Canvas FAQ

Canvas Logo

In December 2015, College of the Desert faculty voted to make the move to the CANVAS learning management system (LMS). This move will allow COD to save a significant amount of money over Blackboard and will give us the opportunity to explore joining the system-wide course exchange program, which would allow students easier access to online courses at other community colleges.

Beginning with the summer 2016 term, CANVAS is the exclusive Learning Management System being used at COD. To find out more about CANVAS, please explore these pages. You will find training options, information about online teaching certification, and more about the CANVAS LMS!

Please explore the FAQs below to learn more.

  1. How did COD make the decision to move to CANVAS?

    COD began investigating the CANVAS LMS during the spring of 2015. CANVAS presented two webinars to faculty to demonstrate CANVAS. In addition, many COD faculty (over 20!) attended the Online Teaching Conference in San Diego where they were able to attend sessions on CANVAS and the Online Education Initiative’s work.

    Beginning in the fall of 2015, the Educational Technology and Distance Education committee began the process of formally exploring and voting on whether to adopt CANVAS or not. At its November meeting, all of the academic units present voted for CANVAS with a completed implementation by June 30th, 2016. A roll call vote was taken and only a few members of a few academic units voted against the June 30th implementation. The support for moving to CANVAS was overwhelming!

    At its November meeting, the Academic Senate reviewed the proposal as a first reading. At its December 10th meeting, the vote was taken and CANVAS was adopted with a full implementation to be complete by June 30th, 2016.

  2. How do Blackboard and CANVAS compare?

    The functionality of CANVAS is very similar to Blackboard. There are different “areas” of CANVAS and faculty can make choices about how students can navigate their courses. Faculty can upload files, images, and links to other resources.

    Unlike Blackboard, CANVAS’s menu names are static and color schemes are not available, the theory being that a similar interface makes it easier for students to navigate.

    The best way to learn CANVAS is to just explore it. All faculty and students now have access to CANVAS.

  3. What resources and training exist for helping me learn CANVAS?

    CANVAS also provides a robust catalog of helpful resources, including a Community of users where you can join to ask questions.

    As in previous years, our FLEX program will provide faculty more options to learn the basics of CANVAS or begin to learn about its more advanced features.

    Faculty are encouraged to review the Instructor Getting Started Guide.

    Canvas Getting Started Guide for Instructors

    In addition to their written guides, CANVAS offers a list of video guides.

    Canvas Video Guide

  4. What other resources exist for helping me learn to use CANVAS?

    Colleges that already use CANVAS have great resources open for all to explore:

    In addition, CANVAS has an active Community of users who help each other and you can join.