​​​​​distance education committee

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. I would like to teach in Canvas, how do I get started?

A: Complete Canvas Training.  Though Canvas shells are available for all classes, Canvas training is a requirement.

You can enroll in the Online Canvas Academy (OCA) via the OCA enrollment form, attend a face-to-face session at any of the colleges with our DE trainers, OR submit verification of external Canvas training to Dr. Sheila Pisa (Interim Dean, Distance Education) at sheila.pisa@rccd.edu.  

Q. I want to use Canvas but don't see my class on my Canvas Dashboard, why? / Is it true that I can use Canvas for ANY of my classes? / How can I use this Canvas shell for my class?

A: Yes, ALL classes have a Canvas shell created and students uploaded! However, you must complete Canvas training to use Canvas! If you have recently completed the training and have not received a confirmation, please contact our administrative assistant, Gabriela EstradaToro (gabriela.estradatoro@rccd.edu) so that your Canvas training record can be updated.


Q: I heard that we no longer need to “opt-in" for Web Enhanced classes? / Why can't I find the “opt-in" for my Web Enhanced classes?

A: Correct, the opt-in via Web Advisor is no longer necessary. All classes have a Canvas shell created and students uploaded. If you have completed the training, you will access your classes from your Canvas Dashboard. 

IMPORTANT! Don't forget to publish your class! If you do not publish your class, students will not be able to access or view content on the class start date.


Q: How will students access my Canvas class / How do students login to Canvas?
A: Students can access from the "Login to Canvas" on the Distance Education website.  However, we recommend students view the Getting started with Canvas information.
Student usernames are their RCCD issued student email address (example: jdoe@student.rccd.edu, jdoe33@student.rccd.edu). The student default password is “newstudent" (all lowercase, no quotes). Returning students will use their previously used password.

Q: When will students access my Canvas class?
A:  Students are generally uploaded weeks before the class starts and will only be able to access on the  first day of the class. Otherwise, recently added students are uploaded within 2 hours.
Once a class is published, you can use the Canvas Inbox to message students. We recommend faculty use this option to provide students your syllabus, book information, Canvas help & information, as well as online student readiness tutorials prior to the class start date.
IMPORTANT! Don't forget to publish your class! If you do not publish your class, students will not be able to access or view content on the class start date.

Q: A student just added my class, when will they be able to access my class in Canvas / When should I see them in my Canvas class?
A: Students that add a Canvas class AND are listed in your WebAdvisor roster will be uploaded into Canvas within 2 hours.


Q: How will students see my course content / Why can't students see my course or content?
A: You Must Publish your Course! All classes must be published so that students can access the  content of your Canvas classes. Remember,  though a class is published, students will not be able to access the class until scheduled start date of the class.
Additionally, for content is placed within a Module, be sure the that the Module is also published! Also, do not forget to publish individual content items, such as quizzes and assignments that you wish to have students access as well.

Q: How can my students or I get help?
A: For Students, Canvas support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-844-603-4264. Additionally, students can click the help link (located near the bottom of the initial Canvas login area OR on the navigation bottom left after logging into Canvas) and selecting Canvas Guides for Students.
Support tickets can also be created through the report a problem in the “Help & More!" navigation item in Canvas.
For instructors, you can also use 24/7 numbers and links above (for the Canvas guides select Canvas Guides for Faculty ). Additionally, please feel free to contact our DE Support Specialists & Technical Trainers for Canvas questions and related training-  
Vincent Alonzo (951-571-6935 / Vincent.Alonzo@rccd.edu) & Derek Moore (951- 222-8694 / Derek.Moore@rccd.edu), You can also submit the appropriate form on the Distance Education Faculty page.  
For assistance with Instructional Design, Pedagogy, & Accessibility contact: DJ Hawkins (951-266-9315 / dj.hawkins@rccd.edu ) & Sean Ulbert (858-859-0130 / sean.ulbert@rccd.edu).  
Please take a moment to view more about our staff.

Q: Is there a sample class or sample environment for students in Canvas?
A: In Canvas, students can access video tutorials, downloads and other useful information in the “Welcome to Canvas" shell. This can be found on the initial login page by clicking the Help link, or by clicking the Help link in the global navigation (located at the bottom left when logged in).
We've also added a course navigation link “Students: Canvas Intro, How to get HELP & More! " Students will also be able to access this from the Distance Education Student and Help pages.

Q: How can I find out if I am using a supported browser for Canvas / What are the system requirements for Canvas?
A: Please review the supported browsers and systems page.


Q: What is the Distance Education Instructor Resources shell & DE News Shell I see on my Canvas Dashboard / Courses?
A: We have included resources for Distance Education faculty within the Distance Education Instructor Resources shell.
This includes information, “how-to" guides and resources on Accessibility, the OEI, Software, best practices, links to District licensed software (such as Respondus, Studymate), our DE Newsletter, and more!

Q: I heard that there is a Distance Education Newsletter loaded with exciting news and important information, how can I access it?
A: If you haven't received it via email, request to include you in the DE listserv. You can also access from the within the Distance Education Instructor Resources shell on your Canvas Dashboard, or access the DE Newsletter directly.

Q: How can I get more assistance, training and support with Distance Education, related Educational Technologies, Canvas and content accessibility?
A: Faculty can get support throughout the District. View our training Calendars, or take a moment to find out more about our support staff.

Q. Are there any pilots or exciting new things going on in Distance Education during Spring 2020?
A: Yes! we have pilots for Techsmith Relay and the Quest for Success orientation. Find out what else is going on in the DE News Shell.​