How our growing BeNeLux User Group contributes to Canvas’ roadmap

As a Bid Manager, generally focussing on the BeNeLux region, I have the opportunity to learn and write about interesting and exciting things Instructure does around the world. A common question in the region, I believe coming from a historical concern when purchasing software from a US company, is “Will you listen to us?”.  I sat down with our Customer Success Manager for the BeNeLux region to learn more about our fantastic BeNeLux community and the work they do.

Led by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, this independent group of 15+ institutions meet every 3 months to discuss important topics of the day, such as GDPR, and region-specific needs, such as Dutch-speaking Canvas glossaries.

Meetings are generally organised into morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning session, Instructure presents Canvas news and updates, and listen to feedback, while the afternoon sessions are split into two user groups - administrative and pedagogical - who collaborate, share, and discuss ideas important to them.

But these sessions do not just include sharing best practice - the BeNeLux community is actively contributing to our roadmap. The user group has collaboratively developed a list of their top five feature requests for the BeNeLux region, for discussion with Canvas’ International Product Manager, with two features currently in Discovery stage in the Canvas Studio. 

This means that, thanks to the efforts of the BeNeLux community, we are currently exploring how two new features will look in Canvas. If developed, the user group will have access to Beta testing - giving us feedback and helping us ensure the feature meets the needs of institutions.

An example driven by our BeNeLux community was the ability to write comma-separated-value (CSV) export files using a semicolon, as is the case in the Netherlands. We are currently working on achieving the same capabilities for CSV import files.

I am humbled by the tight-knit community of BeNeLux institutions that use Canvas, and have come to learn about, and value, the effort institutions like Universiteit van Twente, British School In The Netherlands and Hogeschool Utrecht put in to learn, collaborate, and share knowledge. Looking forward, I am excited to learn how newer Canvas institutions like Arteveldehogeschool and Thomas More Hogeschool contribute to the Canvas community.




Keep learning,

Joseph Harris
Bid Manager, Canvas EMEA