Canvas is the leading LMS among major public research universities. Already in use by a majority of University of California campuses, California State Universities and Community Colleges, Canvas has proven to be a reliable solution to support teaching and learning. The Canvas learning platform is known for being customizable, adaptable, and reliable.  

The transition to Canvas will require time, effort, and careful thought, with engagement and representation from faculty, students, and staff. A project steering committee provides guidance and oversight as UCSB adopts Canvas as the campus-wide LMS and retires the existing GauchoSpace LMS.  

Below are some FAQ’s related to the change.

In Summer 2023, all courses are in Canvas unless a specific exemption was requested to use GauchoSpace. In Fall 2023, all courses will be in Canvas.

The list of Summer 2023 courses still using GauchoSpace can be viewed at this link.

GauchoSpace will be decommissioned and no longer accessible on December 1, 2023. Prior to decommissioning, we will set up an archive of older courses from Fall 2015 - Spring 2021 that support staff will be able to pull materials from on request for use in future quarters.

How can I learn more about the transition?

You can learn more about the transition by viewing our quarterly Canvas Transition Town Halls during the 2022-2023 academic year.

The Spring 2023 Canvas Transition Town Hall recording can be viewed at this link.

The Winter 2023 Canvas Transition Town Hall can be viewed at this link.

The Fall 2022 Canvas Transition Town Hall recording can be viewed at this link. 

Additionally, you can read our regular updates to instructors at this link.

Why is UCSB moving to Canvas?

During the 2021-22 academic year, a committee of UCSB instructors and staff was convened to evaluate the future of the learning management system, prompted by a need for a major software update for GauchoSpace. Moodle (the open-source software GauchoSpace is based on) underwent a major UX overhaul and would require a GauchoSpace update in 2023 to remain secure. The committee made the recommendation to move to Canvas; their final report can be viewed by clicking here.

Canvas is a cloud-hosted learning management system that can scale better to meet instructional needs for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, particularly for quizzes and exams. A majority of students have experience using Canvas either in high school or at other higher education institutions.

When will GauchoSpace be decommissioned?

GauchoSpace will be decommissioned on December 1, 2023, after which time only course materials dating back to Summer 2015 will be preserved in our administrative archive.

Will I still have access to my materials in GauchoSpace?

Instructors: Yes, for use in future courses in Canvas. Prior to decommissioning GauchoSpace we will stand up an archive of older courses dating back to Summer 2015 that will be able to be pulled into Canvas for use in future quarters (by request).

Instructors who wish to save a backup of other older courses from our archives so that they can be copied into Canvas in the future can do so by following these instructions

Students: Generally able to access course sites from the current and one previous quarter (unless the instructor has made a current course unavailable to students, or an older course site available again). Students will be able to access courses on GauchoSpace based on these guidelines.

How can instructors move their GauchoSpace course content to Canvas?

We have migrated two years of academic courses from GauchoSpace to Canvas, which includes all courses from Summer 2021 to Spring 2023. Information on how to use these migrated course materials can be found here.

Our administrative archive will store GauchoSpace courses dating back to Summer 2015. Instructors can request that we import any of those course materials into Canvas at any time in the future by emailing

Will the transition impact my videos stored in GauchoCast / Panopto?

No, videos stored in Panopto / GacuhoCast will not be impacted by the transition to Canvas or the decommissioning of GauchoSpace.

Who owns the course materials posted in Canvas?

Unless otherwise specified in a specific contract, UCSB instructors own the rights to their own course materials. See the Ownership of Course Materials, UC Policy. Canvas has terms and conditions that apply to free users of Canvas that are ambiguous about the ownership and use of posted course materials. In our contract with Canvas, it makes clear that we own the content. See details from the UCSB contract below.

Customer Content. As between Instructure and Customer, any and all information, data, results, plans, sketches, text, files, links, images, photos, videos, audio files, notes, or other materials uploaded by a User through the Service (“Customer Content”) remain the sole property of Customer. Instructure may use the Customer Content solely to provide and improve the Service in accordance with this Agreement or Customer’s instructions.

Customer Rights to Institutional Information. Institutional Information (“Institutional Information” means any information or data created, received, and/or collected by Customer or on its behalf, including but not limited to application logs, metadata and data derived from such data) shall belong exclusively to Customer and unless expressly provided, this Agreement shall not be construed as conferring on Instructure any patent, copyright, trademark, license right or trade secret owned or obtained by Customer. Any right for Instructure to use Institutional Information is solely provided on a non-exclusive basis, and only to the extent required for Instructure to provide the services under the Agreement.