Cuesta College has adopted Canvas as its college-supported learning management system (LMS). Migration from Moodle to Canvas will begin Fall 2016 with a small cohort of faculty with full migration (all DE course taught in Canvas) by Fall 2017.


Timeline for Canvas Conversion

FAQs about the switch to Canvas

1. Why did Cuesta College adopt Canvas?
2. What is the OEI?
3. What are the 10 most common myths about the OEI?
4. Can I keep using Moodle (or another CMS?) if I don’t want to use Canvas?
5. When can I start using Canvas for teaching classes?
6. How do I enroll students into my Canvas courses?
7. How will conversion of my course sites from Moodle to Canvas work?
8. What sort of training will be provided about how to use Canvas?
9. Will training be mandatory before I can use it?
10. What does a course site in Canvas look like?
11. How can I get more information about Canvas?
12. When will Moodle go away?
13. How long will my Moodle course be archived?



1.   Why did Cuesta College adopt Canvas?

In a review conducted by the California State Community Colleges Chancellor's Office's Online Education Initiative task force, Canvas was the overwhelming LMS choice, and was considered the most user-friendly platform by the students and faculty on the task force.

Adoption of Canvas will position Cuesta for participation in the Chancellor's Office's  Online Course Exchange, which will make key online courses available to students statewide. Additionally, Canvas will provide tech support nights and weekends when Cuesta has no one available. And, because Cuesta’s portal (myCuesta, myCourses) will be changing in the coming year, Canvas will become the standard digital front end for all courses, not just the online ones.

2.    What is the OEI?

The Online Education Initiative (OEI) is a collaborative effort among California Community Colleges to expand student access to the courses they need for completion or transfer.

The OEI will consist of several key elements:

  • An online course exchange, utilizing Canvas, that will give students access to high-demand courses not available at their home college.
  • Online tutoring that, for many subjects, will be available 24/7.
  • Assessment and readiness tools to prepare students for the demands of online learning.
  • Professional development and instructional design support for instructors who offer courses through the online course exchange.

For more information on the OEI visit the Online Education Initiative official project site.

3.    What are the 10 most common myths about the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI)?

Myth 1:
Right now, Canvas is available to the CCCs for no cost, but the cost is going to skyrocket at the end of 2018-19.

The ongoing contract with Canvas will save the system over half of what it pays now for course management systems. The money we are receiving for the initiative is intended to be ongoing at the $10 million-per-year grant. At the present time, the initiative can pay for all colleges through 2018-19, including support services. We will be requesting additional funds to keep the full-cost coverage beyond the 2018-19 academic year. If the increase is not granted, and OEI funding levels stay as they are now, the grant can pay for two-thirds of the cost of Canvas based on ongoing funding levels. So, if a college does have to pay in 2019-20, we anticipate that it will be a fraction of what it would otherwise cost. If the funding for OEI is eliminated, the colleges will have to assume the cost and they will know in advance of signing the implementation agreement what it would be. The value of selecting Canvas was Instructure's willingness to partner with us and not deal in piecemeal pricing. Our success is their success and we are a big system that brings value to Instructure by itself.

Myth 2:
Though the OEI says that Canvas is free, that’s not really true because of the local costs of supporting the system.

Through the funding provided by the OEI, we are able to offer Canvas truly for free to all colleges who choose to adopt it campuswide as their sole course management system. We not only provide you with the license to Canvas, but also the technical support to get it up and running, and training for IT administrators and faculty. Help-desk service is also being covered by the grant.

Myth 10:
Students don’t succeed in online courses.

They do—when they are prepared and the classes are well designed! Check out the Public Policy Institute of California report from earlier this year for some interesting information about online student success.  For the past two years, Cuesta’s successful course completion rate has been higher for DE courses than for face-to-face courses.

Find out about the rest of the myths:

'OEI Updates: Illuminating Facts, Debunking Myths' by Pat James, TechEdge

4.    Can I keep using Moodle (or another CMS?) if I don’t want to use Canvas?

Moodle can continue to be used through the Spring 2017 semester. As of Fall 2017 all online courses taught in the college-supported course management system will be in Canvas. Note: Cuesta College is obligated by accreditation and federal requirements to systematically authenticate the identity of students who take online courses. This obligation is best met by using a single college-approved course management system that is integrated with our student information system.

5.    When can I start using Canvas for teaching classes?

The first cohort of instructors—who will serve as point persons for their divisions—will begin training  Spring 2016, and will begin teaching in Canvas in Fall 2016.   These instructors will also help determine what additional training and support we will need to provide.  When a more complete picture of training and support needs is established, a schedule for the remainder of the implementation will be developed and communicated.

6. How do I enroll students into my Canvas Courses?

There is nothing faculty need to do to enroll students into their Canvas courses. Every course section (i.e. CRN) will have a Canvas shell created each term. When students register through Banner for a course they will automatically be enrolled into the Canvas shell associated with the course. Students will also be automatically dropped (removed) from the Canvas course if they drop the course through Banner. Note: students will not see the Canvas course until it is "published" by the faculty (teacher or record) in Canvas. Publishing the course is what opens the course to students. If the course is never published, students will never see the course and never know that they were enrolled into the Canvas course.

7.    How will conversion of my course sites from Moodle to Canvas work?

All Moodle courses will need to be transferred into Canvas.  Faculty will be provided with ample staff support, training sessions, and step-by-step instructions on this process once conversion begins.

8.    What sort of training will be provided about how to use Canvas?

Faculty can choose to learn about Canvas by attending hands-on training sessions or completing a self-paced online course. More information about these trainings will be made available during the Fall 2016 semester.

Students will be provided tutorials / videos on use and navigation that will be provided within their course.

9.    Will Canvas training be mandatory before I could use it?

No, faculty will not be required to complete Canvas training before using Canvas, but it is highly recommended. Students will be recommended to review the tutorials, and some faculty might (at their discretion) make it mandatory to complete orientation activities within the course.

10.    What does a course site in Canvas look like?

11.    How can I get more information about Canvas?

12.    When will Moodle go away?

Moodle will no longer be available to use for instruction after the Spring 2017 semester.

13.    How long will my Moodle course be archived?

Cuesta will keep archived Moodle courses through December, 2017.