The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Canvas to take the place of D2L by spring 2018; New learning platforms will offer students, faculty more flexibility
Photo by Ella Morgan | [email protected]

Casandra Garcia

Staff Writer

[email protected]


City College is transitioning from using Desire to Learn or D2L, to exclusively using Canvas by spring 2018.

This semester, Canvas, an alternative learning platform to D2L, was made available to professors, who could choose to use either platform. Learning platforms like D2L and Canvas allow professors and students to interact online through shared content, grades, announcements and discussions in a course.

Students have expressed their preference for Canvas.

Hoi Luc, a City College student, has used Canvas in three of his classes.

“It takes a while to get used to Canvas,” says Luc of the Canvas interface.

“There’s a lot more that you can do, like check your grades. There’s a to-do list, so you know what is coming up in your classes. It’s pretty good once you get used to it.”

Brian Pogue, the campus’ Instructional Development coordinator, has been organizing workshops to assist faculty with the transition.

“I think it is a better program and students will find it easy to navigate,” says Pogue. “If you can navigate through the Internet, you will be able to navigate through Canvas well. It really is just a better program and a better experience.”

Workshops are available to help professors transition from D2L to Canvas. Pogue holds four-five workshops weekly, as well as training for each individual department. Online workshops are also available.
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Jake Rodriguez, a City College student, agrees Canvas is better than D2L.

“Canvas is way more organized,” says Rodriguez. “It is easier to find information for your classes.”

One of the reasons for the switch from D2L to Canvas is the cost, according to Pogue. Switching to Canvas will be cheaper for the district in the future.

Canvas will also bring more advantages than disadvantages, Pogue says. When a college joins the Online Education Initiative Consortium, its students have the opportunity to participate in a course exchange. City College is seeking to join the consortium, which would allow students from partnering colleges to attend classes in any of the other colleges in the consortium.

Likewise, the City College campus would then be able to offer classes to students from other campuses. These classes would include general education classes that are in high demand and difficult to enroll in, but are necessary for students to graduate.

Canvas was launched in 2011 by Instructure, an educational technology company based in Salt Lake City. Canvas is used by more than 2,000 school districts and universities around the world. Pogue hopes professors will utilize the summer and fall 2017 semesters to fully transition to Canvas.

“Some professors planning to use Canvas for online classes will have to do more work to transition all resources,” says Pogue, who pointed out that some professors are taking the lead to help other professors in their department transition to Canvas.

Pogue says Canvas, overall, seems to be well-liked by faculty.

“Many people say that Canvas is better,” Pogue says. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Instructors who are tech-savvy are doing pretty good with the transition.”


D2L will be available as a learning platform through Dec. 31, 2017. Canvas will be the only option beginning in spring 2018.


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