Canvas logoCanvas Faculty Guides

DVC, like all California Community Colleges, utilizes Canvas as our Learning Management System. Learn how to leverage Canvas to support student success through our frequently asked questions, guides, workshops, and support.  

Find answers to common questions about getting started with Canvas below:

How do I get training in Canvas?
When are Canvas sites created?

Canvas sites are created automatically each term through District IT, typically seven weeks before the start of that term. 

How do I access/log into Canvas?

Use your InSite username and password to log into our DVC Canvas site:

Forgot your username or password?  Contact District IT:

Are there any Canvas materials to help me get started?
  • Many departments host Canvas sites with support materials for their instructors.  Please contact your department chair with inquiries. 
  • The college provides an optional course template and design materials.  Learn more by clicking the "Course design resources" tab on Online Teaching Tips.
How do I combine sections on Canvas?

Due to complexities with FERPA compliance, a risk of lost course materials, and technology integration issues, DVC’s Distance Education Committee and Academic Senate recommend instructors do not combine sections on Canvas, except when courses are already cross-listed in the schedule and meet at the same times.

checkmarkIMPORTANT: Please carefully review the DVC Canvas Combined Sections Recommendation for alternatives and instructions:

  • to create and download an export of any existing materials before proceeding
  • to keep student interactions separate by section
  • to request combinations through InSite
When can students see our Canvas shell?

Students will not see your Canvas shell until:

  1. the first day of the term AND
  2. you publish your course

If you want students to have access prior to the course start date, you can change your settings from the default term dates to course dates you specify. Students should not be participating in a course outside of term dates, so please limit access to view only if you choose to do this.  Learn how to edit your course start date on Canvas.

How do I request an additional Canvas shell?

Sandbox courses are available for faculty to work on course design, for departments, and for faculty training needs. Please email Jeanette Peavler and/or Kat King with your request. 

Please review the Non-instructional Canvas Shells Guidelines for any requests for shells that are student-facing.  Then, submit the Non-instructional Canvas Shell Request Form.  If you have questions, please reach out to Kat King.

How do I copy content from one Canvas shell to another?

Learn how to finalize grades, download course content for your records, and copy Canvas content in our End-of-semester Canvas and Tech Wrap Up guide.

Check out our Canvas Basics guides below with on-demand video and text-based tutorials:




Copying content

Canvas Commons


Beginner's Guide Canvas Shell

  • For comprehensive training in Canvas, we encourage instructors to take the Beginner's Guide to Teaching with Canvas.
  • Additional Canvas trainings are available during flex week and throughout the fall and spring terms.  Enroll in upcoming workshops (and trainings through affiliated organizations) in GROW@4CD
  • You can also view recordings of prior sessions for flex credit through the GROW@4CD Playlist.
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