Badging and Apps at InstructureCon: A Glance Behind the Scenes

Submitted by on Fri, 11/10/17

As written on The Canvas Blog

Mission: InstructureCon 0017 was an event for the record books—not only for record-setting attendance and session numbers, but also for the obscene amount of fun that was had by all. I don’t know about you, but there’s not much that can top a classic rock concert as the sun sets over the mountains after three days of awesome, non-stop learning. In case you couldn’t make it, or you just want to reminisce a bit, here’s the conference recap video.

We strive to make InstructureCon better every year, and one way we do so is by working with partners to up the ante on the service and experience we provide for our attendees. This year was no exception, which is why we worked with our partners Badgr and Modo Labs to offer a robust conference app experience with a built-in badging game. We know there are some seriously committed badge hunters among you (you know who you are…), and providing this gamified experience helped our attendees better take in the conference by highlighting key events and encouraging exploration of the beautiful conference setting.

“A large conference like InstructureCon can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know how to use your time most wisely,” said Melissa Loble, the VP of platform and partnerships at Instructure. “Not only does an easy-to-use conference app with a simple badging experience help guide our attendees to key conference locations, it also makes the whole experience a lot more fun by taking them off the beaten path—like into a kayak rental on Keystone Lake to find a hidden badge.”

Canvas has long maintained that we can’t always be the best at everything (although we do try pretty hard to make the best LMS and the best LMS user conference), which is why we called in some help from our expert friends, Badgr and Modo Labs. Modo Labs, the leading higher ed mobile app company focusing on student success and engagement, was able to bring the multi-channel platform to help enable the InstructureCon mission. The Badgr team are thought-leaders in the micro-credentialing space, with a whole lot of experience pioneering new technologies. In order to create a seamless gamification experience, Badgr and Modo Labs worked together to combine Modo’s in-app QR code scanner and Badgr’s leaderboard and pathway functionality. This allowed attendees to easily compete in collecting badges right from our conference app. We offered real-world prizes to the top players and dubbed the experience “Operation: Worldwide Joyride.”

This is all well and good, you say, but that doesn’t say much. Was it a success? Did people actually use the app? Did they actually care about the badges? The answer to all of these questions was, overwhelmingly, yes. Ultimately, we saw 3,350 downloads of the conference app. During the three-day period during which badges were actively issued, we issued over 10,000 badges, with over 85% of conference attendees participating to some degree. Check out the following video to learn more about Operation: Worldwide Joyride at InstructureCon.

What does it mean to have conference attendees using your app and earning badges at such a high rate? In short, it means engagement. Through these two technologies, we were able to help guide attendees on the best possible journey through InstructureCon, finding the sessions they cared about most, highlighting key events, and encouraging exploration of the grounds at the beautiful Keystone Resort. Ultimately, we hope that using the app and earning badges helped you have the best possible experience at Mission: InstructureCon 0017. Furthermore, we gleaned a lot of helpful information from how you used the app, and we hope to put that information to good use next year. For example, we know that you used the schedule and the in-app messaging features the most (and we’re excited to hear that you’re all networking and meeting your fellow Canvas users), and we know what sorts of information you searched for, which we hope to better surface during future conferences.

So, what’s next? As we do every year, we hope to make InstructureCon 2018 bigger and better than ever, and that includes the conference app and gamification experiences we provide. Stay tuned for even bigger and better things from Modo and Badgr!

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