About Canvas


There were a number of factors:

  • The State of California decided to offer a significant grant to the California Community College (CCC) system for the purpose of improving student access to and success in online courses. The grant-winning colleges then created an organization called the Online Education Initiative and began the work of figuring out how to accomplish the desired goals. One of the things they determined to be important was access to a high-quality course management system (CMS), and that cost should not be a barrier. So, they developed a list of desired attributes and put out a call to all providers of CMSs to bid on a contract with the state. After analyzing, interviewing, and testing many CMSs, the committee (made up of faculty (majority), students, and administrators) unanimously agreed that Canvas was the best CMS available. The state then negotiated a contract which gives every CCC free use of Canvas for at least the next 4 years. This includes use by all faculty and students, training, support, and help with migration.
  • Canvas was created by students for students, and students love it. Faculty find it intuitive to use, and it encompasses all the latest pedagogical concepts for online learning.
  • In addition to all the tools built into Canvas, there are 200 extra modules that you, the instructor, can choose to integrate into your course. Check them out at the Edu App Center.
  • Because Canvas is hosted "in the cloud," we can now offer every instructor a course shell for every section they are scheduled to teach - automatically! No more trying to figure out how to create it, how to populate the roster, etc.
  • The state has also created an “exchange” platform where a student at any CCC can sign up for an online course at any other CCC, and get credit at their home school. If SRJC ever decides to take part in this exchange, we must offer to teach those courses in Canvas.



A. Distance Education has set up a variety of training options for faculty. These include face-to-face workshops, webinars, and self-paced video training options. The state has provided “readiness tools” for students that can help them not only learn to use Canvas, but prepare them for online learning in general. Please note that you are not required to attend any Canvas training sessions in order to use Canvas or to teach at SRJC. These training options are provided as a professional development opportunity for our faculty and staff.

Sign up for a training session here

And check out these other great resources for learning Canvas:


A. Anyone at SRJC - faculty, staff, or students - can now call the toll-free number linked to on every Canvas page 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Someone at Instructure (Canvas) will answer that call within about 60 seconds and try to help with whatever the question is. If the answer is one that needs to come from someone at SRJC (e.g. How do I enroll in a class? Where do I buy my textbook? etc.), the support person will be able to direct them to an appropriate SRJC resource.

In addition:


A. In order to ensure that our faculty members feel confident about the ownership of their content in Canvas, we reached out to SRJC's legal counsel to provide us with an interpretation of the wording regarding Instructure's Terms of Use policy. Here is the statement from our legal counsel:

Based on my review of the Instructure Agreement, it is my opinion that Section 4.2 [of the Canvas "Terms of Use" statement] does not jeopardize any intellectual property rights that the faculty may hold. While section 4.2 does require that a non-exclusive right and license to all content be transferred to Instructure, this transfer and license is limited solely to the operation and implementation of the Instructure Properties, i.e. their website and services. This section is required for Instructure to perform its obligations under the agreement and it does not waive any intellectual property rights that the faculty may hold.

However, please note that SRJC Board Policy 2.14P provides the following language concerning copyright ownership:

The right to claim copyright shall be determined in the following manner:

  1. A faculty or staff member may claim the right to copyright any material created outside of the faculty or staff member's employment with the District. If this creation involves use of District equipment or supplies, the faculty and staff member shall retain the right to copyright the material, but shall reimburse the District for the cost of production.
  2. The District may claim the right to copyright material if the District specifically commissioned it, or IF the work is identified as an institutional effort. Otherwise, the right to copyright the material will belong to the faculty or staff member responsible for its creation.
  3. The District and the faculty or staff member may agree to share the right to copyright materials if the work is created by the faculty and staff member and the District contributes services, staff, or financial resources necessary for completion. This will be accomplished through a separate contract at the time the project is initiated. Faculty and staff should consult with their respective bargaining agent before entering into the contract.
  4. When District compensation is paid to faculty for the creation of new Online or Distance Education courses, these courses shall remain the property of the District and available to other qualified instructors.

As such, the ownership of the content may not necessarily be that of the faculty, but of the college instead.

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