Foothill College is a community college in Los Altos Hills, California, offering over 70 Associate degree programs, 107 certificate programs, and a bachelor’s degree program. Foothill College educates over 16,000 students with face-to-face, online, and hybrid learning programs.
Impact at Foothill College
Foothill College had been an Impact by Instructure customer for several years before the pandemic hit, but over the course of 2020, their Impact strategy changed to accommodate for all the new restrictions that occurred as a result of the pandemic. Foothill, just like other institutions around the world, had to shut their doors and do everything in their power to ensure academic continuity through their online Learning Management Systems (LMS).
Bridging the Gaps in Faculty LMS Training
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, Foothill College was experiencing an unprecedented shift to full-time online teaching and learning. Lené Whitley-Putz, Dean of Online Learning, and Jolie Theall, Instructional Designer and Frontline Canvas Administrator, quickly realized there was an emergency that could affect their academic continuity.
“Like every other campus last March, we had a really horrific moment when we realized that we would be moving 50% of our campus who had never taught online before – online.”- Lené Whitley-Putz
Only half of the faculty was trained in Canvas and had a well-developed online program, the other half would be struggling to maintain 100% remote teaching. This is where Impact came in to help, Lene and Jolie could use Impact to bridge the gaps in faculty LMS training by deploying proactive messaging and provide easy access to support resources.
With Impact seamlessly integrated into Canvas, Foothill College deployed proactive in-app messaging and support to increase communication, help unsure users navigate through the LMS, and encourage adoption of Canvas and third-party tools. In addition, the Impact Support Center and Insights helped Foothill navigate their strategy to help their users with Canvas adoption. Discover how Foothill College introduced the Impact Support Center and Insights.
EesyMessaging helped Foothill identify user groups and deliver targeted and personalized messaging to match their needs just-in-time. These messages were placed in specific Canvas contexts in order to address questions that users had, directly at the moment of need. For example, if there was a new online learning tool being implemented, Foothill could place a series of targeted messages instructing faculty on its purpose and functionality, thereby reducing the number of frustrated users and incoming support requests.
Reinforcing Communication and Adoption
One way that Foothill used Impact’s messaging in a creative way to achieve its training and adoption goals was with the Tuesday Tips campaign. Foothill didn’t just want to utilize Impact’s messaging to communicate vital pieces of information, but also to deliver proactive, encouraging, pedagogical advice that could improve the overall experience of teachers and students at the institution.
“We felt like we needed to not only teach people the tool but that we had to marry it with pedagogy, and we didn’t want them separated at all.” – Lené Whitley-Putz
To achieve this goal, Jolie designed a campaign called Tuesday Tips, which was comprised of messages aimed at sharing best practices and some tips for teachers and students. These 3-minute messages would include a dynamic video featuring a member of the Foothill community and would be accompanied by relevant text and links to resources.
“We are really proud of that [Tuesday Tips] campaign. It got not only extremely high views from everyone but also a lot of positive feedback from faculty who were nervous about being fully online.” – Jolie Theall
Lené and Jolie also really wanted to be able to periodically remind users of what they had learned in their Canvas and third-party tool training with bite-sized information in relevant parts of the Canvas LMS. Impact’s messaging is be able to deliver information to users while they were in the process of using a specific tool and remind them of the correct steps to achieve their goals. This approach would help faculty practice and apply the skills they learn during training in a real-time scenario and reinforce the positive results of those trainings.
“[Impact] was invaluable in allowing us to do that [messaging] much more targeted than a global announcement and allowed us to track a lot of the data which was super useful.” – Lené Whitley-Putz
Troubleshooting with Messaging
Another key way that Foothill used Impact’s messaging was to resolve emergencies or problems within Canvas and third-party tools. When Foothill experienced a crash with their Zoom LTI, which was an essential channel for students to attend classes and lectures, they used Impact’s messaging to inform all students about the situation.
“We were able to put a message right in Canvas so that when someone clicked on the link to the LTI, a window would pop up and say ‘is Zoom not loading? Here’s where you go to get it to load…We saved ourselves with that message – it was incredibly easy for Jolie to do and it made the world of difference in that one critical week.”- Lené Whitley-Putz
Impact strives to provide ideas and strategies for institutions to implement LMS messaging, check out some of our favorite examples here.
In 2020, Lené Whitley-Putz and Jolie Theall won an EesyAward for being Superstar Customers at Foothill College. Foothill takes advantage of Impact’s in-line messaging, tool adoption reports, and support center anytime they can in order to support and guide users during the transition to fully online education this year. The creative campaigns that Foothill College deployed, such as Tuesday Tips, helped them take Impact to a new level and improve Canvas adoption and engagement.
Looking To the Future
As Foothill moves forward, they are looking to create more Impact content and campaigns which will allow them to continue supporting their users and optimizing Canvas adoption. With Impact and Canvas working together, Foothill can keep evolving with its messaging strategy and use insights to guide its efforts within the EdTech world.