AutoCAD Fundamentals



Course Overview

AutoCAD Fundamentals is a six week non-credit course offered online through the Community Services at MiraCosta College. All course activities (lectures, demonstrations, discussions, etc.) are delivered online.  The instructor and students don't need to meet face to face, they communicate through discussion boards and other tools in the course management web site. Optional on-campus lab sessions will be available during the week for students who want access to computers with AutoCAD software.


Moodle Course Management System

AutoCAD Fundamentals uses the Moodle course management system for all presentations, demonstrations, discussions, quizzes, and other course activities. Registered students will be given a password for Moodle on the official course start date. The password gives students access to the AutoCAD Fundamentals course site in Moodle.  After receiving a password students can log onto Moodle through the following link:



Students who have trouble logging on to Moodle can contact the Student Help Desk. The help desk offers assistance through phone, email, and online. 


AutoCAD at MiraCosta

Students near the MiraCosta College may use computer workstations loaded with the latest AutoCAD software.  A schedule of campus lab hours will be available in the Moodle course site.

AutoCAD Student Software


There are several ways for students to obtain AutoCAD software for use on their personal computer. 

reasonably priced student version of AutoCAD is available for purchase from a number of resellers.  The price varies between $150 and $400 depending on the version, retailer, and length of license. Please note, this list does not represent an endorsement nor recommendation for any of these sites. It is simply for your own information and should be purchased at the descretion of the student.

AutoCAD 2011

Seller License Period Price
Academic Superstore 5-year license $210
Journey Education 5-year license $205
Computer Products for Education Perpetual license $210
Student Discounts Perpetual license $194
Creation Engine Perpetual license $210
Studica 5-year license $199

(All prices approximate and subject to change)


You are encouraged to shop around and find the best product and vendor for your needs.  You should consider your current and future uses of the software when deciding what version and type of AutoCAD license to purchase.


A free 30 day trial of AutoCAD is available for immediate download from Autodesk (the manufacture of AutoCAD). The following link takes you directly to the AutoCAD free trial download page:


A link to Autodesk's Education Community will be made available in the course management system. Qualifying individuals registered in the Autodesk Education Community can dowload AutoCAD and other Autodesk software products. The frequently asked questions section below has more information about downloadingfree software.



Course Registration Information

Registration for the course is handled through the Community Services office. You can register by phone at 760-795-6820, by mail, in person, or online through the following link:


Just type in "AutoCAD" in the search box at the top right of the screen and the AutoCAD Fundamentals course will come up.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to be online at certain times? Can I take the class on my own time and finish early?


You do NOT have to be online at specific times.  The class is asynchronous, meaning  it is NOT a broadcast occurring at the same time as another course.  The class has materials that can be accessed 24/7 through the internet.  Target dates for viewing videos, presentations, taking quizzes, and discussion threads are given to help students stay in a position to complete all the course material. Keeping up with the class allows students to benefit from course discussions with other students. If you complete all the material on or before the class end date you will receive a certificate of completion.



Can download AutoCAD for free?


You may download a free 30 day trial version of AutoCAD as mentioned above. A one year student version of AutoCAD is available for students in the credit course. The official answer from Autodesk about downloading the AutoCAD student software if you are not a student is "Maybe". The following link has details on Autodesk's official answer regarding student software:



Is this a "Credit" class?


No. This course is a non-credit class. Students do no receive college credit, a grade, or any record on their transcripts. Students interested in a college credit course that counts towards a degree, certificate, or transfer should considering taking DRAF 101 AutoCAD Computer Aided Drafting I. A link with information about DRAF 101 follows:



Do I have to purchase the AutoCAD software?


No.  You can use AutoCAD at MiraCosta College or any other place you know of that has access to the software.  If you want to complete the course from your home you will need the AutoCAD software on your home computer.



Can I use AutoCAD at MiraCosta?  Who will be there to help me?


Yes.  You may come to any and all of lab sessions and open lab hours.  During the open lab hours an instructor or lab assistant will be available to help you.  A listing of when the CAD lab is open will be made available in Moodle.



What software is necessary to work at home?


You need to have access to the internet, Microsoft Windows, and a browser (i.e.. Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), and media player such as Windows Media Player. Windows and other Media Players may be downloaded for free.  A reasonably priced student version of AutoCAD is available for purchase from a number of resellers.  For information about purchasing the AutoCAD software see the 'AutoCAD Student Software' section above.



Do have to have AutoCAD software for the course? What version is best?


No you don't need to have AutoCAD, but having access to software will certainly help. The course material is based on newer versions AutoCAD. You may use an older version version of the software if you like.  The differences in the versions may be a little frustrating, but will not stop you from learning the material and successfully completing the course.  Ultimately the decision of which version to use is up to the individual student, as each student has different resources and future needs.  Past students have competed the course successfully with various versions of AutoCAD software and text.



What is the difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT?  Can I use AutoCAD LT?


AutoCAD "LT" is a light version of the full AutoCAD software. AutoCAD LT is considerably cheaper, but it does not have all the tools contained in the full AutoCAD version, particularly the 3D tools.  You can use either version for this class, though the full AutoCAD version works more seamlessly with the course materials.



Instructor Contact Information

Paul Clarke
                                   (760) 757-2121 x6405                                     


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