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How did Chris Hofer become a Coach?

Community Team
Community Team
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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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