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Canvas FAQs


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General Info

Q:  I used to have a MyECC Team Site. I’ve heard Canvas can be a great replacement for a Team Site. What can you tell me about it?

A:  Canvas is a very robust LMS (Learning Management System) and lets you do much more than you could with a Team Site. You can:

  • Post your Syllabus
  • Post documents and handouts (no more photocopying!)
  • Have Discussions
  • Use the Gradebook (students can view it 24/7)
  • Give Quizzes and Tests (save in-class time!)
  • And more


Q:  Can I use Etudes anymore?

A:  No, Spring 2018 was the last semester Etudes was available at ECC.


Q:  I've heard that Canvas shells are auto-generated for me for every class I teach. Do I need to use them?  Will my students see the course shell if I don't want them to?

A:  No, you don't need to use them. As long as you don't click "Publish," your students cannot see the course. 





Q:  I just want a Canvas shell to support my on-campus face-to-face (f2f) classes, as a place to keep my syllabus, post handouts, etc.  Do I need to become Canvas Certified?

A:  No. As a faculty member, you will automatically receive a Canvas shell for every class you teach. Shell arrival lead-time (i.e., when the shells 'appear' in your account before the semester begins) can vary. You do not need to be trained in Canvas before you use these shells, but it is highly encouraged. 


Q:  I want to use Canvas to teach online/hybrid. Do I need to become Canvas Certified?

A: Yes and no: The Academic Senate used to require a separate certification in the college's LMS (now Canvas) as well as certification in online teaching pedagogy, for faculty who wanted to teach online/hybrid. It was a 2-step process. Recently, the Academic Senate voted for a single 'one-stop-shop' certification course. This single certification course will teach both Canvas and online teaching pedagogy.

So in a nutshell, you still need to learn Canvas in order to teach online, but you don't have to take a separate Canvas Certification class. That Canvas content will be included in the one-stop-shop course offered by Distance Education. 

Faculty are still encouraged to take the 3-week Intro to Canvas course for a deeper dive into the LMS. 


Q:  I'd like to get some training in Canvas, but I don't need the full 3-week training. Is there any shorter training available?

A:  Yes, there are many options:

  • Professional Development & Learning offers many Canvas trainings, including a 2-hour "Quick & Dirty” Overview of Canvas, a 4-hour (spread over two sessions) "Slow & Leisurely” Overview of Canvas, and various 'Special Topics' workshops. Check out our offerings in Cornerstone and be on the lookout for emails announcing additional upcoming training opportunities.

  • Professional Development & Learning also has a limited number of QuickSource guides on Canvas. These are quite handy to have at your desk. Stop by our office in the Library West Basement to pick one up.

  • You might also be interested in the Canvas training videos by Lynda.com. You can get free access to Lynda.com inside Cornerstone.

  • @One offers a free self-paced Canvas training. (Please note that @One offers both self-paced and instructor-led Canvas trainings. Currently, both types are free for CA Community College employees.)




Q:  How do I become Canvas Certified?

A:  You no longer need to become Canvas certified. If you would like to teach online, you need to take the Online Teaching Certification course offered by Distance Ed.



Q:  I received an email from Etudes regarding an Intro to Canvas course. Do I need to take this course to teach online? Why did I receive this email?

No, you do not need to take this course. Periodically, the company that manages Etudes (our old LMS) runs a 3-week Intro to Canvas course. This course is very similar to the one offered here at ECC for free. (The Etudes course costs $150. This cost cannot be reimbursed by Professional Development & Learning. We encourage you to take the free version taught by Elana if you would like to take an instructor-led course on the LMS.) You likely received the email because at one point you used or requested an Etudes shell and so your email is in their database. 


Q:  Do the ‘Slow & Leisurely’ and/or ‘Quick & Dirty’ classes count for certification?

A:  No. If you would like to teach online, you need to take the Online Teaching Certification course offered by Distance Ed.


Q:  Do I need to come to campus for the ECC Intro to Canvas class, the Online Teaching Certification class, or the @One classes?

A:  No, they are fully online.


Q:  Are these these classes flex-eligible?

A:  Yes. The ECC Intro to Canvas course is worth 9 hours of Flex credit upon successful completion. The in-person Canvas workshops, Canvas Open Labs, and the Lynda.com Canvas series are also Flex eligible. Please see the Flex Matrix


Q:  Are they free?

A:  The ECC and @One Intro to Canvas courses are free.  The Etudes version costs $150, and cannot be reimbursed. Therefore we recommend you take either the ECC Intro to Canvas class or the @One Canvas classes, which are free. You can get free access to Lynda.com by logging into Cornerstone


Q:  Will I get a certificate?

