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Community Member

InstructureCon 2016 Post-Conference Feedback

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tl;dr: This is an open discussion where you all can publicly share your qualitative thoughts and feedback about InstructureCon 2016! Please post before reading the comments from others. Then feel free to reply to others!

Once again we were stunned by another kumbayawesome InstructureCon! Fortunately the great sessions, ideas, and connections we made, can live on within our Canvas Community and in the InstructureCon 2016 community space! Remember that you can keep the conversation alive, around each breakout session, by adding comments! This is a great way to connect with the presenters and share thoughts/ideas with other participants.

Please be sure to take that survey that our marketing team sends out, so we can make instcon even better next year. That quantitative feedback is invaluable.

In addition we wanted to have an open discussion where you all can publicly share your qualitative thoughts and feedback about InstructureCon 2016!

Here's some things you might want to talk about: the sessions, the keynotes, the activities, the online schedule, the app, the booths, the venue, opportunities to connect, ideas for the Community Team to improve community interaction and engagement.

Thanks for your help Canvas Community...  We ❤️ you!

Onward and upward!

PS... Don't forget to add all those kumbayawesome photos you took, to the Camp Canvas Photo Gallery...

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In your responses please @mention other community friends or use the "Share" tool to encourage others to offer their feedback as well!

Let's kick off this discussion with some @mentions:

kristin.lundstrum@delasalle.com​, jward@instructure.com​, tom.gibson@esc13.txed.net​, kub26@psu.edu​, kdfrench@utexas.edu​, Ryan.Seilhamer@ucf.edu​, ckofeldt@palcs.org​, ktesterman@ccaeducate.me, roush.94@osu.edu​, amber_morse@allenisd.org​, dlyons@instructure.com​, mjevins@winwholesale.com​, hyrum@instructure.com​, lalevesque​, mfgu@dxatc.edu​, kbeimfohr​, jasond@victoryoutreach.org​, britain.woodman@instructure.com​, regina_mccurdy@scps.k12.fl.us​, hsiao.62@osu.edu​, shortridge@gatewaycc.edu​, stuart.ryan@collaborative.education​, lambj@centergrove.k12.in.uslindalee@wharton.upenn.edu​, awilliams​, thatcher.bohrman@yc.edu​, crystal_trotter@allenisd.org​, Deactivated user​, 985706039​, bsargent​, bwalters@swinburneonline.com​, travis.cox@adelaide.edu.au​, beth.ritter-guth@ucc.edu​, tmercer@msddecatur.k12.in.us​, mouldera​, Deactivated user​, sblyth@instructure.com​, tawnya.means@ufl.edu​, michelle@ou.edu​, mlattke@instructure.com​, jray11@iupui.edu​, Deactivated user​, mlove@msjc.edu​, colleen.ortega@adelaide.edu.au​, whitney.kilgore@idesignedu.org​, victoria-maloy@uiowa.edu​, arovner@shoreline.edu​, kevin@ou.edu​, lstark@instructure.com​, dtheriault​, kmiller​, bcrook@standrews-de.org​, grahamb@sfu.ca​, chofer@morainepark.edu​, floria@umd.edu​, sphoward@ccaeducate.me​, Deactivated user​, dhawley@btc.ctc.edu​, jwhite@ivey.ca​, mmorvant@ou.edu​, goodrum​, kristie.johnson@southlakecarroll.edu​, Deactivated user​, hooker.24@osu.edu​, lydia​, yotebrarian​, A00015317​, catherine_gregory@allenisd.org​, kyle.johnson@chaminade.edu​, timothy.mckean@ccs.spokane.edu​, murphy.1527@osu.edu​, sbeck@nwmissouri.edu​, ewilson@occ.cccd.edu​, lclontz@emory.edu​, straussi@erau.edu​, chriscas​, candace.girard@tufts.edu​, p.bier@auckland.ac.nz​, kdscholl@indiana.edu​, bigenhoc@greenhill.orgaharris​, dave-long@uiowa.edu​, kschneider25@alamo.edu​, 16247​, skowlaski@hccfl.edu​, msl_adm​, evans.1517@osu.edu​, eanderson3@greeleyschools.org​, jbrady2@hccfl.edu​, Adrienne.J.Gauthier@Dartmouth.edu​, np@unplag.com​, ebaker@centralia.edu​, timf@bigbend.edu​, travis.thurston@usu.edu​, Deactivated user​, jap98y​, seneman@uncc.edu​, SchaeferG@husson.edu​, stefaniesanders​, rcarney@instructure.com​, scottd@instructure.com​, biray@instructure.com

