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.

What is the timeline for moving to Canvas?

Instructors can choose to use GauchoSpace or Canvas until Spring 2023. In Summer 2023, all courses will be in Canvas unless a specific exemption is granted. In Fall 2023, all courses will be in Canvas.

How can I learn more about the transition?

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

How can instructors move their GauchoSpace course content to Canvas?

We are working with an outside vendor to automatically migrate two years of academic courses from GauchoSpace to Canvas. Summer 2021 to Summer 2022 courses will be available prior to Winter 2023, for use in Winter instruction. Courses from the 2022-2023 academic year will be migrated in Summer 2023. Additionally, we will have a process in place prior to Summer 2023  for requesting the migration of older courses. If instructors wish to use Canvas in advance of the migration, they can backup a GauchoSpace course site and import it into Canvas following the steps in this help page.

UPDATE: The initial migration of courses from GauchoSpace to Canvas has been delayed and will be completed during the Winter 2023 quarter. 

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 that will be able to be pulled into Canvas for use in future quarters.

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.

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.

When can I build a course in Canvas for Winter 2023?

Instructors will be able to build course sites in Canvas for Winter 2023 after November 8, 2022. Instructors will need to log in to GauchoSpace in order to build course sites in either Canvas or GauchoSpace by following these instructions. Instructors will need to be listed as instructor of record in order to build course sites. If instructors wish to build materials in advance, they can use their sandbox in Canvas, or request another sandbox by emailing 

How do I request a project site to be migrated?

Project sites can either be requested to be automatically migrated during Summer 2023 or they can be manually migrated by requesting a Canvas course site shell and proceeding through the steps here. Project site owners can request a project site to be migrated by either option by putting in a request here

Are current courses using Canvas?

During the 2022-2023 academic year, instructors can choose to use GauchoSpace or Canvas. The list of courses that are being taught in Canvas in Fall 2022 can be viewed here. The list of courses being taught in Canvas in Winter 2023 can be viewed here.