What is Canvas? / FAQs

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a cloud-based learning management system made by Instructure. Canvas will be replacing the CATE and Moodle learning management systems at Santa Rosa Junior College, though it will take awhile to complete that transition. In January, 2016, some instructors will begin teaching courses with Canvas. By Spring of 2017, all SRJC courses that utilize a learning management system will be migrated to Canvas.


Why are we switching to Canvas? There are a number of reasons:

  • 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. One of the things they determined to be important was access to a high-quality learning management system. After analyzing, interviewing, and testing many systems, the committee (made up of faculty, students, and administrators) unanimously agreed that Canvas was the best learning management system 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.
  • Canvas is amazing! It 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 instructors can choose to integrate into their courses. 
  • Canvas provides an integrated mobile platform that makes it easy for both students and faculty to interact with courses via their phones and tablets.
  • The state is also gearing up to create 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. Students who take courses at different California Community Colleges will benefit from having a common learning management system.


Q. How do I know whether my classes will be taught in Canvas?

You may receive a message from your instructor either by email generated from Canvas or in your portal (cubby) guiding you to the Canvas course. If you do not receive a message from your instructor, look for your course in the manner described in the following question and answer section.

Q. How do I find my Canvas course?

See the Finding Your Canvas Course help document

Q. How can i LEARN CANVAS?

Visit the Student Help For Canvas page to find links to Guides and Tutorials for Canvas.

Q. How can I access support for Canvas?

SRJC students and faculty have access to Canvas phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To access the 24 Hour Hotline from Canvas, click on the Help button in left side navigation when logged into Canvas. You'll also find a variety of support options on the Student Help For Canvas page, as well as a robust set of help documents and videos in the Canvas Guides.

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