Tags (2)
182 Replies
Highlighted

Agreed on all counts, and especially the app, jbrady2@hccfl.edu. It was handy and I appreciated the event reminders. I would have liked to have been able to add all the events, not just the sessions, and to be able to add my own appointments to the schedule.

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Overall I give InstructureCon an A- and continue to rank this conference as one of my two favorite conferences of the year.  I was thrilled to be in attendance and continue to have that exhilarating feeling of post-conference inspiration.  My thoughts for constructive feedback:

  • Having to fly to Denver, wait for the next resort shuttle, and then travel for another 2+ hours (we were not the first people to be dropped off on the route) was quite onerous.  I was exhausted by the time I got there.  Keystone is a wonderful place, but the venue is a bit remote.
  • I ended up reserving a timeshare by myself, but I found the "rent a room with other people and split the cost" to be very confusing and I really wanted to just stay in a simple studio close to the conference center.  I had no other same gender colleagues who attended and I couldn't find a stranger to bunk with.
  • My suggestion for every InstructureCon is actually: can we extend it for one more day?  We don't need massive celebrations each and every night, but one more day of sessions would be so beneficial.
  • A great many of the sessions were beyond capacity.  I think were the fire marshall present for the O365 integration session, he would have a panic attack.  I think there were even chants among the audience regarding moving the session to the ballroom. 
  • Despite me whining about the remoteness of the venue in the first bullet, I would think that Vail would be a venue better able to accommodate InstructureCon.  Keystone is not a very accessible place (someone else on this thread already elaborated on that) and I honestly think that we have outgrown it. 

It sounds like all I have are complaints, but really that was a wonderful conference.  I have never seen that level of attention to detail - even at the very large conferences that I have been to with 8k attendees.  Keystone was completely transformed.  It became Canvastone for the week. 

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

I'm glad you mentioned that.  I was an Eagle scout and have worked in scouting as a leader.  But sometimes you do have a certain expectation of comfort when you go to a professional conference.  I like that this conference wasn't just a sterile environment where the only time I go outside is because I haven't been outside all day and I guess I should probably go outside because yesterday I didn't go outside...  That gives me a headache just thinking about it.  :smileysilly:

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

After all that complaining, I feel like I need a follow up to say that this InstructureCon was such a great experience.  I'll definitely always remember the conference, the cheerful Canvas employees, the wonderful design and marketing that went into everything...  Great job everyone.  If you end up just duplicating this conference next year then I will definitely come again.

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Learner II

This was my first InstructureCon, and it was great.  Here's a few points for feedback:

Plusses:

  • Interesting and engaging sessions
  • Social events, good opportunities for networking
  • Great mobile app for checking the schedule / getting updates
  • The mountains and venue were wonderful!

Deltas (things to change):

  • A bigger venue for next year, there were a few sessions I couldn't get into because the room was too full.
  • A schedule of sessions that is put together two to three weeks in advance
  • An accessible venue & events.  Accessibility doesn't just apply to things in the digital space
  • More sessions from customers/institutions

Highlighted

I agree with Melissa.  I thought the conference was well organized and a lot of fun.

I agree with her suggestions about the accessibility/mobility.  Having a bad back myself it is difficult for me to walk long distances, and I found the carts and buses very helpful in getting around.

With the rain, I would have liked to have seen more tents at Decatur Field (as well as seating) and at the Stables.  Thursday night was especially rainy.

The food was wonderful.  The sessions were great.  The hotel staff and the Canvas staff were very nice and very helpful.

I agree with Beth that if we could add the shuttle/bus schedule to the app, that would be very helpful.  The notifications concerning sessions and Canvas events helpful.

The location itself was very beautiful.  The altitude did take a little getting used to.  I had a little altitude sickness Monday evening.  I did miss the smores this year...

