It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when a community coalesces but since at least 2011 people have been interacting with Instructure and helping each other with Canvas in online forums and message boards. In those early days, a few hundred people were involved. Today, that community passes a significant milestone as more than 500,000 people have created user accounts. During this fall start in the northern hemisphere, more than 25,000 people in one 24-hour period were active in the community, commenting, voting, adding content and marking each other’s comments as helpful or the correct answer.
The Community is home to all the helpful resources that Instructure provides and keeps up to date for the users of all of its software - the guide articles, videos, and updates on what changes are coming soon. It is also home to all the blog posts, files, discussions, and questions and answers added by the users themselves. On August 29 of this year, 1,535 people contributed original content items to the community!
Those figures are certainly gratifying for someone like myself who has been a member of the community for more than seven years, but they don’t begin to tell the whole story. The real power inherent in the community are those people who have moved beyond a transactional mindset to a relational mindset. These are people who have realized consciously or unconsciously that rather than their interactions being strictly about getting or receiving help from others, the best way they can help themselves is to help others.
The power of community is made up in small interactions that lead to big things. It comes from the community college Director of Online Learning who drove 45 minutes away to help a user of Free for Teacher Canvas or the Mathematics Professor who works tirelessly to build enhancements to Canvas and provides them free to all. It lies with the many people who contribute to the Awesome Canvaslms list. The power is evident when one father offers to drive two exits down the freeway to meet another father at a diner to help him log into the parent app. The community is powerful when millions of times a month people ask questions and read the answers given by community members who share a common goal around using software to teach and learn.
If you have not yet joined, I invite you to log into Canvas and then click on the community-related links in the Help menu or log into Canvas and then go to community.canvaslms.com to get started. Consider becoming a community Advocate. We will be glad to welcome you.