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2015

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When and why did you join the Community?

Not so long ago I was a student at Coconino Community College. Being a nerd, I looked up Canvas and was really impressed that it was open source and started by students. I found my way into a job at the IT help desk and got a limited admin account and my own sandbox. This is probably where I passed the point of no return into Canvasland. Between looking up guides on how to embed fun stuff and answering faculty's questions, I not only found out how easy Canvas was to use, but also how helpful the community members were.

 

Four months later I had moved from the IT help desk to the teaching and learning center and I was doing even more Canvas work. This was where the majority of faculty support for Canvas happened and this is where I really felt at home. Every day I was getting to help someone with technology that I knew would be put to use making some group of student’s lives better.

 

Rather abruptly my supervisor, the Instructional Technology Specialist, announced he was moving. It was a dream job for me, but due to my lack of credentials I was not sure if I would get it.

 

What did you gain from the Community?

Now, a year later, I have been growing in to my new position. I have come to appreciate the people that make up the Canvas community on an entirely new level. The Instructure teams from support and documentation to product, community and CSM’s (yeah, sure you engineers are cool too), and the other admins and faculty, everyone is communicating at a level of respect, helpfulness and maturity (minus the occasional meme) than any other community I have ever been a part of.

Combine my enthusiasm for my job, the reward of helping people solve problems that will help student’s, and the support of thousands of amazing individuals and you have the making of a very happy and productive person. I think that Is what positioned me so well to adopt the new community platform, from its inception, as my most powerful and often relied upon tool. When things were busy at work I wielded the community like a staff of wisdom, when work was slow I channeled good vibes and helpfulness back into it while scouring for any undiscovered nuggets of knowledge.

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Why do you think you were approached to coach?

I believe it is this harmony of give and take that I have found with the Canvas community that led to being recognized as a coach. I am grateful for this recognition and look forward to working with each and every one of you.

When and why did you join the Community?

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It was a dark and stormy night.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, it was at EduCause last fall.  I was hanging out with the wonderful people at the Instructure booth and my Instacon friend Carrie S. People were stopping by, and I was helping answer some of their questions.  Carrie was impressed and told me that she learned a lot about Canvas by going on the forums and finding questions she didn't know the answers to and try to figure them out.  I thought this was a great way to learn more, so I started doing that.  Quickly, I was noticed by Jordan, who sent me a wonderful Star Trek themed t-shirt. Just don't know why it was red, as we all know what happens to red shirts in Star Trek!

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Anyway, I continued and was soon contacted by Scott D. to see if I would be interested in becoming a coach. I thought long and hard about it, and 1.045 seconds later said yes.

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What did you gain from the Community?

My favorite type of question to answer is still the ones I don't know the answer to off the top of my head.  I love learning all the nooks and crannies of the LMS, and this is still the best way to do it!

 

And of course, if I can answer with an appropriate meme, that'll be thrown in as well

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When and why did you join the Community?

My institution signed with Instructure in November of 2011.  Once we had signed, I immediately dove into the guides.instructure.com site, specifically looking at the Admin guide (which at that time was only like 13 pages long!).   After going through that guide, I downloaded the entire Instructor Guide (which was about 350 pages long) and began to create our materials for the migration from Blackboard CE 8 to Canvas.  At the same time I was also assisting with the Ask Dr. C program where we answered WebCT/Blackboard CE/Vista questions for the user community.  As I started to learn how to use Canvas, I started subscribing to the User Forums and noticed that users were asking a lot of questions that were not immediately getting answered.  So, I started answering those that I could and would research and then answer those that I could not initially.

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In November of 2012 Matt McGhie contacted me and asked me if I would like to become one of the Canvas Coaches and I think at that time there were only like 4 or 6 of them.  In December 2012 I signed all the paperwork and by January was an official Canvas Coach.

 

What characteristics make you a good coach?

I am a customer service orientated person and I love helping out other people that are struggling or just simply looking for answers.  The Coaches group has given me insight and a community that I can bounce more difficult questions off of.  I have contacted other Coaches and asked them if they are experiencing certain issues and am able to get answers to questions that I wasn't able to before.