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Community Coach
Community Coach

As always I enjoyed InstructureCon. This was my fourth. I can't honest say this was my favorite, but it's still way better than most conferences.

Prettay, Prettay, Prettay Good

  • The mountain setting was amazing. I don't care if you want to hold this in Yellowstone, I just don't want to see this conference moved to a big city. I understand we are making some concessions, but if I want a big city conference I'll go to EDUCAUSE, OLC, or Blackboard World (well not this one, heh).
  • Instructure keynotes were great like always, and even better than the topic keynotes.
  • Having all session in only two venues was really nice.
  • The ballroom was great for large events.
  • The quality and usefulness of the swag was the best ever!
  • The app was helpful, but I'd suggest a different partner next year. Maybe Modo Labs? They make a great campus/event app with interactive maps, iBeacons, etc.
  • Instructure has the best employees, hands down. Also willing to listen and share. I wish more could have been there.
  • I found the busses to be great. They were abundant and easy to find.
  • I thought the shuttles to and from the airport were comfortable, quick, and professional.

Less Prettay, Prettay, Prettay Good:

  • The venue for social events and networking. I think the venue was great, but when it came to being social and networking, I thought Park City had a better set up. Everything was in one place and its a more intimate setting. I found it hard to network organically. It seemed to be crowded with fewer activities to get people removed from their typical groups. Maybe it's a product of growth, but I found this conference to be less connected than the previous three.
  • Basically every session I attended was full. In fact, I had to close the door 10 minutes before my presentation. I'm not sure if there is a solution at Keystone, but maybe using the community to better gauge attendees, or offering sessions more than once?
  • The night events were "okay". I really liked the Park City venue for night events. Everything was in one place. The movie nights on Wednesday and Thursday were basically empty.
  • Wifi wasn't great, but never has been. I wanted to do more live blogging and twitter'ing and couldn't.
  • More tents, more standing tables, more focus on accessibility, especially in the field.
  • Most of instructure employees look tired and were tasked with many things. It would be nice to see more at the conference to allow time to meet and greet.
  • The Canvas community has produced many different user groups and it was sometimes difficult to find a good venue to meet up. Some were planned during the night events, which can be difficult.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday night I got approached by intoxicated, pushy vendors. :smileyangry:
  • Not having Deactivated user​, kona@richland.edu​, or st2840​ there.

Suggestions:

  • I'd love to see more opportunities to find people with my interests. This is generally a "birds of a feather" session. They are specific (mobile, outcomes, 1:1, etc) and not general like (HE, K12, etc). These can take place during lunch or take the place of a session.
  • It was hard to identify Instructure employees. Maybe next year their name badge can be a different color?
  • Less rain, seriously, can't Instructure fix this? (:
  • Maybe start the night events a little earlier. Maybe 5:30 or 6? Anything later is tough on us East Coasters.
  • I ran into a few people who didn't have smartphones and were expecting a printed schedule. I wonder if a quick "at a glance" schedule can be available on request.
Highlighted

Yes! Lack of S'mores!

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Community Member

I didn't like that there was a long break between the last session of the day and the hoe-down. It was raining, so there wasn't much to do, and many of us had already checked out of our hotels, so didn't have anywhere else to go. If there was one more session in the day, or if the dinner started earlier, that would have been better than aimlessly wandering around then ultimately just plopping down and checking email for an hour.

Also, as an "admin," it was tricky for me to identify by the session titles what exactly they were about. Sessions were coded PK-12 or HE, but that wasn't useful for me. I went to many HE sessions that were just as relevant as PK-12 ones. It would be great to tag courses into categories like "Instructional Design" "Feature/Product Forecast" "SIS" "API" "Technical/Coding"...stuff like that. And then not clump them all into one time slot. I remember there was one time there were about 3 sessions that looked interesting, but a few other time slots where there wasn't much relevant to admin stuff.

Great conference! I really hope I can go back next year!

Highlighted
Community Member

Internet/WiFi was a hit and a miss.  It was only really a hit when people left the conference center for lunch or dinner :smileylaugh:

App worked well since it didn't need to load much off the internet.

Hopefully you can dedicate some people to plan the infrastructure of the internet for improvement next year working with the venue.