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Getting Started with Canvas and Online Learning

If you're interested in the idea of online learning, but you still aren't sure if it is really for you, think about what it offers. Online learning is convenient and provides flexibility to complete your coursework any time day or night. But, you may be wondering if online learning is different from taking the same course in a traditional classroom. Online courses are not for everyone. They require at least as much time and commitment as traditional courses. Before you consider taking an online course, make sure you have time to focus on your coursework, feel competent using computers, and have good reading and writing communication skills. Take the short survey and visit the Online Student Readiness Tutorials before making your decision.

What is Canvas?
Moreno Valley College, Norco College and Riverside City College are making the switch to Canvas from Blackboard. Canvas is a Learning Management System, very much like Blackboard, that is used to deliver your Online, Hybrid or Web Enhanced courses. All courses will be taught in Canvas starting the Winter 2019 term. However, some classes are currently being taught in Canvas, others are still being taught in Blackboard.

How do I log in to Canvas? How can I found out what courses are being taught in Canvas?
At this time NOT all classes are being offered in Canvas. Due to this reason, we recommend you access through Blackboard first.
Within the Blackboard course, if the class is being taught in Canvas, there should be a notice in the class and a pdf with Canvas student login instructions.
You can also view a list of classes being taught in Canvas:
2018 Summer Classes being taught in Canvas.
2018 Fall Classes being taught in Canvas.

Please note that you will not be able to access your course until the first day of classes.
In Winter 2019, you will access your Canvas classes using the RCCD Portal.

Visit the "Welcome to Canvas" introduction. You will find a short orientation video, how to get help 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, and tutorials on how to use Canvas.

Is online learning for me?
The online environment is not for everyone. Unfortunately, some people may have an unrealistic impression or the incorrect idea that taking online classes is the "easy" route. Although you might not have to attend classes, you will still have to:

  • read your textbooks and other materials
  • write papers
  • engage in class discussions with classmates/teachers by posting to discussion boards
  • complete activities, tests or other assessments
  • participate in individual and group projects
  • spend as much time on your online class as you would if attending on campus

In many ways, online courses can be more difficult than their traditional on-campus counterparts. To get a good idea of your chances for success as an online student, take the survey to find out if online learning is the answer for you.

You can also view the Online Student Readiness Tutorials.

How do I know what courses are available through Distance Education?
The schedule of classes includes a list of courses that are available fully online and courses that combine online and face-to-face instruction. See the course schedules for Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Norco.

Is there a list of courses, certificates or degrees that are offered through Distance Education?
Faculty determine which courses will be offered as fully online or as hybrids. Not every course is available through distance education. Each year the list grows and, as a result, many certificates and degrees are offered 50% or more through distance education:


What if I need help with WebAdvisor?
Information and login tutorials are available at

Can I order my textbooks online?
Order your textbooks online for delivery or reserve them for pickup on-campus:

I live in another state, why am I having problems enrolling in a Distance Education class?
Federal regulations require RCCD to ask for authorization from other states to offer distance education to students who live outside California. More information about the regulation, board policy and grievance contact information can be found on the Student Resources page.