 

I absolutely love helping out users and hope to continue this journey a while longer.

When and why did you join the Community?

In the Summer of 2014, our Technical College ran our first "pilot" group of courses in Canvas.  We offered about 15 courses in Canvas, and we had 11 instructors (a couple instructors had multiple courses in Canvas).  I joined the old Canvas Community almost right away after our account was set up.  I came to the Community to ask questions about how to build content and get help from others.  During that Summer, I know that I got questions from our instructors teaching in Canvas, and sometimes I went to the Community to see if I could get answers for them.  The help I received from both Instructure and others in the Community was awesome!

 

What did you gain from the Community?

After I joined the old Canvas Community, I began to see that there was a lot of people ready and willing to help.  No question was off limits...even if it was a really simple answer.  I appreciated that answers came from a variety of different people who had different teaching styles (this is still true today in the new Canvas Community, by the way).  Having a variety of answers to my question allowed me to think through and talk with my immediate work team what would work best for us at our Technical College when a problem or issue came up.

What characteristics make you a good coach?

First, I'll say that I do not teach as part of my regular job...I just work with online/blended courses and our faculty who teach in Canvas, so it's not as easy for me to answer questions about teaching in Canvas.  However, one thing I really enjoy is helping people.  I also like problem solving and trying to figure out solutions to problems.  I also want to make sure I understand the question first before answering.  If there are questions in the Community that I just don't know the answer to (like things about grading or outcomes, for example), I'll typically let others take those questions instead of me.  Those are just a few of the things I see that make me a good Coach.

Why do you think you were approached to coach?

I don't exactly recall when I was first asked to be a Canvas Coach.  (I want to say it was around Winter 2014.)  At that time, our Technical College hadn't been using Canvas for even a year yet, and I turned down the offer.  I felt that, even though I was somewhat active in the old Canvas Community, I was still learning a lot about Canvas.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to provide helpful answers because I was still a "newbie".  However, I was given an opportunity to consider being a Coach in April/May 2015.  This time I said "yes".  I became more active in the new Canvas Community submitting Feature Ideas, asking questions, and helping people who had questions.  I try and be very thorough and thoughtful in my responses, and those might be some of the reasons why I was asked to be a Coach.  I've now been a Coach for a couple months, and I really enjoy it.  As stated earlier, I enjoy helping others.  I thank the folks at Instructure for inviting me to be a Coach.  So far, it's been really fun, and I continue to learn from Instructure staff, other Coaches, and others in the Community.

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When and why did you join the Community?

When my Institution transitioned to Canvas in 2012, I subscribed to the release notes and started following and commenting on a number of Feature Ideas. Unfortunately at the time I didn’t realize the power (and amazingness) of the “Ask a Question” side of the Community and fumbled along figuring out how to do things on my own. Through the years I continued to be pretty active on the Release Notes and Feature Ideas side of the Community, and in spring 2015 was asked to be part of Project Khaki and a Beta tester for the new Canvas Community.

What did you gain from the Community?

Getting in and testing the new Community was an eye opening experience and I loved the new platform (Jive) and the collaborative feel of the people and the space. I also realized how much I could help other Canvas users by answering questions and providing links to useful resources! I already answer these types of questions for the faculty and students at my Institution, so doing it for the larger Canvas Community seemed like a natural extension of my skills and knowledge.

What characteristics make you a good coach?

In general I thrive on figuring out creative solutions to problems and really enjoy helping people. Even if I’m not completely sure of the answer I try to either find resources that might help or get the right person involved in the discussion. I think I was approached to be a Canvas Coach because my passion (and points) showed how dedicated I was to being an active and helpful member of the Community.

 

Yet, I’ve found that by being active in the Community and collaborating with other Canvas users I’m learning a lot about Canvas and teaching in an online environment.  For me being a Canvas Coach is a win-win because I’m able to help other Canvas users while also learning and improving my knowledge of Canvas.