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Frequently Asked Questions

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

A: In accordance with the district’s AP 2105 on Distance Education, new and uncertified faculty planning to teach online at any of the colleges in the district agree to complete one of the following certification options:

  • The district’s designated local online teaching certification course - e.g., RCCD Course Design Camp
  • Any RCCD district college’s Peer Online Course Review (POCR)
Current Faculty, previously certified through the RCCD Online Canvas Academy, wishing to teach online at any of the colleges in the district should consult the RCCD Distance Education website for additional details. Faculty who have already completed an online certification process, please review the next Q and A.
Q. What should I do if I'm a new faculty who is not certified in the district but is certified somewhere else?
A: Faculty who completed online teaching certification or graduate degrees in online teaching from colleges, universities, or professional development associations and organizations other than RCCD can upload completion evidence to an online tracking system. The District Distance Education Department will review and confirm that the evidence submitted is equivalent to the district’s designated local online teaching certification requirements. Faculty and their respective VPAA or designee will be notified of the results of the review. If there are unmet competencies, the following will be provided:
  • A one (1) year completion date 
  • Information on how to fulfill unmet competencies utilizing assigned district training or other agreed-upon resources - e.g., RCCD Online Teaching and Design Course
In the event that the review is challenged, a second review will be conducted,  and the final decision will be made by the majority of the reviewers.
Q: Once I'm certified, do I ever need to get recertified?
A: Certified Faculty who plan to continue teaching fully online or hybrid courses agree to recertify by completing six (6) hours of training focused on distance education every three (3) academic years. Faculty may choose district training resources, e.g., RCCD Online Teaching and Design Course, and/or non-district training resources focused on distance education to meet the recertification requirement.

Recertification Time Frame and Evidence

  • All Faculty seeking recertification will have three (3) academic years from the completion date of the certification requirements to recertify. 
  • Faculty who need to recertify will be notified one (1) academic year in advance.
  • Upon completion of recertification requirements, evidence will be uploaded by the faculty member to an online form which will generate a list of certified Faculty accessible by the VPAA or designee at each college. 

Q: How will students access my Canvas class / How do students login to Canvas?
A: Students can log into Canvas through their Single Sign-On (as detailed on the RCCD Distance Education website). Additionally, we recommend students who are new to Canvas to check out the Getting started with Canvas information.

Student usernames are their RCCD issued student email address (example:, 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 (unless you open the course early). 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, so 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: One problem may be that 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 (951) 222-8388Additionally, 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 district DE Personnel to schedule appointments and more. 

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 shellThis 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: You can access from the within the Distance Education Instructor Resources shell on your Canvas Dashboard.

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.