy Gunn
Tuesday 12/13 – 9-10:30 am – OC 4803b – Billy Gunn

You may also be interested in watching a recording of a recent workshop Sean Davis and Robert Kelley offered which included faculty and student perspectives on the experience of transitioning to Canvas.

January – Flex Week

Friday, January 13th will include a full day of Canvas workshops. The day will open with brief presentations/overviews of Canvas from the perspectives of several MiraCosta faculty. Each of those faculty will then lead hands-on workshops on various aspects of Canvas during the day, and the day will end with a facilitated open lab session for those who want to get to work with Canvas.

Tuesday, January 17th will feature a full day of 1.5 hour Canvas open lab sessions with the support of experienced MiraCosta faculty and staff. Attend as many as you like.

Thursday, January 19th we will offer one final hands-on Canvas workshop focusing on page design, an important skill for those who wish to explore possibilities for Canvas use beyond the basic approaches most typically used with Canvas.

Sign up for these via MyFlex when PDP releases the spring Flex schedule!

As always, you may wish to review the FA’s position on the Canvas transition.

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

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