A:  Yes, both the ECC and @One Intro to Canvas courses give you a certificate of completion.


Q:  Can part-time faculty take the ECC Intro to Canvas class?

A:  Yes


Q:  Can classified staff take the ECC Intro to Canvas class?

A:  Yes. Classified staff who are interested in teaching someday, or staff who would like to learn more about Canvas may take the course. However, enrollment priority is given to faculty and ITS staff.


Q:  How often do you run the ECC course? How do I sign up for it?

A:  We run the course back-to-back, with a few days in between for course shell creation and set up (so approx. every 4 weeks.)  When enrollment opens for a new course, we send out an email with a sign-up link. Please sign up as early as possible, as the class tends to fill quickly. On occasion, additional spots may open up, and we will send out follow-up advertisement emails. 


Q:  I don’t see the ECC Intro to Canvas class listed in Cornerstone. How do I sign up?

A:  Courses are filled on first-come, first-served basis, according to the timestamp. You will need to sign up via the link found in the advertising email we send out. Please check your college email regularly.


Q:  Where can I see a description of the ECC and @One Intro to Canvas classes?

  • The description for the @One class can be found on the @One website.

  • Here is the description for the ECC Class:


The training is a 3-week fully online comprised of 3 units with 3 modules each:

 Unit 1 – Beginning Your Training 

  • Module 1:  Welcome to Your Training – It Won’t Be as Bad as You Think!
  • Module 2:  Setting Up Your Course – Making Your Class Fit Your Style
  • Module 3:  Where You Put In Everything

Unit 2 – Evaluating and Communicating With Your Students

  • Module 4:  The Assignments – Assessing and Recording What Your Students are Learning
  • Module 5:  Announcements and Homepage and Files, “Oh My”
  • Module 6:  The Discussions – Getting Your Students Involved

Unit 3 Setting Up Your Expectations for Quality Evaluations

  • Module 7:  Quizzes and Surveys – Always Room for a Quiz
  • Module 8:  The Canvas Rubric – Revealing Your Expectations
  • Module 9:  Calendar and Syllabus – Keeping Students on Track


Q:  How do I sign up for the @One class? Do I need a voucher?

A:  @One has done away with the voucher process for this course. It is now free. You can sign up on the @One website.


Q:  I see that @One has a self-paced Intro to Teaching with Canvas course? This fits my schedule better. Does this self-paced class count toward certification?

A:  If you would like to teach online, you need to take the Online Teaching Certification course offered by Distance Ed.


Q:  I already took the Etudes-to-Canvas 3-week class. Do I need to take the Intro to Canvas class as well?

A:  You do not have to take any separate Intro to Canvas class. It is optional. 



Canvas Accounts and Enrollment

Q:  How do I get a Canvas account?

A:  An account has already been made for you. Click on the Canvas login link at the top of the El Camino webpage.

Your login will be the same as when you log in at your desk. Do not put the @elcamino.edu after your username.  Ex: Ringo Starr’s username would be rstarr.

Your password is your same MyECC password.


Q:  How do I get a Canvas shell?

A:  Shells are auto-generated for you at the beginning of each semester. 


Q:  How long will it take before the shells appear in my account? In other words, how much lead-time will I have before the semester begins?

A:  Lead-time for shell creation varies by semester. 



Q:  Does Professional Development make my Canvas shells? I think one might be missing.

A:  Gema Perez in Distance Ed creates the Canvas shells. If you have a question about your shells or Canvas account, please contact Gema at gperez@elcamino.edu or  x7453.  


Q:  Do I need to enroll my students in Canvas?

A:  No, enrollment is done for you.


Q:  Who do I contact if I have questions about adds/drops or students showing up on my roster but not in Canvas?

A:  Gema Perez  gperez@elcamino.edu  x7453


Q:  Can I add an observer or TA to my course?

A:  Gema would need to add them for you. Her contact info is gperez@elcamino.edu  x7453



Help & Troubleshooting

Q:  Where should I go for help with Canvas?

  • If you have questions, the best place to start is the Canvas Instructor Guides

  • You can also call Gema at x7453. If it’s after 4:30 pm or on the weekend, you can call Canvas Tech support at 1(844)592-2208

  • If you're currently enrolled in the ECC Intro to Canvas training, you can email Elana within Canvas questions. Please email her using the Canvas 'Inbox' feature. 

  • If you’d like in-person help, you can come to one our many Canvas Open Labs with Elana (Flex-eligible.) These are listed in Cornerstone.